This gochujang jjigae with rice cakes is a take on one of my favorite cold-weather stews. It’s spicy, comforting, and takes less than an hour from start to finish. So, what is jjigae? Have you ever made it? Read on to learn more about my favorite spicy Korean stew!
I remember the first time I had Korean jjigae. I was introduced to it by someone I was dating at the time and immediately fell in love with the spicy red stew.
At the time, I always ordered the haemul sundubu jjigae and — minus the time I accidentally dumped a whole tub of it in my car — it’s been a favorite for years.
What is jjigae?
Jjigae is a type of Korean stew. It’s often seasoned with gochujang (red chili paste), doenjang (fermented soybean paste), ganjang (soy sauce), or saeu-jeot (a variety of salted, fermented shrimp or other seafood). The version I’ve been most familiar with is either kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew), sundubu jjigae (soft tofu stew), or the haemul sundubu jjigae (seafood and tofu stew). There are so many varieties of jjigae out there that knowing where to start can be intimidating!
One of my absolute favorites is the seafood jjigae or soft tofu jjigae, but tonight I made a version of it with ground pork, lots of gochujang, and rice cakes.
Although it doesn’t taste quite as good as the seafood version I would get from the restaurant but it sure hits the spot on a cold snowy day.
How to make this spicy Korean stew:
While I am certainly not an expert in Korean cooking, I think this finished dish is so tasty and so easy to make at home. This is simply take on it and we really, really enjoyed it. Making this stew is a breeze and you really don’t need too many ingredients.
Here’s what you need:
- Ground pork
- Sweet onion
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Soy sauce
- Fish sauce
- Rice cakes (tteok)
To make it, start with browning the pork. Next, brown the onions and add the shiitake mushrooms. From there, simply sizzle the gochujang in the hot oil for 1–2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and fish sauce along with 6 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, add the pork, and then simmer for 15 minutes. Bring the stew back to a boil and add the rice cakes. Once they float, turn off the heat and you’re ready to eat! It’s really that simple.
Looking for more pork recipes? Check my archives!
If you made this recipe, please rate the recipe below and leave a comment to tell me how you liked it! If you take a picture of it, please tag me on Instagram so I can feature you in my feed!
Gochujang Jjigae with Rice Cakes
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 sweet onion peeled and sliced into half-moons
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms caps thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons gochujang
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon gochugaru
- 6 cups water or vegetable stock
- 1 pound oval rice cakes tteok
- Salt and pepper to taste
Brown the pork:
- Heat the neutral oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pork and cook, breaking it up as it cooks, for 12–15 minutes. Seasont to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer the pork to a bowl.
Cook the onions:
- If the pot seems dry, add a touch of more oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, for 8–12 minutes until they deepen in color. Add the shiitake mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
Sizzle the gochujang:
- Add the gochujang to the pot and cook for 1–2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and fish sauce and stir to coat the onions in the mixture. Sprinkle the gochugaru on top and cook 1 minute more.
Simmer the soup:
- Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Add the pork, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes—taste and season with salt to taste.
Cook the rice cakes:
- Bring the soup back to a boil. Rinse the rice cakes under cold water and add to the boiling soup. Cook for 5–6 minutes or until the rice cakes float and are tender. Turn off the heat.
- Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with more gochugaru or sliced scallions if you like. Enjoy!