Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Soup)

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If you are looking for a savory and comforting meal, this vegetarian kimchi jjigae or kimchi soup is ideal. It’s a bit spicy and is perfect served with a warm scoop of steaming rice. 

kimchi soup

Ingredients for Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Soup)

Before making this recipe, make sure you have all the ingredients you need. Swaps and alternatives are listed below next to each ingredient.

  • Kimchi: This is the star of the dish. You can buy it pre made or make it yourself. To keep this recipe vegetarian, purchase a kimchi without added fish sauce or seafood. 
  • Sesame oil: Toasted sesame oil is the best for this recipe. If you don’t have any, you can leave this ingredient out. 
  • Shiitake mushrooms: You can replace these with any other mushroom variety you prefer such as white, button or brown. 
  • Green onion: These add a lot of flavor to the dish. You can use leeks as an alternative.
  • Gochugaru: These red pepper flakes can be found at your local asian grocery store. Alternatively, you can purchase it online (affiliate link). 
  • Gochujang: You can find this red pepper paste at your local asian grocery store. You can also find it at Trader Joe’s depending on your location. 
  • Chicken broth: You can alternatively use vegetable or beef broth. 
  • Firm tofu: You can omit this completely if you’d like, but I would highly recommend trying it out if you have it. 

How to make Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Soup)

Dice the shiitake mushrooms into small pieces. Cut the green onion into diagonal slices and kimchi into chunks. In an earthenware pot or saucepan over medium heat, add sesame oil. Then add shiitake mushrooms and saute for several minutes.

Add kimchi, green onion, gochugaru, gochujang and chicken broth to the pot. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add tofu slices, cover and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Add green onion to garnish and serve with rice. 

kimchi soup

Mushroom alternatives

If you don’t like mushrooms, don’t fret! You don’t have to add mushrooms to this recipe. In fact, kimchi jjigae is typically made using pork shoulder or belly. If you don’t like mushrooms, simply replace the mushrooms with pork cut into small pieces and follow the same instructions.

Is kimchi vegetarian?

While kimchi can be vegetarian, many varieties of kimchi contain fish sauce and shrimp, making it incompatible with a vegetarian diet. You can make your own kimchi if you want a vegetarian alternative or search for a brand that offers a vegetarian option.

Here are a few options for vegetarian kimchi:

Is kimchi soup good for weight loss?

Kimchi soup can be a great meal for weight loss. One serving of this recipe (half of the complete recipe) contains about 170 calories, 15 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Pair it with a cup of brown rice and that increases to 20 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber for about 400 calories.

When considering good meals for weight loss, typically those that are high in protein, fiber and water are more filling. Along with this, it’s important to choose meals that are satisfying for you. Overall, this meal can be a great weight loss option for the korean food lovers out there. 

kimchi soup

Is kimchi soup good if you are sick?

Kimchi soup can be a great option if you are sick because it can help restore water and electrolytes lost through dehydration and it’s high in vitamin C, which can help reduce the length of a cold. Along with this, it’s warm and comforting, which is perfect if you are feeling under the weather. 

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kimchi soup

Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Soup)

This kimchi soup is perfect for a cold day or if you are under the weather.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cups kimchi
  • 2 tbsp kimchi brine/juice
  • 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • 2 tsp gochugaru
  • 2 tsp gochujang
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth low sodium
  • 4 ounces tofu
  • 1 stalk green onion to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Dice the shiitake mushrooms into small pieces. Cut the green onion into diagonal slices and kimchi into chunks.
  • In an earthenware pot or saucepan over medium heat, add sesame oil. Then add shiitake mushrooms and saute for several minutes.
  • Add kimchi, kimchi brine, green onion, gochugaru, gochujang and chicken broth to the pot. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add tofu slices, cover and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Add green onion to garnish and serve with rice.

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