300 posts and not enough kimchi

Not only did I pass my 2 year milestone last month, but was stunned to discover when I made my last post that my next would be my 300th! Yeouch! That is a LOT of writing, photos and recipes – who would’ve thunk that a website that essentially started out as a project for a uni (college) media class would end up becoming such a big part of my life! Reflecting about the content that I have put on here, I’ve been a bit disappointed in myself to discover that the number of Korean family recipes that I’ve shared is still very much in the minority, despite releasing a facebook application (Kimchi Restaurant…new recipes coming soon) and making promises to share more of my mother’s very treasured family recipes. Okay, so part of the reason that the Korean recipes have been a bit sparse is that I am working on a little something to do with them, but considering the fact that we eat a Korean meal almost every day, there’s still a lot of recipes that could be shared!

In celebration of the fact that this is indeed my 300th blog post, I’ve decided to blog about my favourite food in the whole world – kimchi! While I’ve already put up our treasured (and, till it was blogged, quite guarded) family kimchi recipe, I often get emails from browsers and readers asking what they can do with the kimchi once it’s been made! In my opinion, kimchi is fabulous and can be eaten on the side to almost any dish, but you can also utilize it’s wonderfully pungent flavour to create a number of other dishes – three of which I’ll be sharing with you today!

  • Kimchi Jeon – Similar to the haemul pajeon, this is a ‘jeon’ (battered dish/pancake) made with kimchi as the main component. This dish needs no dipping sauce as the kimchi contained in the batter provides more than enough flavour!
  • Kimchi Bokeum Bap – Kimchi fried rice. Fast, easy and delicious – ’nuff said.
  • Kimchi Jjigae – Kimchi stew which will knock your socks off with it’s concentrated flavour. All you need is a bowl of rice and you’re good to go!

Also, a final note – while I appreciate that the food blogging world is all about the sharing of recipes, the Korean recipes that I post are part of my family history and heritage, they’ve been developed by generations of women through my mother’s side of the family and the flavours, techniques and ingredients reflect that. If you do want to repost any of the recipes or an adaptation, all I ask is that you credit and make sure to link back to my site. Not to much to ask, right?

Kimchi Jeon
(Kimchi pancake)

1 cup kimchi, liquid squeezed out and diced
1/2 white onion, finely sliced
100g pork mince
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 – 2/3 cup water
Sunflower, olive or any other mild-flavoured oil for frying

1. Put the mince into a bowl, season with freshly ground black pepper and garlic and massage in. Add the kimchi, gochujjang and onion and mix together till evenly combined.

2. Add the flour and egg and mix altogether, then slowly add the water, stirring briskly after each addition. Stop once the batter has thinned a bit but isn’t quite as thin as normal pancake batter.

3. Heat up some oil in a large skillet/frying pan over low-medium heat, and once it’s nice and hot, pour a ladle of batter into the pan in the shape of a circle, using the back of the ladle to spread out the mixture and thin out the pancake (you want a nice thin pancake to get a good ratio of crispy outer to soft inner).

4. Once the edges have become set and the bottom is nice and crispy, carefully flip the pancake and fry for another 2-3 minutes or till it has also crisped up nicely.

5. Place on a bamboo tray lined with paper towels to drain (or just a plate lined with paper towels), slice into squares before serving.


‘Jeon’ is traditionally drained on trays made from thin strands of bamboo woven together – the reason for this is that this allows the steam from the hot batter to get away and not make the fritters/pancakes soggy.

While the amount of gochujjang you use does depend on taste, it is what gives this dish it’s beautiful colour, without it the pancakes will be an awful pale pinky white, and not how you’d ever find it served by any self-respecting Korean cook.

Kimchi Bokeum Bap
(Kimchi fried rice)

1 1/2 cups day old dry cooked rice (ideally a medium grain like calrose – we eat brown calrose at home as it’s the closest to Korean rice we have found in Australia)
100g protein (usual/popular choices are crumbled firm tofu, mince or pork belly)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp toasted/dark sesame oil
150g kimchi, liquid drained and reserved and diced
1 spring onion, finely sliced
2 eggs

*Optional: Any variety of diced/sliced veg that you want. None but blanched spinach or any other ‘namul’ would be traditional, but is perfectly acceptable. These should be added at stage 2 after the kimchi.

1. Season your protein with the garlic, pepper and sesame oil and massage in. Heat some oil in a skillet/frying pan over a medium-high flame and when it’s nice and hot, add the protein and fry till cooked.

2. Add the kimchi and continue to saute till it softens, then add the rice and mix quickly with a very light touch (you don’t want to mush the rice grains). Pour the reserved liquid from the drained kimchi into the frying pan and quickly mix in.

3. Turn off the heat and with a very light hand, quickly stir through the sliced spring onion. Divide the mixture onto two plates, fry the eggs and top each serve with a fried egg.

4. Enjoy whilst piping hot, breaking the yolk and mixing it through the cooked rice :)


You cannot make this with fresh rice, this dish (like bibimbap) is one that Korean mothers use to make the most of rice leftover from the previous night’s meal. Ideally, you want to make your rice, allow it to cool then leave it out overnight (covered with cling film). By the next evening it should be nice and dry/firm enough to withstand this cooking process without going mushy.

Kimchi Jjigae
(Kimchi Stew)

100g pork rump, diced (can be substituted with tofu or beef)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp dark/toasted sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper
350g kimchi, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups water
1/2 tsp gochugaru (Korean chilli powder – PLEASE do not think you can substitute this with cayenne or any other chilli powder)
1 tsp gochujjang (Korean chilli paste)
1 spring onion, rinsed and finely sliced

1. Massage the garlic, black pepper and sesame oil into the pork and set aside. Heat a little sesame oil in a stoneware/earthenware/regular metal pot and once it’s hot, add the pork, gochugaru and gochujjang and fry till cooked.

