Kimchi stew is a classic, basic, super-popular Korean dish. I haven’t tried making kimchi from scratch yet, so I used store-bought kimchi for this. I look forward to cooking kimchi stew with my own kimchi later this year.

I call this recipe Easy Kimchi Jjigae because it requires fewer steps and ingredients than the average  kimchi jjigae recipe. For example, many kimchi jjigae recipes include tofu, but this recipe does not. (Many kimchi jjigae recipes also use pork. This one uses beef, but pork could be swapped in easily.) This recipe also uses more water and less kimchi than other recipes, which means the resulting stew is a little more soup-like than other versions of kimchi jjigae. (You may also be wondering why my kimchi jjigae looks brownish instead of reddish. I think it’s because this recipe uses soy sauce, which is a bit unusual, and does not use gochugaru, i.e., red pepper powder.)

Easy Kimchi Jjigae (Easy Kimchi Stew) — 김치찌개

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 c. chopped kimchi*
  • ¼ lb. beef (flank steak or beef brisket)
  • 3-4 dehydrated mushrooms, softened**
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce***
  • 3 c. water
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 green onions (or 6 scallion stalks)

*I didn’t bother cutting my kimchi, but you may want to chop your kimchi into bite-size pieces (about 1/2-inch square).

**These are dehydrated mushrooms (see photo above). You can buy them in Asian grocery stores and rehydrate them by soaking them in hot water for 15-20 minutes. If the mushrooms are still not soft after soaking, simmer them in a pot for 10 more minutes.

***To make this recipe gluten free, I used San-J Organic Tamari Gluten-Free Soy Sauce ($6.69 + shipping on


  • Chop beef and softened mushrooms finely. Place in a pot.
  • Add sesame oil and soy sauce to the pot.
  • Sauté mixture 2-3 minutes before adding kimchi and water.
  • Simmer soup for 20 minutes.
  • Add chopped green onion and beaten egg into the soup. Stir to mix and cook just a few more minutes.
  • Serve hot.

[Recipe from “Korean Cooking”, an out-of-print cookbook created by the Korean Institute of Minnesota.]