Kimchi stew is one of the most-loved of all the stews in Korean cuisine. It’s a warm, hearty, spicy, savory, delicious dish that pretty much everyone loves. As long as they can handle spicy food, I never met a person who didn’t like kimchi-jjigae.

I learned this recipe from a restaurant famous for kimchi-jjigae in Korea. The restaurant was always full of people eating and sweating over kimchi stew.  There was only one item on the menu, so everyone was there for the same thing: a steaming pot of spicy kimchi-jjigae, a few side dishes, and a bowl of warm rice. Customers would call out: “Please give me another bowl of rice!”

What really made an impression on me at the time was the fact that they brought the stew out to the table uncooked, and then fired up a burner and cooked it at the table. This way we could sit and talk and watch it cook. I could get a good look at the ingredients: kimchi, onion, green onion, thinly sliced pork on top, and seasonings. There was some white granules (salt, sugar, and probably MSG) and also they used water at the broth base.

From this I developed my own recipe to make at home, which was very delicious.

My kimchi-jjigae recipe served me well for years and years and I even made a video of it in 2007. But since then I developed this version, which is even more delicious. The secret is in the savory anchovy stock.

I hope you make it and enjoy it for years and years to come!

The difference between kimchi soup and kimchi stew

Kimchi stew is thicker than kimchi soup. Kimchi soup is less salty than kimchi stew.

Also, soup is always served in individual bowls, with rice. Traditionally in Korean cuisine stews were served in a big pot on the table, and the family would eat communally from the pot. These days, some people (including me) get a little freaked out by double-dipping, so for stews I put individual bowls on the table, and a large spoon so that diners can take what they like from the pot and put it in their bowls.


(serves 2 with side dishes, serves 4 without)

  • 1 pound kimchi, cut into bite size pieces
  • ¼ cup kimchi brine
  • ½ pound pork shoulder (or pork belly)
  • ½ package of tofu (optional), sliced into ½ inch thick bite size pieces
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 medium onion, sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (hot pepper paste)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cups of anchovy stock (or chicken or beef broth)

For stock (makes about 2½ cups’ worth):


Make anchovy stock:

  1. Put the anchovies, daikon, green onion roots, and dried kelp in a sauce pan.Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)
  2. Add the water and boil for 20 minutes over medium high heat.
  3. Lower the heat to low for another 5 minutes.
  4. Strain.멸치국물 (anchovy stock)

Make kimchi stew:

  1. Place the kimchi and kimchi brine in a shallow pot. Add pork and onionKimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)
  2. Slice 2 green onions diagonally and add them to the pot.
  3. Add salt, sugar, hot pepper flakes, and hot pepper paste. Drizzle sesame oil over top and add the anchovy stock
    Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)
  4. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium high heat.Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)
  5. Open and mix in the seasonings with a spoon. Lay the tofu over top.Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)
  6. Cover and cook another 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat.
  7. Chop 1 green onion and put it on the top of the stew. Remove from the heat and serve right away with rice.Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)

Leave your rating:

So far this is rated 4.9/5 from 582 votes

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  1. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 312 comments

    Made it again yesterday for dinner. This time in my trusty rice-cooker (Cuckoo; 10 cups). Worked perfectly! So good!

  2. elizaandworld Cape Town joined 9/23 & has 1 comment

    For a long time, kimchi jjigae has been our household’s go-to comfort food take-out whenever we are really tired, or cold, or sad…….

    This recipe tasted so much like that kimchi jjigae from our favourite neighbourhood Korean restaurant that it made us teary! :’) And now it has pretty much become part of our weekly meal repertoire. So simple and so delicious.

  3. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 312 comments

    I didn’t have green onions (and it was too hot to leave our flat) and used green zucchini instead.
    And I made it in the microwave to avoid spending time in our tiny kitchen.

  4. NannerMonster Montana joined 8/23 & has 1 comment

    I cannot sing enough praise as to how good this recipe is! I am a long time lover of kimchi stew, I ordered one every Tuesday (Stews-day (; ) at the restaurant I worked at for a decade. This recipe is quite possibly even more flavorful! I didn’t have the ingredients for the anchovy broth, so I substituted with my rice water with a teaspoon of veggie stock base. I omitted the pork, doubled the tofu, and the store was out of green onions. Holy moly, this is a flavorful recipe, will make again and again! I’m excited to try with the anchovy broth next time. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. (:

    See full size image

  5. matthewm Missouri joined 4/23 & has 1 comment

    I’ve made this recipe many times and my whole family love it. I want to potentially triple or quadruple the recipe to bring for a potluck next week.

