Today’s recipe is from my first cookbook, and something that I make for my family all the time. It’s bubbling, hot kimchi stew with tuna (called chamchi-kimchi-jjigae in Korean, 참치김치찌개), so easy to make, satisfying, and delicious. It’s made with just a few ingredients, the most important ones are well-fermented, sour kimchi (the older, the better), and a can or 2 cans of tuna. We never make this with fresh tuna, we make it with canned tuna. You can use any tuna but I prefer Korean tuna in oil because the meat is firmer and it’s well-packed. If you don’t have or don’t like tuna, you can use my regular kimchi-jjigae recipe.

This stew is hot, satisfying, a little bit spicy, and a little bit sour. For me the ratio of sweetness, sourness, and spiciness is perfect! It’s a popular, regular meal for many Koreans, and because the ingredients are so few and canned tuna is so portable, we often make it on camping trips. Just bring some sour kimchi and make it and serve with rice. When I went camping in my university days, this was a regular thing for us to make. Everyone loves it!참치김치찌개 Kimchi stew with tuna Chamchi-kimchi-jjigae


Serves 4

  • 1 or 2 cans of tuna
  • 1 pound fermented kimchi, cut into 2 inch long pieces
  • ¼ cup kimchi brine, optional
  • 1 medium onion (about 1 cup), sliced
  • 2 green onion, one cut diagonally into pieces and one chopped up into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Korean hot pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Turbinado sugar (or white or brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 8 ounces tofu (about 1 cup), sliced into bite size pieces


  1. Place the kimchi in a shallow, heavy pot or pan. Add kimchi brine, onion, green onion, kosher salt, hot pepper flakes, sugar, and toasted sesame oil. Add 2½ cups water and cover. Cook for 25 minutes over medium high heat. If it boils over, crack the lid a little and if the water boils out, add more so that the kimchi and all the ingredients are always submerged.
  2. Stir the stew with a wooden spoon and add tuna and tofu. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the tofu turns soft.참치김치찌개 Kimchi stew with tuna Chamchi-kimchi-jjigae
  3. Sprinkle with the chopped green onion and serve right away with rice and more side dishes if you desire.참치김치찌개 Kimchi stew with tuna Chamchi-kimchi-jjigae

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  1. Liliath23 Toronto joined 11/22 & has 2 comments

    Thank you, Maangchi! I used homemade kimchi and didn’t have any tuna, but I *did* have some halibut frozen in my freezer, so I used a couple filets from that instead. It was good today, but I can hardly wait until tomorrow when I can reheat it and it will be even more delicious :D

    (I love your recipe for regular 김치찌개 too – but I thought I’d try a version with fish this time because I’m not really supposed to eat fatty foods like pork belly anymore, which makes me sad – but having this recipe makes it not as sad! So thank you!)

  2. MaangchiLove Montreal, Toronto joined 8/19 & has 59 comments
  3. softybg USA joined 1/17 & has 1 comment

    Absolutely delicious! At first I was surprised there’s no Gochujang in the recipe, as in the pork version. But this is so light and refreshing, I love it! No need for gochujang at all, the fish and the kimchi balance each other so well. I ate two portions :)).
    Thank you so much, Maangchi! Another great recipe! I look forward to your new book as well. :))

  4. California Carol California joined 11/17 & has 2 comments

    Can I substitute radish kimchi for cabbage kimchi?

  5. anothersesameseed Earth joined 2/19 & has 5 comments

    Hi Maangchi, I have a lot of questions.

    Where did you get your kimchi jjigae pot from?

    What brand of tuna did you use?

    What should be the firmness of the tofu?

  6. Nayko france joined 10/18 & has 34 comments

    Made this jjigae today for lunch with fermented kimchj (4 months) and it was great ! Caned tuna can have a strong and specific taste that sometimes overwhelms a dish but in a kimchi jjigae it melts perfectly.
    Good news: there’s a leftover for tomorrow! A stew is even better rehaeted the next day; it’s going to be awesome

  7. stonefly Olympia WA joined 11/11 & has 61 comments

    Oh, Maangchi! I love this dish. I make it with Washington State Albacore tuna with habanero pepper added when it is cooked. Spicy and delicious! Thank you so much for your recipes!

  8. Ermin Fei Indonesia joined 2/15 & has 32 comments

    Hi Maangchi ssi. Thank you very much for posting this receipe. I have been making this kind of kimchi jjigae everytime I have a “sudden” guest who come over for dinner. It is fast to make and never fail to please my guests. I also love this kimchi jjigae as the flavor is clean and refreshing (not as meaty as the one with pork).
    Keep up the great work and always look forward for your next videos ^o^

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