Kimchi Chigae, Korean Soup with Pork Tenderloin and Tofu
Chigae, or more appropriately jjigae, is a Korean stew made of a variety of vegetables and meat cooked in a broth seasoned with kochujang, or red chili paste. It’s more of a soup to me, really, but I’m not about to correct whatever the Koreans say.
Recipes online ask for pork tenderloin, but I find that a waste of perfectly good meat when all you’re doing to it is cooking it for hours. I think pork shoulder is more economical here so long as you have that big hunk of meat cut up in manageable pieces.
1/2 pork tenderloin, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch thick pieces
scallions, chopped, whites and greens separated
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsps kochujang
1/2 lb extra firm tofu, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups cabbage-based kimchi, with liquid
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
steamed white rice
1. Season the pork with salt and the pepper and set aside. In a large pot set over medium-high heat, add the sesame oil. Once it starts to get hot, add the pork. Cook until the pork is browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
2. In the same pot, add the sliced scallion whites and cook until soft. Stir in the garlic until browned and then stir in the kochujang. Add the kimchi, rice vinegar, soy sauce and enough water to make sure everything is half submerged. Season with salt and bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
3. Add the tofu and return the pork to the pot along with any accumulated juices and simmer for 3 more minutes just to cook the tofu and reheat the pork. Serve the soup in bowls sprinkled with the sliced green scallions and steamed white rice.