    Assuming a big enough pot, is there anything important to consider when making larger portions of the stew? Anything necessary to make sure all the parts are cooked?

    Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

  6. cvkemp Michigan joined 3/23 & has 1 comment

    Amazing recipe! I was skeptical that it would come out the same as my favorite Korean restaurant, but it was almost even better. I will probably cook the stew longer next time, as my pork belly was pretty tough. I didn’t have anchovy stock, so I used water, a stock cube, and a couple teaspoons of fish sauce for a quick substitute. Used my kimchi from your “easy kimchi” recipe as well. Will definitely make this often considering how easy it is.

  7. JorgeBS94 Francia joined 2/23 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi! I love this recipe. It is the first one I made after buying your big book of Korean food. However I have a question. I have made this using pork belly cut into medium size chunks and after cooking it around 25 min I feel the pork belly is still quite firm. Is it OK to cook it for longer (like > 2 h)? Or maybe cutting the pork belly into thinner slices would do the trick in less time? What do you think? Thank you!!

  8. michaelmaggs United States joined 2/23 & has 1 comment


    New registered user! I love this site and the recipes. Curious — for Jigae — I’ve seen about a tablespoon of soy sauce added…what are your thoughts on this?


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

    Thank you, Maangchi! I made this with homemade kimchi today and it is SO GOOD!

    I had to change it a bit because I was either missing something (I was out of radish, for the anchovy stock, so I left it out, and also used little pieces of dried seaweed snacks instead of dried kelp) or because I can’t eat certain things (white onions and tofu/soy hurt my stomach – my homemade kimchi is even from a recipe that doesn’t have onions or garlic in it – so I just added more green onion stems and some 된장 because I can tolerate that better). I also had a tiny little bit of leftover sauces and juices from a few 반찬 (깍두기, garlic stems, dried seasoned radish) that I added in because I have a Korean ex who would do that so they wouldn’t be wasted and would add flavour. And wow! I love kimchi jjigae, and this was probably the best I’ve ever had (sorry to my ex, who made it pretty good, but not THIS good).


  10. pmgquest FL, United States joined 10/22 & has 1 comment

    maangchi! i made this soup 4 times in the past 2 weeks it’s so good! thank you for sharing and i hope you share more soups and stews soon

  11. KimLewinRei New Zealand joined 4/22 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!
    I made your kimchi recipe and then this stew about 2 weeks later for my family and we all devoured it – it is so delicious!
    We also had fresh spring onions in our garden which was great… hopefully in a few months time, I can make this entire recipe from produce grown in our garden
    Thank you for sharing such great recipes.

  12. aaronH Warsaw, IN joined 12/21 & has 1 comment

    My daughter and I enjoyed making this for supper tonight. We then enjoyed it with my wife. This was everything I hoped it would be. Thank you so much for creating this recipe!

  13. JonB California joined 12/21 & has 3 comments

    I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a recipe on the Internet with a 5/5 rating and over 65,000 votes, but here’s one more 5 from me. This stuff is terrific. It’s the perfect dinner for a cold night (or what passes for a cold night in California). I followed the recipe closely; I did bump up the umami by adding a slug of shio koji to the stock, but it would have been just fine without it. I really wouldn’t change a thing. I did use store-bought kimchi; if I used homemade, which tends to run a little spicier, I might cut back on the gochugaru a bit, but the quantities here are perfect for the commercial stuff.

    • JonB California joined 12/21 & has 3 comments

      By the way, I just popped in to refresh my memory about how the recipe goes, and I noticed that it says “serves 2 with side dishes, serves 4 without.” Unless there’s a Korean tradition of serving double portions of stew when it’s accompanied by side dishes, I’m thinking that might be backward. ;)

  14. Castrolane California joined 11/21 & has 1 comment

    Wow! I followed the instructions exactly and turned out a deep rich stew. I couldn’t be happier with the results. Thank you so much for sharing this with us all. Also, I’ve made a new friend at my local Korean Market. She was so thrilled I was attempting a new type of cuisine at home. Looking forward to discovering other recipes here. Bon Appetite!

