Kimchi Jjigae

The boys were very generous in sharing their germs with me, so now I have a cold. In an effort to at least pretend to assist my immune system and purge myself of this bug, I made kimchi stew for dinner. It’s the perfect spicy soup for the cold and flu season.

This is the recipe I followed, though I made some alterations. I used Spam instead of pork belly, added four cups of beef broth instead of two cups of water, and forgot the ginger and scallions (I think I’ll add those to the leftovers tomorrow). I substituted Thai Red Curry Paste for Korean chili paste and left out the miso, because I have neither Korean chili paste nor miso. I added some noodles and shiitake mushrooms to make it more filling.

Spam is a family favorite. (We don’t have it very often.) The much disparaged mystery meat holds a special place in my heart. My Papa used to make it for me when I was little. He was born in Virginia in 1927. Spam and grits were frequent breakfast features when I visited his house as a child. The first time I had kimchi stew, it was made with Spam, so I feel quite content with my re-creation.

Anecdotally speaking, I feel better now that I’ve had some fabulously spicy soup. I added a little kick of Sriracha sauce. And there are ample leftovers to get me through the rest of the week since the kids are not as fond of kimchi stew as I am.


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