After all of the luscious, waist expanding delicious sweets, it’s time for some spiciness to balance it all! It’s also cold (freezing) here in the northeast and winter is here to stay. It’s not really welcome to stay but I don’t think winter will be leaving for a few months, so, might as well embrace it! In light of the snow we received, the perfect meal for a cold wintery day is some hot and spicy kimchi indulging Korean comfort food.
Living away from my parents, kimchi has become a hot and pricey commodity in our home since we have to buy it from the local Korean grocery store (one day I will go through the hours or making it homemade!). Store bought also does not taste the same as homemade. There’s just a different aftertaste and every home has their own recipe so store bought never tastes like moms. Eating Korean food at home (or Korean ramyun!) also usually means eating chopsticks full of kimchi with it but we have had to rationalize and take meager pieces of it. No kimchi fried rice or kimchi stew in our home either – can’t use so much in one dish! So, during the holidays when I was back at my parents home, I took the liberty to make a kimchi dish with my moms homemade kimchi! The heart of any kimchi based recipe is that the kimchi must be good! No matter how good the recipe, the kimchi needs to be oh – so – delicious and well fermented. For this cold wintery day, I made braised pork ribs with kimchi. I didn’t actually grow up eating this dish but it’s become a trendy food in Korea. If you are familiar with kimchi stew, this will have a similar but much more intense and saucy flavor with less broth. This is a dish we refer to as “rice thief” or bap do duk because it goes so well with a bowl of white rice that you will scarf down a bowl or two or three in no time!
- 2.5 pounds (1.2 kg) pork baby back ribs
- 4 cups (600 g) kimchi kimchi well fermented but not to the point it becomes sour
- 4-5 large anchovies make sure to gut them! Split the anchovies in half and taking out the black strip inside.
- 1 piece Dashima (2 x 2in) 다시마
- 2 Tbsp soy bean paste 된장
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 large green onion 대파
- 2 1/2 Tbsp red pepper flakes gochugaru (고추가후)
- 2 Tbsp perilla seed oil deulkkae gireum (들기름)
- 3/4 Tbsp salted fermented shrimp saewoo jeot (새우젓)
- 2 Tbsp Mirin (rice cooking wine)
- 1/2 cup kimchi juice
- 1 T minced garlic
- 1/8 tsp powdered ginger
- 1/8 tsp black pepper more to taste if needed
- Soak the pork ribs in cold water for 30 minutes to rid of any meat odor and wash out any of the blood.
- While the pork is in water, make the soup base stock. Simmer 2 1/2 - 3 cups of water with anchovies and dashima. Make sure to throw out the dashima after about 10 minutes. Any longer, it can make the soup base bitter.
- First boil for ribs. Place ribs in a pot and fill with water until all of the meat is just under water and stir in the soy bean paste. Add in the bay leaves and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Dump out the liquid from the pot and wash the pork ribs under running water. *This takes the extra step to ensure all of the meaty odor is eliminated.
- While the ribs are cooking, make the sauce for the soup base. Mix in all ingredients and set aside.
- Once the first boil is done, place the steamed pork, kimchi, sauce and about 2 cups of the soup base into a pot. Bring the stew to a boil on medium-high heat and then reduce it to low to low-medium heat and simmer for about 40 minutes. Check in after about 10 minutes and make sure the pork is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Depending on how much the stock is reducing, add in the rest of the soup base.
- Once the pork is cooked through, add in sliced green onions and you're done!
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