I love cooking, but I never really cooked Korean food while I was living in Korea. But now that there isn’t a Kimbap Cheonguk (a Korean restaurant chain) on over corner like I was used to, I need to fend for myself.
I searched for a few asian/international grocery stores in Milwaukee. The ones I ended up going to were Cermak, Asian International Market, and Pacific Produce. These are all 30-40 minutes away from my house, so that part kinda sucks.
Cermak didn’t have much in the way of asian products. The latter two were more what I was looking for. For one thing, Asian Int’l had 32 oz jars of kimchi for around $7. Not bad. Pacific Produce was way bigger than I expected, so I didn’t see all they had but they definitely have a lot.
Anyway I picked up all my needed ingredients from several different stores, and headed home. Making the jjigae is pretty simple because it’s basically just chop stuff and throw it in a pot. I got the recipe from the Cooking Channel (which you can find here). Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (salted works fine too)
- 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 pounds (32 oz) of kimchi, chopped if you wish
- 5-7 oz can of tuna packed in oil
- 8 oz of firm tofu, cut into cubes
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- white rice, for serving
The Cooking Channel recipe also has seaweed, scallions, and sesame seeds for garish, but I didn’t bother with those.
First, melt the butter in a saucepan or cooking pot. I started out using a saucepan, but it was way too small for all the ingredients. I recommend the sort of pot you’d use for making soups/chili.
Then add the garlic. It’s should be coarsely chopped, but I was feeling lazy so I used a food processor. I don’t like big chunks of garlic anyway, so this worked better for me. Cook the garlic for about 30 seconds. Add the onion and cook for around 4 minutes or until it’s soft.
Then add your kimchi (which all it’s juices) and 3 cups of water. I think 3 cups isn’t nearly enough. I know I added extra tofu which affects things a bit, but I think adding another 2-3 cups of water was best. Bring that to a boil, then turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. I partially covered the pot so I didn’t lose too much water, and would get more flavor.
Drain the tuna and break it up into chunks. Cut up the tofu into 1 inch cubes. I chose to use the whole package which was 16 ounces. The recipe calls for half that, but I just wanted to use up the whole thing. 😛 Also I like fim tofu best for this, but I’ve had soft (손두부) before at restaurants. Whichever you prefer.
Add the tuna, tofu, sesame oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Stir a little and let the whole thing simmer for minimum of 3 minutes. I probably let mine be for 5 minute or so cuz I wanted the flavors to really come together.
All done! You can add the garish that Cooking Channel recommended or not. I didn’t bother and it tasted fine.
Cook a bit of white rice to serve it with and you have a pretty darn tasty dish. Next time I wanna maybe check it up a little — maybe put in shrimp or something. 🙂
*By the way, here are the grocery stores I visited, in case you happen to live in the Milwaukee area:
Cermak Fresh Market
1541 Miller Park Way, West Milwaukee, WI 53214
Asian International Market
3401 W National Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53215
5455 S 27th St, Milwaukee, WI 53221