My Mom's Kimchi Jigae recipe

Growing up in a Korean American household, we were introduced to the best of both worlds. For Korean food, we were shown bulgogi, kalbi, and kimchi. For American food, we were shown biscuits and gravy, fried bologna sandwiches, and mac and cheese. It was a very confusing time for a young me in the late 70s and early 80s and like a lot of young palettes, I didn’t love all the tangy/spicy deliciousness of Korean food the way that I love it now. Kimchi, the national dish of Korea, was sadly not my favorite. While I haven’t confirmed this with my mom, she made this traditional Korean dish but updated the recipe for her picky children. Jigae usually has pork shoulder or pork belly but she knew the way through our hearts involved a path of hot dogs and bacon! It worked! My mom would make us some breakfast kimchi jigae and while we picked around the kimchi, we enjoyed the treasures that was spicy/tangy delicious diced up bacon and hot dogs! This recipe is a nod to that my mom’s jigae! Thanks mom, you are the best!

My Mom's Kimchi Jigae Recipe

  • 1 Pint (16 oz) of kimchi (half a jar of KREAM Kimchi) with all the kimchi juice 1 package of hot dogs (cut into 1/2 inch slices)
  • 1 12oz/16oz package of bacon (diced into 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 package of tofu (cut into 1/2 inch thick rectangles)
  • 4 green onions (diced)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon Korean chili flake (gochugaru)
  • 2 tablespoons of gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Noods (optional ramen noodles or glass noodles)


Cook the diced bacon til it’s close to done. Drain off as much oil as you can. Add the diced hot dogs and sliced yellow onions. Toss bacon, onion slices, and dogs for a few minutes in the hot pot. Add the pint of diced kimchi, all of it’s kimchi juice, and use the pint jar or measuring cup to put a pint of water into the pot. Bring to a boil. Add gochugaru, gochujang, and sesame oil. Bring temperature down to medium/medium-low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes so that all the ingredients get to know each other. Add green onions. Cook for a few more minutes while stirring. Add noods (if using) and cook the appropriate time per nood's’ instructions. Add the tofu to the stew. Cook for a few more minutes so that the tofu is warmed, but do not mix up as the tofu is likely to break/crumble. Serve with rice. Enjoy!

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