Many of the recipes in the Momofuku cookbook have recipes within recipes and the Kimchi Stew is no exception. I’m not complaining, I think it’s actually kind of fun to fit all the pieces together. Putting the pieces of the Kimchi Stew together is fast, if you have all the right ingredients on hand.
This stew is like no other stew. The ingredients are pre-cooked and there isn’t an absurd multi-hour stewing process. You do simmer for a while for the flavours to meld together, but by no means do you stew.
I was a little worried because I’m not the biggest kimchi fan, but this stew converted me. It doesn’t have an overwhelming kimchi flavour, due to the mirin. The mirin tempered the sourness of the kimchi and the resulting flavour was sweet and slow-burn spicy.
The texture of the quickly stewed kimchi was perfect: the napa cabbage and daikon had that pickled kimchi flavour and were melty and yielding. The smokiness of the soft pulled pork was contrasted with the crunchy green onions and carrot garnish. The rice cakes were gelatinous goodness.
This is a stew you want to eat with rice. It’s hearty and filling on its own, but it’s even better with rice. Sometimes you just need that plain accompaniment to compliment the flavours even more. There’s something so comforting about a savoury dish with plain. sticky, short-grain rice. It’s a cozy, warming, feel-good meal. I’m definitely making it again.
Kimchi, I was wrong about you, I’m so glad you’re in my life.