Transformed by a Weed – Shepherd’s Purse with Kimchi Stew (냉이 김치 찌개)
Kimchi Jjigae is one of the most common dishes on the Korean peninsula and while the main ingredients are basically the same, tuna, saury and pork are often added. And you can just as easily omit them! Koreans eat kimchi jjigae all the year around but for westerners used to dreary, dark, grey winters, this stew would be considered a seasonal companion. As with other foods which stew cabbage kimchi, the older the kimchi the better. You can use fresh kimchi but the taste is far richer and with a greater depth if your kimchi is nice and sour.
Like many similar Korean foods, the recipe is very adaptable and you can easily jiggle it about and experiment. This recipe uses shepherd’s purse which while in Korea is probably classified as a herb, in the UK, is most definitely an irksome weed – especially if you are into lawns. Shepherd’s purse has quite an amazing taste and a small amount can transform kimchi jjigae into another dish. If you were to add the same amount of parsley to jjigae the effect would not be as marked as to warrant including ‘parsley’ in the recipe title.
MY DEFINITIVE RECIPE
1 cup = 180ml. T=tablespoon (15ml), d=dessert spoon (10ml) t=teaspoon (5ml)
This recipe is ideal for one, or as a side dish – double ingredients for each additional person
Pork, any cut about the size of a large dice though you can add more. Chop into small pieces. Conversely, you can leave it out altogether.
2T Wine (any will do though I prefer rice wine)
1d Soy Sauce (간장)
1d Sesame oil
1 cube (4 cloves) of crushed garlic.
1d Sugar or corn syrup (물엿)
Half a cup of onion, or leek and straw mushrooms (this could be substituted), all finely chopped
0.5t of dashida (다시다) or a stock cube
1t of sesame powder
1T of red pepper paste (고추장)
1t Red pepper powder (고추가루), depending on taste
Half a cup of Kimchi (sour is preferable), chopped
Tofu, cut to about the size of six small dice cubes
Shepherd’s purse (냉이) about a third of a cup.
Sesame seeds for garnish
3-4 cups of water
See also suggested accompaniments at the bottom of the page.
Ideally as an earthenware pot or ‘ttukbeki’ (뚝배기) or a heavy bottomed sauce pan.
Make a marinade with:
1. 2T wine, 1d soy sauce, 1d sesame oil, 1d sugar or corn syrup, 1 cube or 4 cloves of crushed garlic, (5 items)
2. Put the pork in the marinade and leave from two hours or overnight.
In a heavy bottomed pot or Korean earthenware ‘ttukbeki,’ place:
3. The marinade, half a cup of onions and mushroom, 6 cubes of tofu, 0.5t of dashida stock, 1t sesame powder. (6 items)
4. Then add 1d red pepper paste and approx 1t of red pepper powder. (2 items)
5. Finally, add 3 cups of water, a third of a cup of shepherd’s purse and half a cup of kimchi. (3 items)
6. Bring to boil, allowing it to vigorously boil for five minutes and then simmer on a low heat for 30 mins. Top up with extra water to maintain original amount.
7. Remove from the heat, garnish with sesame seeds and serve.
Serve with an accompanying bowl of rice.