Kimchi stew has great depth of flavor because it is spicy, savory, sweet, and sour. I’ve adapted Maangchi’s recipe for sous-vide, which ensures that the pork will be tender and succulent. This is wonderful comfort food for this time of the year. For best results make your own anchovy stock from scratch, but you could substitute with pork stock. The anchovy stock is the Korean version of dashi. The kimchi should be aged for at least three weeks, and should of course also be homemade. I’ve left out the tofu, because I don’t care for it (and Maangchi lists it as “optional”).
For 2-4 servings
300 grams (.66 lb) boneless pork shoulder (or pork butt), cut into bite-size strips
450 grams (1 lb) kimchi, chopped
60 ml (1/4 cup) kimchi brine
3 green onions, divided
3/4 tsp table salt (1 tsp kosher salt)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
1 Tbsp gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
For the anchovy stock
10 x 12.5 cm (4 x 5 inch) dried kelp (konbu)
roots of the 3 green onions
25 grams (1 oz) dried anchovies (remove heads and guts)
50 grams (1/3 cup) thinly sliced daikon (giant white radish)
1 litre (4 cups) water
To make the anchovy stock, combine 1 litre of water with 50 grams of daikon, 25 grams of dried anchovies, and the roots of the 3 green onions in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil, and skim the scum that will rise to the surface. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add a 10 x 12.5 cm piece of konbu. Allow the konbu to steep for 10 minutes.
(Konbu gives off a bitter flavor when boiled, so that’s why I’ve deviated from Maangchi’s recipe at this point.)
Strain the stock. You should end up with about half a litre (2 cups). If it is more, reduce it over medium heat.
In a wide pan, combine 450 grams chopped kimchi, the anchovy stock, 60 ml kimchi brine, 2 chopped green onions, 1 chopped onion, 3/4 teaspoon table salt, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons Korean hot pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon Korean hot pepper paste, and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil.
Stir and bring to a boil, and boil for 30 minutes or until the kimchi is tender but still has some bite.
If you own a chamber vacuum machine, allow to cool to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator before adding the pork.
If using a ziploc bag, you can add the pork as soon as the kimchi mixture has cooled off to 57C/135F or less.
Stir to mix the pork with the kimchi.
Vacuum seal the mixture with a chamber vacuum machine, or in a ziploc bag and the water displacement method.
(You could also freeze the kimchi with the pork and then vacuum seal it using an external vacuum sealer.)
Cook sous-vide for 24 hours at 57C/135F.
After cooking sous-vide, the stew can be chilled and kept in the refrigerator for several days (longer if your refrigerator is very cold) or frozen for months. Reheat for 1 hour at 57C/135F, or 2 hours if from frozen.
Pour the liquid out of the bag into a pan, and bring to a boil.
Add the contents of the bag, then turn off the heat. Stir.
Serve in bowls, garnished with the green part of the remaining green onion, sliced thinly.
Smoked eggplant with buffalo mozzarella and tomato confit is a classic combination that is taken to the next level by smoking the eggplant and slow-roasting the tomato.