Kimchi Soup (Kimchi Jigae)

Kimchi Soup

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Kimchi soup (Kimchi Jigae/Kimchi Chigae/김치 찌개) is a popular spicy Korean stew which is sure to whet your appetite if you love hot and slightly sour soups.

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I learned to cook this dish from watching Running Man, my favourite Korean variety show. In one of the episodes, Running Man Gary had a fake mission to buy ingredients for kimchi soup, so he asked the locals at market what are the four key ingredients for making it. Thanks to the show, I learned that other than kimchi, Koreans also typically add pork, anchovies, scallions and tofu to their kimchi soup. After I successfully learned to cook this soup, we now have it for dinner at least once a week as it makes for a fast, easy and satisfying meal. This recipe uses pork, but feel free to tweak it with your favourite or leftover ingredients.

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cubed pork loin Cut boneless pork loin to bite-sized cubes.
marinade Marinade pork with gochujiang, sesame oil, garlic powder (or minced garlic), Chinese wine and light soy sauce.
marinade Add cut kimchi (including kimchi juice found in the packaging) to the pork mixture. Marinade for at least half an hour.
anchovy stock Placed anchovies in a disposable soup pouch with 1 litre of water. Bring to a boil.
simmering kimchi soup Add marinated meat, leeks & gochujang. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Kimchi Soup Add tofu and simmer for another 8-10 minutes. Season kimchi soup with soy sauce and/or fish sauce to taste. Garnish with spring onions or parsley before serving.

Kimchi Jigae

Check Out: List of Korean Ingredients

Kimchi Soup (Kimchi Jigae) Recipe

This recipe uses pork, but feel free to tweak it with your favourite ingredients. You may also do a short-cut version of this recipe using instant soup stock.


  • 300 grams boneless pork loin cubed
  • 300 grams kimchi preferably aged (including kimchi juice) cut to bite-sized lengths
  • 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder or substitute with 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 20-25 Korean large anchovies (myulchi) rinsed or substitute with 50 grams local anchovies (ikan bilis)
  • 1 litre water
  • 1/2 leek sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tsp gochugaru (Korean hot chilli pepper powder) to taste
  • 300 grams firm tofu cubed
  • fish sauce or light soy sauce to taste


  1. Marinade pork and kimchi with gochujang, sesame oil, garlic, Chinese wine and light soy sauce for at least half hour.
  2. In a soup pot, add anchovies (sealed in a disposable soup pouch), marinaded meat prepared in step 1, leeks and gochugaru. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add cubed tofu and simmer for another 8-10 minutes. Season to taste with fish sauce or light soy sauce.