  15. Aussie Australia joined 8/21 & has 1 comment

    I’d like start experimenting with Kimchi and this looks like a good recipe -thanks. However I don’t eat Pork. What could I use instead? Also what would be a regular equivalent for the korean pepper flakes and paste?
    Many thanks :-)

    • 3bodyproblem Arizona joined 8/21 & has 1 comment

      You can double the tofu and not use the pork. A lot of broth flavor comes from the anchovies and the sea weed.

      You could sub regular hot pepper flakes for the Korean ones, but you will need the gochujang for the recipe. I wouldn’t substitute that.

    • badbetty Washington State joined 1/22 & has 1 comment

      Chamchi Kimchi jjigae is popular in my home as well. Chamchi = Tuna. Add some canned tuna. Mackerel and even canned sardines, I’ve seen. You can def keep it just tofu, too. Or add some kind of meaty mushroom. So many options.

  16. wndrmom Philippines joined 1/21 & has 1 comment

    Hi I want to ask if kimchi gets spoiled? Thanks

  17. JRTHiker Seattle, WA joined 4/18 & has 3 comments

    My neighbor brought me some VERY old kimchi that was in her fridge for a long time. I made 2 batches of bindaetteok (one of my favorite Maangchi recipes!) and thought hey, I need to finally take the plunge and do 김치찌개. I made the broth from a high quality stock bag a Korean friend brought me, but supplemented with some more anchovies and kombu. Used pork belly (the other half of the belly went into the bindaetteok, ground up to a paste in the food processor…50/50 fat/lean made the best pancakes!) I also used some very special gochugaru hand made from a friend, more of a fruity flavor. Thank you Maangchi, this came out spectacularly well! Even my dog was pacing the kitchen loving the smell :)

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  18. Sporifix Houston TX joined 4/20 & has 6 comments

    This is easy to make and really satisfying. I found some Korean stock teabags that make the stock part of it a little more convenient.

  19. Cat Z Melbourne, Australia joined 5/20 & has 1 comment

    i’ve always loved Korean food but have always hesitated cooking it due to the complexity and varied ingredients that weren’t staples in my pantry.

    HOWEVER, with restaurants closed and unable to access delicious, soul warming stews right now (covid) i looked for recipes online and came across this.

    Just finished enjoying my stew and i am so surprised at how easy it was, and how delicious it turned out. i pre made the stock yesterday so all i had to do was assembly today. With 2 kids and a full time job, i will definitely add this to my repetoir! maybe not for the kids … hehe

    i added enoki mushroom and some fresh chinese cabbage bc they were in my fridge. and for my stock, i bought japanese kelp and anchovies and used chinese white raddish. with the left overs, i’ll add in some teokbokki and maybe a cake of ramen.. mmmmmm

    thank you for the recipe! i will be trying more of them

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  20. XXanimeseekerXX North Carolina joined 6/18 & has 5 comments

    I made this tonight for supper and it was wonderful! I may have had to use some chicken broth and chicken in replace of the pork and anchovy stock and it was so yummy. I had some rice and black beans(both your recipe) with it, I would absolutely make this again. My dad and I loved it, thank you for the recipes!

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  21. Alujin Washington joined 4/20 & has 2 comments

    Made this recipe twice for my family and both times were a success! Thank you for sharing your amazing foods!!

    See full size image

  22. ChineseFoodie Watertown, MA - USA joined 5/20 & has 1 comment

    I’ve been a fan for almost 10 years! Thanks. So, I made this recipe twice now. First time, I didn’t like the sugary taste, so this second time, two years later (!) during this quarantine, I made it a second time without the sugar. Still I feel like something is missing, like it’s not sour enough? What do you suggest?

  23. johnnydiablo Boston joined 3/20 & has 1 comment

    Fantastic Recipe! So far, I have made the spicy pork stew, the kimchi-jjigae, and tteokbokki..All have been great. Really enjoy your recipes.. Reminds me of my time in Seoul, and the restaurants close to my company location in Yeoksam. Missing gopchang.. right now.

