Recipes | Easy Korean Kimchi Hotpot


Easy Korean Kimchi Hotpot

Want to cook something authentically Korean to celebrate Korean New Year next week? Try this easy, traditional Korean kimchi hotpot suggests Nathalie Gardiner.

My friend and fellow student, Aehyeon from South Korea, tipped me off that the best way to start cooking Korean food is using ready-made kimchi as she does in this simple recipe.. The delicious fat of the pork belly and the sharpness of the kimchi is a perfect combination.

You can switch the pork for beef or chicken and make it as spicy or mild as you like. You can use authentic Korean kimchi* (I used this one, which I sourced from an Asian supermarket here in Paris), a couple of jars, which you can find in most major supermarkets, or you could even make your own*. This recipe is super-adaptable so feel free to play around with it and work out what you like. You can even make a batch ahead for weeknight meals or take-to-work lunches.

Serves 6

500g chopped kimchi

450g pork belly, cut into bite sized pieces

2-4 tsp chilli powder (depending how hot your kimchi and chilli powder are and how much of a tolerance you have for chilli heat. Koreans like it hot!)

2 tsp of sugar

4 spring onions, trimmed and chopped

400g firm tofu, cut into bite sized cubes

Salt (add with caution as kimchi can be quite salty)

1. Combine the kimchi (with any liquid from the pack or jar), chilli powder, pork and sugar in a large saucepan.

2. Add 1.5 litres water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Add the cubes of tofu, and cook on a low to moderate heat for 10 more minutes.

4. Remove from the heat and check the seasoning, adding salt if it needs it. Add the chopped spring onions

5. Serve alone as a soup or with noodles or sticky rice and hot sauce on the side if you want to ramp up the heat.

What to drink

Best served with an ice-cold Hite lager and some good old fashioned Soju, or if you want to drink like a local, mix the two together (70/30 beer to soju) for a somac. Seol-nal!

If you're a kimchi fan you'll also enjoy this recipe for kimchi fried rice

* If you live in Bristol Caroline Gilmartin of Every Good Thing runs excellent kimchi classes.

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