Most of us would have heard of a casserole pot before and when you hear the word, you often think of chopped vegetable, beef or chicken cooked in a crocked pot with southern flavours like cinnamon and rosemary. Most of us would also think of mashed potato toppings and a good traditional western dinner.
Well, the Kimchi Casserole with Pork is something like that except it contains Korea’s best food ingredients and it makes you feel like you are staying in a traditional Korean house surrounded by friendly Korean family members having dinner whilst sitting down around a table.
What is a Kimchi Casserole with Pork
The Kimchi Casserole with Pork, also known as Kimchi-Jjigae is a Korean stew pot made with common local ingredients such as anchovies, dried kelp, kimchi, tofu and of course, pork. What differentiates it from a typical Kimchi soup is the fact that the broth has a thicker consistency.
There are several different ways of making the Kimchi Casserole but most people stick to using kimchi, sesame oil and fish oil for the base with pork belly as the protein and a variety of seasonal vegetables. The Kimchi-Jjigae is typically enjoyed with a bowl of rice.
The History of Kimchi Casserole with Pork
The Kimchi Casserole with Pork or the Kimchi Jjigae is probably as old as the invention of the Kimchi itself. It is the most common way Koreans consume their Kimchi and it is such a local favourite that a typical household would have it at least once or twice a week. Traditionally, the Kimchi Jjigae is made by using Kimchi that are fermented in house rather than having it bought elsewhere.
Because each family has their own way of making Kimchi and ingredients that are available to them, each family typically has their own unique way of making their Kimchi Casserole with Pork. Some families would add varieties of mushroom to their dish while some families would have spring onions, seaweed and anchovy broth.
In the modern world, the Kimchi Casserole with Pork still varies from one restaurant to another with each chef having their own secret ingredient to make the stew.
Different Variations of Kimchi Jjigae
Apart from preparing it with pork, there are several other ways to prepare the Kimchi Jjigae. The Ggongchi kimchi jjigae is made with Pacific Saury, a type of fish from the Mackerel family. The natural saltiness of the fish gives it its unique taste. Another variation is the Chamchi kimchi jjigae which is casserole made with canned tuna, most popular amongst families and friends who are going camping or picnic.
Another version is the Budae jjigae, A Korean Kimchi Casserole that is made with imported ingredients that are mostly influenced by the Americans. The Budae derives from the word army and it includes ingredients such as Spam, sausages and cheese slices.
Where to get the Kimchi Casserole with Pork in KL
The Kimchi Casserole with pork is one of the best ways to keep warm in the cold rainy season and most Korean restaurant serves a version of the Kimchi Casserole with Pork. Head to Mr Lim Korean BBQ located in Shah Alam for their Kongchi Kimchi Jjigae starting from RM60 and you can have your own choice of pork meat to add to the stew.
For something a little light on the wallet, you can also head to Kimchitiam Korea Food in the city centre and try their Kimchi Stew for only RM18. Looking for other Korean food choices? Scroll through the foodpanda app and choose from a variety of dishes.