Kimchi Chigae (Kimchi Stew)

Photo by The Serving Wench

Photo by The Serving Wench

After watching Despicable Me 2 (watch it!), I wanted, ever so badly, to have minions.  I mean, who wouldn’t really?  If I had minions to help me in all aspects of my life, then I could sit around watching episodes of Archer and plot what dishes I could conjure up.  Well…I might do that already.  Okay honestly, I probably would be playing with my minions and showing them off at work.  So, in essence it would probably be counterproductive.  I still feel like Tony Stark in Iron Man 2 telling Pepper Potts, “I want one.”

With life’s many demands, I finally got to have a weekend off and get in the kitchen.  To those of you that have time to be in the kitchen everyday or at least three times a week, I envy you wholeheartedly.  This dish is quick and truly simple to make.  Which is helpful in my crazy schedule.  This recipe calls for pork belly, but bacon will do.  I love spiciness!  So you can make this as spicy as you want by adding more kimchi juice as you prefer.

I’ll be honest, I don’t much about the history of kimchi but I can describe it in three words: smelly, delicious and can go with anything!  Okay that last part wasn’t a word ,than let’s say a phrase, but seriously I could put kimchi on ANYTHING?  Kimchi on burger, kimchi on sandwiches, kimchi on pizza…  So, I’m sure you get the idea.  I heart kimchi.  If you haven’t tried it, please do.  It may not be for everyone, but you might be just missing out.

*You can make this dish vegetarian by leaving out the meat altogether*

Prep Time: Cooking Time: Difficulty: Servings:
10 min 20 min Easy 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6-8 oz. pork belly or bacon
  • 1-2 C   chopped kimchi
  • 1 tsp   red pepper flakes
  • 1 TBS  red pepper paste (gochuchang)
  • 1          white onion
  • 2          green onion stalks
  • 2 TBS  minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Half a package of tofu
  • ¼ C     kimchi juice
  • 2 C      water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Slice up the onions, cut the green onions in one-inch length and cut up tofu in squares.
  2. In a pot, add in pork belly, garlic and white onions on medium-high heat.  Cook until pork is halfway done.
  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients (except the green onions and salt and pepper).  Bring to a boil on high (For approximately 10 min).
  4. Reduce heat to medium heat; add in green onions and salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Cook for at least five to ten minutes.
  6. Serve with a side of rice or over rice.

White Bean and Potato Soup

Photo by Ellie Hausman

There is something so classic and comforting about a potato based soup to me. This one is unique because of the balance of sweet from the carrots and the fragrance of the dill. The vegetarian version just leaves out the bacon and is also extremely good. I hope you enjoy this simple, cheap and delicious meal as much as I do.

Prep Time: Cook   Time: Level: Serves:
10 min. 35 min. Easy 6

INGREDIENTS:

2 medium carrots, shredded

1 tablespoon butter

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 garlic clove, minced

2 teaspoons dill weed

1 can (15-1/2 ounces) great northern beans, rinsed and drained

4-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sour cream

Pepper to taste

4 strips thick-cut bacon

Directions:

  1. Cook bacon until slightly crispy and set aside to drain and cool
  2. In a large saucepan, sauté carrots in butter for 4 minutes or until tender.
  3. Add and stir in the broth, potatoes, garlic and dill while bringing to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. While waiting chop the cooled off bacon
  5. With a slotted spoon, remove half of the potatoes to a bowl; mash with a fork. Return to pan. Stir in the beans.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sour cream, bacon and pepper; add to soup. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until heated through (do not boil).