    Question: I can enoki mushroom to the kimchi-jjigae as well, correct? I added to the spicy pork stew, and it was a nice filler for seconds.

  24. jenha Philippines joined 2/20 & has 1 comment

    Hi Madam,

    Thank you very much for this recipe! Here’s our kimchi jjigae. We cooked it for our colleagues in the university, and they enjoyed it so much!

    See full size image

  25. Anne17 Australia joined 12/19 & has 1 comment

    I used tofu, chicken and shrimp for my protein. I used shrimp shell and ancovies for the stock, the shrimp shell create heavier and richer soup. And I found it a bit bland when I add the tofu, so I add some soy sauce in it. Amazing, Thank you Maangchi

    • Nova_2011 Las Vegas, NV joined 1/20 & has 1 comment

      What size pan should this recipe be made in? My dolsot bowl is only 4 cups. I feel that this won’t be big enough and allow enough room for everything to be cooked properly?
      Instead of making it in a stone bowl could it be made in a neofalm low 2qt saucepan? I would prefer to make it in a dolsot but the largest I can find is only 4 to 6 cups

  26. EmilyJanice Jakarta, Indonesia joined 5/19 & has 1 comment

    The best recipe I’ve found online! I modified the ingredients a bit, substituting the anchovy stock with powdered Dashi stock (which is more accessible in my area because Korean stock anchovies are so expensive here) and frying the pork belly beforehand to remove the unpleasant porky odor. Thank you for the recipe, Maangchi! My family loved the jjigae so much!

  27. cosimaluise Germany joined 3/19 & has 6 comments

    Hello Maangchi, today I made kimchi jigae for the first time after I made Kimchi with your recipe :) I didn’t add any meat because I am vegetarian instead I used more vegetables. It was sooo delicious I really enjoyed eating it as well as making it. Thank you so much for all your recipes! I love cooking and thanks to you I can enjoy Korean dishes at home. <3

  28. trvekvltmaster The Netherlands joined 2/19 & has 2 comments

    Hey, i made it but can someone help me? I used 6 month old kimchi (homemade), and because of this it’s extremely sour. Is there a way to make it taste more mild?

  29. Kbobbio03 Orlando joined 1/19 & has 1 comment

    Wow! I liked this way more than I thought I would!!! I made your kimchi recipe about a month ago (half recipe) and still have about half left. I figured this would be a perfect recipe to use some up. I did use an “ultimate stock” recipe, but the heart of the recipe is yours. Thanks for such wonderful recipes.
    Side note, I’ve had an aversion to fish for a couple of decades. I used to eat fish as a child but several traumatic incidents has left me phobic. Because I watch your videos, I have been able to start eating dishes with fish sauce in them. Big step for me, all thanks to you!

  30. EdwinneJ Singapore joined 12/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi, I noticed that most of your stew recipes call for the same stock. Can I make it in advance to use over multiple days?

  31. Brunodesando Canada joined 11/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi there!

    Can I use seafood broth instead of making my own anchovy broth?


  32. qilqilqil Singapore joined 10/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi. May I know what kimchi brine is? Is it kimchi juice?

  33. AudreyA New York, New York joined 10/18 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi, I just tried this recipe for the first time, and even though I had to make some substitutions since I didn’t have all the ingredients, it was so delicious! This is my favorite korean dish and I never realized how easy it could be! I won’t ever have to go out to a restaurant now :D (I actually meant to take a picture, but I couldn’t hold myself back and I just ate it right away hahaha)

  34. Grace P China joined 10/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi
    My Korean husband has asked me to register in order to thank you for this recipe. We have been married for 22 years and I have cooked Kimchi Jigae many many times following different recipes, but this has by far been the best! We really enjoy it a lot.
    Your blog is fantastic ! Thanks so much.

  35. brauwin Phoenix, AZ joined 1/10 & has 2 comments

    Wondering if anyone can help me out. I recently was in Busan and the lady brought out kimchi jjigae with my ssamgypsal. She warned me though that it would be very different from the “Northern” style kimchi jjigae I was used to. She was right, it tasted like there was fermented soybean paste in it and not much kimchi. Can anyone help me find a name of the style or a recipe?

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