Kimchi Stew

“The spicier the food, the spicier the love.” 

― Anthony T. Hincks

The Wood River Valley is known for it’s 200+ sunny days and amiable weather. However, every so often it rains. When it does, I can’t help but feel the cozy nostalgia of rainy central California coast of Monterey or Carmel-by-the-Sea. Except our rainy weather tends to come with almost-freezing temps and muddy trails and little opportunities to play outside. When the freezing rain, grey overcast sky, and mud hit, nothing quite warms me to the bone like this Kimchi Stew.

I’ve enjoyed playing with kimchi over the years, experimenting with it in dips & spreads, stir fry, and soups. I often will make variations of this stew given what produce looks especially fresh in the spring, or which Asian condiments I have in the fridge. However, the kimchi & gochujang sauce are the stars in this recipe. The mild heat & depth of flavor of the gochujang, and spicy crunch of the kimchi meld to create this ultra comforting stew. Gochujang sauce is a Korean fermented red chile sauce. Atkinsons’ Market caries the Mother In Laws brand, my personal favorite. As soon as Peter & I finish one jar, I buy another. I wouldn’t be caught without it in my fridge! We add it to soups, like this recipe, stir fries, noodle recipes, and use it as a dipping sauce as well. Try the Mother In Laws Fermented Chile Sauce Garlic and play around with it in your kitchen.

If you have not had the joy of cooking with kimchi or gochujang sauce, and you are timid of spice, you may back off the quantity of each ingredient in this recipe. You can always add more to your personal serving later on.

For my version, I added wheat-flour soba noodles & a 6-minute egg


  • Standard Recipe
    • 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil or neutral oil
    • 6 scallions, white and pale-green parts chopped, dark-green parts reserved
    • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
    • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
    • 4 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
    • 3 Tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
    • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 small daikon, peeled, sliced
    • 3/4 Cup kimchi
    • 1/4 Cup cilantro chopped for garnish
  • Variations & Additions
    • ¼ block firm silken tofu, cubed
    • 2 heads of small bok choy chopped 1/2-inch wide
    • 2 6-minute boiled eggs, peeled & halved for serving
    • 2 servings of cooked soba noodles, cooled OR 1 cup cooked white rice for serving

Standard Recipe

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high. Cook white and pale-green parts of scallions, garlic, and ginger, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add broth, then whisk in gochujang and soy sauce.
  3. Add daikon, then cover, and gently simmer until daikon is tender, 15–20 minutes.
  4. Add kimchi. Simmer for 3 more minutes.
  5. Carefully divide among bowls. Thinly slice reserved scallion tops and scatter over. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Variations to Recipe

  1. TOFU: During Step 4, add cubed tofu with kimchi and simmer.
  2. BOK CHOY: During Step 4, add chopped bok choy with kimchi and simmer until bright green and tender, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. EGGS: During Step 3, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Simmer 2 eggs for 6 minutes. Remove eggs from pot & rinse under cold water. Let rest 5 minutes, then peel. Slice each egg in half. Add one half to each serving of stew.
  4. SOBA NOODLES: During Step 3, cook two servings of soba noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse, then let cool. Divide the cooled noodles among bowls. Serving the hot kimich stew over the noodles.

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