This is one of those dishes born out of necessity, as one of the many ways to use over-fermented kimchi that's too pungent to eat on its own. If you only have relatively 'fresh' kimchi and have the time to plan before making this dish, leave the kimchi at room temperature for a day or so. The dish is open to improvisation; you can add other fresh vegetables (such as Chinese cabbage and sliced chilli), and omit the meat, if you like.
30ml sesame oil
A few thin slices of onion
1 garlic clove, sliced
150 grams thinly sliced beef or fatty pork
1 tbsp gochujang (Korean spicy soya bean paste)
1 tsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
5 Korean dried anchovies, rinsed, with heads removed and discarded
100 grams cabbage kimchi, roughly chopped, plus some of the liquid
100 grams firm bean curd
40 grams enoki mushrooms, or two fresh shiitake mushrooms
60 grams Korean green squash, sliced
Soy sauce, to taste
Fine sea salt
1 or 2 spring onions, minced
- Heat the oil in a pan (preferably an individual-serving Korean clay pot). Add the onion, garlic and meat, and stir to coat with the fat.
- Stir in the gochujang and gochugaru, then add the dried anchovies, kimchi, kimchi liquid and water.
- Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes. Taste the liquid and add some soy sauce and salt, if needed, and more kimchi, gochujang and gochugaru if it's not spicy enough.
- Simmer for a few more minutes, then add the bean curd, mushrooms and squash. When tender, sprinkle on the spring onions. Remove the anchovies before serving the chigae with hot white rice. Serves one.