Kimchi Jjigae –


So my hubby is super picky with his Korean food and he is always endlessly searching for a good Kimchi or Kimchi recipe.  We were at Hmart the other day and he noticed they had a “Premium Kimchi”.  Neither of us knew what the premium part was comprised of and what the difference really was.  With that being said, we bought it to try.  Now if any of you have been to the Korean supermarkets, you know that a lot of times the Kimchi is sold in a plastic jar(about 3 lbs), so there’s quite a bit. 20150203_190328

When we got home, we were eager to try this Kimchi out.  It’s the type that had the whole cabbages.  The tasted was quite nice, not too salty or sour.  Full flavour development.  Unfortunately, it’s still not the perfect kimchi my hubby was looking for, and therefore we had a lot left over when we were coming close to the expiration date.  I asked my hubby what we should do with that much kimchi and he suggested that with the cold weather we can make kimchi jjigae.

If you can’t figure out from the picture above, Kimchi Jjigae is a stew made of kimchi.  I believe traditionally, it’s made with kimchi, water, pork (neck, jowl, belly?), salt, green onion, kimchi juice, and gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes).  Since I’ve never made this before, I decided to scour the internet that had a recipe and instructions that seemed to make sense.  I came across this site:  I do appreciate Chef Marc’s take on his site regarding cooking.  Sometimes it’s not about the actual recipes and it’s more so the methods of how to develop flavours, lock in juices, proper steps.  Well I decided to give this recipe a try, sort of.



Things that I did different:

Pork Jowl instead of Belly

– no Soju, gochujang (Korean chili paste), gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)

– regular Chinese soy sauce instead of gukganjang (Korean soy sauce)

– Red Miso paste instead of doengjang (Korean bean paste) – simply because I had it on hand

– Sesame oil instead of butter

As  you can see, I did a lot of substitutions.  It’s the techniques and fresh ingredients that matter in the end right?

Step 1:

Marinate the meat

Step 2:

Saute the pork jowl. Add oil and kimchi once meat has slightly browned.

Step 3:

Add water and kimchi juice

Step 4:


After bringing to a boil, add tofu

Step 5:

Add sesame oil, sprinkle sesame seeds and green oil. Serve and enjoy!

Easy to make?

Very!  Soups and stews generally don’t require too much effort.  It’s just the order of putting the items in to ensure the flavour development process.  I noticed that there were comments about the pork not being soft.  I’ve made this 3 times now and each time the pork has been pillowy soft, so it’s just stewing it with time.

How’d they turn out?

I loved it.  Made some plain jasmine rice to eat it with.  It was hearty, comforting, and hot on a cold winter night.  I didn’t add a lot of the chili paste/powders as I can’t take that much heat, but the kimchi we had did have a bit of heat already.


The 30 mins cook time noted on the site was pretty spot on.  It was enough for the pork and onions to be browned and all the ingredients to mingle and stew.


Well as I mentioned above, I made this 2 more times afterwards, so it was wonderful.  I found this recipe super easy and although I made many changes to the ingredients, with the proper steps and techniques that Chef Marc provided, I was able to make it a pretty good kimchi jjigae.  I made it for my mother in law and she said it was “Fancy”, but she did enjoy it.  I would definitely make this again on a cold winter day and I would love to try the other recipes on!

NO Recipe’s Kimchi Jjigae, you’re YOL Approved!

Alton Brown’s Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I do apologize, but due to the holiday frenzy, I didn’t get a chance to take pictures.  This recipe was actually performed by my hubby.  He wanted to bring something to one of the holiday dinners and I suggested him to give this recipe a try:

Total Time: 50 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 30 min

3 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
2 tablespoons kosher salt
16 fluid ounces (2 cups) half-and-half
6 cloves garlic, crushed
6 ounces grated Parmesan

Peel and dice potatoes, making sure all are relatively the same size. Place in a large saucepan, add the salt, and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to maintain a rolling boil. Cook until potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork.

Heat the half-and-half and the garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat and set aside.  Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain off the water. Mash and add the garlic-cream mixture and Parmesan; stir to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes so that mixture thickens and then serve.

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2004


When my hubby when to get the ingredients, he claims that T&T Supermarket didn’t have the Russet Potatoes, so we just used the regular large brown potatoes that you can find at any grocery stores.  We also omitted the Parmesan as he doesn’t like cheese.

Easy to make?
If my hubby can make this and not find it hard, this is definitely an easy to make recipe.  Even though he didn’t follow the recipe to the ‘T’, everything still turned out creamy and delicious!  After he combined the garlic mixture to the mashed potatoes, his words were “that’s where the creamy comes from”.  When he was a bachelor, his idea of mashed potatoes was, potatoes mashed with some butter.

How’d they turn out?
They were super yummy.  Creamy, but not super mushy like boxed mash potatoes.  We love garlic, so for us this was heavenly and perfect.  Although we omitted the parmesan, the texture was still right.

The prep and cook times are pretty accurate, I believe it only took us about 45 mins total.

This recipe was super easy to make, great flavours if you like garlic, creamy as the name says, and if my hubby can make it right, I’d say it’s fool proof.

Alton Brown’s Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes, you’re YOL Approved!