2. Add the kimchi to the pot and saute with the pork till it has cooked and softened. Add the water and carefully stir through, then lower the heat and allow to simmer for 30-45mins.

3. Once cooked, turn off the flame, garnish with sliced spring onion and serve with bowls of rice.


While using a stone pot is the traditional method for this dish, there’s no problem with just using a regular pot to make it. Just bear in mind that you’ll need to be careful that the kimchi does not stick to the bottom and give it the occasional stir.

Also, this is a very strongly-flavoured dish and consequently, not meant to be served in individual portions (as they’d be quite small and cool down too quickly). It is generally eaten communally, with 2-3 people spooning from a serve. This is incidentally why many Koreans don’t eat their rice with spoons when there is a jjigae (stew) on the table, medium grain rice has the ability to stick together and therefore they’ll eat it with their chopsticks and use the spoon for the stew. No, we’re not a culture that’s particular scared of cooties!

[tags]kimchi, recipes, Korean, food, culture, heritage, family[/tags]


  1. Esther Koohan Paik says:

    Hi, Ellie,

    I am so disappointed, because I saw your kimchi recipe online some weeks ago and it looked really authentic, so I made a mental note to go back to it once I could get the napa cabbage. It’s really hard to find where I live (on Kauai, a rural island in Hawaii).

    Then, today, I finally brought back two heads from the farmer who grew them, came home, eager to get started… only to find that you have pulled the recipe off the internet!!

    It is so disappointing, because I can’t get my kimchi to taste “right” (I’m half-Korean), and spent my childhood in Korea in the 60s and 70s (before you were born). Of course it’s totally impossible to find decent commercial kimchi, especially here.

    I know you have your reasons for pulling your greatlooking recipe off your site, but do you think there is any possibility whatsoever that you might be able to email it to me? I mean, even my email address has “kimchee” in it!!

    I hope you will take pity on me. I am counting on you.

    many thanks for your consideration.

    esther koohan paik

  2. Esther, the kimchi post is up. If you read ‘what happened to kitchen wench’ then you’ll understand why the links are different. It’s hard enough to restore 300+ posts without having to find out when each one was posted to give them the same permalinks.

  3. Mmmmm… Mmmmmm… I made kimchi using your recipe this week (only one head of cabbage) and then I made the kimchi pajeon and the kimchi bokeum bap, but ran out of kimchi before I could make the jjigae. Next batch! Thanks so much for sharing! I (and my friends who get to share some the meals) really enjoy the Korean recipes that you’ve posted! Keep them coming!

  4. :sad: Ellie I could not find the family kimchee recipe and I would love to have it. Is there any way I can get it?



  5. Caroline says:

    Nani, the link above is broken but you can still find the recipe under this link here:
    I made it this week and it is delicious!

  6. I clicked the link to bibimbap, but it didn’t take me anywhere! Is there still a recipe you have for this?

    My mom just went to Korea recently and learned how to cook it (and showed me). I think it turned out well, but I wanted to see what your recipe looks like.

  7. Hi Ellie,

    Thank you for sharing your family recipes here. I made Kimchi fried rice this afternoon for lunch and loved it! I had previously made it using another recipe and was sorely disappointed but I’m glad I decided to give it another try with your recipe. I’ll definitely make it again for a quick meal in the future. ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. @Anna – I’m so glad that you’ve been enjoying the Korean recipes! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve put up any new ones, there’ll be more to go up soon :)

    @Caroline: Glad that you enjoyed it :)

    @Alicia – If you do a quick search for it, then you should bring it up…there’s also a link on the recipe index page :)

    @Jessica – Thank you for such a lovely compliment! I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed the recipes here :)

  9. I am in love with Kim Chi and have just discovered how fabulous Korean food really is. It hasn’t really taken of in AUS yet, but I welcome it with open arms!

    Thanks for sharing these great Korean recipes — the Kim Chi pancake looks divine!

  10. Kimchi bokeum bap is so simple, quick and delicious! My recipe is really similar to yours except I add soy sauce and a splash of sesame oil at the same time as the reserved kimchi liquid.

    Also… (yes I hang my head in shame to admit this on a food blog) I sometimes use diced spam as the protein. The saltiness really works in this recipe.

  11. @Susan: My Food Obsession – It’s really starting to take off here, with more and more Korean restaurants opening all the time :)

    @Lea, The Gracious Host – LOL! Nothing to be ashamed about, my mother does it too ๐Ÿ˜›

  12. Hi Ellie!

    Thanks for the recipe. We enjoyed the soup a lot and have been eating Kimchi 3 straight days now. We’re addicted to it and we’re thinking of buying a Kimchi fridge too! hahahaha! Maybe one of these days we can make our own kimchi.

    Ziggy recently posted..On Filipino Street Food โ€“ Where did the first Filipino barbecue originate

    • I’m so glad that you enjoyed the soup! And a kimchi fridge is an AWESOME appliance to have, particularly because the good ones have multi-zone control :)

  13. henry park says:

    i didnt know that i had to use day old rice to make this. this was very helpful. thank you

  14. Dear Ellie,

    Thanks a lot for the kimchi recipes! Usually, I just buy this stuff at the restaurant, but it’s much more fulfilling (and cheaper) to make kimchi jigae and fried rice at home! My kimchi jeon is still not turning out great (because I omit pork?), but I’m still working on it! I plan on making your homemade kimchi in the summertime, when I come back home from school.

    Does sweet kimchi really turn sour as time passes? Sometimes, when I buy it at Han Market, it’s really sweet. Should I just throw it away then or wait a while? I like it more sour. Thanks,



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