Is that the oldest joke in the book? Yes. Is it still hilarious? Absolutely.
This is kimchi jjigae weather, and I’m so excited because 1) it’s delicious and 2) it’s the best way to get rid of old kimchi.
Kimchi jjigae is one of those quintessential Korean recipes. Technically kimchi never expires, but it does get more sour and pungent and fermented with time. I actually like my kimchi extra sour, but even I have limits.
This is the easiest/quickest way to make kimchi jjigae – other recipes will call for Korean chili flakes and pepper paste to make the base for the soup, but since the kimchi I use is so old just water and leftover kimchi juice will suffice.
First, chop up your kimchi and reserve as much of the juice as possible.
Typically we add pork to the dish, and if you’re a real Korean you’ll add spam because it’s amazing and you can’t tell me otherwise. Unfortunately I was out of spam here, but I had some leftover bacon in my fridge. Chop up the bacon and cook for a bit, then add the kimchi and keep cooking the kimchi over medium-high heat. After a few minutes it will start to release moisture.
Once you’ve gotten to this stage, add the reserved juice from the jar of kimchi along with a jar full of water.
Give it all a good stir, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for at least 30 minutes.
Serve with rice and dig in!