Gettin’ Jigae With It
You can turn almost nothing but kimchi and liquid into something vibrant and nourishing to eat—something that everyone seems to want right now.
To make most versions of the dish, you take old, super-fermented, dank baechu kimchi (I like it to the point where it’s fizzing and the green color of the cabbage is completely gone), cook that for a bit to give some of that funk an even deeper flavor profile, then add stock and proteins and whatever else you feel like and let it bubble away. Unlike Western stews, you don’t necessarily want it to cook forever, though it does taste better a day or two later.
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In her illness, Korean food was all my Polish-American mom from Jersey wanted to eat. It was all that she could bear.
I used to imagine having a Korean mother, someone rich in stories and jokes about Korean food and culture. My Korean mom would, ideally, be Maangchi.
Harabeoji’s favorite thing to eat, and the thing to which he attributed his long life, was raw garlic.