Vegan Kimchi Jjigae
Vegan Kimchi Jjigae is a simple Korean-style stew made from kimchi, mushrooms, tofu, and assorted veggies. It has a comforting balance between sweet, sour, spicy, and savory and is one of my favorite cold-weather meals.
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 pound vegan cabbage kimchi drained and cut into bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)
- 1 cup white onion chopped
- 3 green onions sliced diagonally
- 1 Tablespoon gochujang
- 1/2 Tablespoon doenjang
- 1 teaspoon gochugaru
- 1/4 cup kimchi brine
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 dried shiitake mushroom caps
- 1 piece dried kombu seaweed
- 1 cup zucchini sliced with seeds removed (see note)
- 1/2 pound mushrooms sliced (see note)
- 1/2 pack medium-firm tofu sliced 1/2-inch thick bite-sized pieces
- 1 green onion chopped finely
- Freshly toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Heat the sesame oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the kimchi, onion, and green onion. Stir and cook until the onion turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the gochujang, doenjang, and gochugaru. Stir until the pastes are well mixed with the onion and kimchi, about 2 minutes.
Add the kimchi brine, vegetable stock, maple syrup, dried shiitake mushrooms, and kombu. Give it a stir. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce to low heat and cover. Allow to simmer for up to 20 minutes.
10 minutes before serving, add the zucchini, mushrooms, and tofu. Cover and allow to simmer until the mushrooms and zucchini are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds (if using) and serve immediately with brown or mixed rice.
Serve 2 as a meal, 4 as an appetizer or a side.
You can use any combination of mushrooms you prefer. I used a mix of enoki and shiitake, but regular white and brown mushrooms are also very delicious in this stew.
I suggested zucchini in this recipe as an example, but there are many kinds of veggies that you can use instead of or in addition to the zucchini, including cabbage (round or napa), daikon radish, carrot, (baby) bok choy, and kale.