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Kimchi Jjigae

By Kate Ko

Age Group: Elementary School

Do you know a spicy food that is in Korea? That’s correct! My story is about a very spicy food from my culture which is kimchi Stew (kimchi jjigae, 김치찌개) from South Korea! My mom told me two weeks ago that most people in south Korea eat this wonderful dish every once a week. I was very surprised by the remark my mom had just said. Had I heard her correctly? As I made her say it one more time, I was shocked for the second time. On the other hand, my mom surprisingly, was not. And so, I tried to ignore the remark by drinking more of that tasty kimchi stew which did not work. So, I was still in shock.

The reason I chose to write about this particular dish is because it became one of my most favorite food when my mom cooked this dish for me and my family few years ago. The first time I ever saw kimchi stew, I was not happy to see red, spicy color. I was very scared to eat it at first because I thought it would be spicy, but as all parents do, they persuade you somehow. So, I told myself, “I can do this!” and I took a small slurp from my spoon. Just then fireworks boomed in my head for about three minutes. The sweet aroma of taste was cracking my whole forehead that I tried to slap my ears to get the thought out. Even though it was burning my head while the crack in my forehead was still there and my ears were ringing, saying “so spicy!” it was so good I almost stole my mom’s plate and my dad’s! So, that is why I even ate this dish on my 9th birthday. Now I’m going to write more and deeper about this cultural food from its history to how to make it from scratch to scratch. I’d like for you to join this fantastic kimchi stew world!

Kimchi stew has a wonderful history. Long long-ago kimchi existed as a not spicy pickled vegetable dish well prior to the Joseon era. It was not until the tradition of chili peppers to the Korean peninsula mid era that the variant of kimchi which has become the de facto standard of today was created kimchi stew is assumed to have developed around this time as well. Before I figured out more about the history of kimchi stew, I just liked the soup. Not as a buddy I could eat and rely on, But I just liked the taste. But more I found about kimchi stew, the more I knew I just knew that the kimchi stew was not only for eating but a friend. A better friend. Once I researched almost all of the kimchi stew’s history I knew right away, I needed to tell people about this amazing history of kimchi stew. Which made me write this great story that tells you about the Korean culture food, kimchi stew.

Now I’m going to teach you how to make kimchi stew since it is expensive in the Korean restaurant which is approximately $15 plus tip. First sliced kimchi is put into a pot with a meat of your choice and other ingredients such as Tofu, Green Onions, and Garlic. They are stewed in water or Anchovies. The stew is seasoned with fermented Bean paste or fermented red Pepper paste. Like other Korean dishes, kimchi stew is accompanied by traditional side dishes (Banchan, 반찬) such as Rice cakes, onions, and egg also with rice. It is usually cooked and served in a metal boiling pot. See? Making kimchi stew is only few dollars, for example tofu= is about $1, green onions= is about $1, garlic= is about $1, side dish= is about $2, paste= is about $1, meat= is about $2. which is a great difference of seven dollars difference (which is really good for people who like to spend cheaply). In case, you want to try making kimchi stew, here is  a really good YouTube clip I found that shows how to make kimchi stew, The lady in the video knows really well how to cook kimchi Jjigae. She is Korean but speaks in English for this video for her English-speaking viewers. In addition, for those people who want to try out these good dishes at the local Korean restaurants, here are some recommendations, Kkoki
Korean BBQ (10325 SW Canyon Rd, Beaverton), Gangnam Korean BBQ (2473 NW 185th Ave, Hillsboro) and finally Koreana Restaurant (9955 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Ste 140, Beaverton).

In conclusion, these are all of my reasons I chose this kimchi stew for my Korean culture food. It is easy to make, it has many restaurants you can go to, and also it has a long history that is really informative. Also, for people who forgot about what I wrote than please remember to watch the video of how to make kimchi stew, try and make the recipe that I wrote (and get all the ingredients!), and also try and go to some of the restaurants that I have recommended and one last tip in the great conclusion that I have wrote, try and eat all of the delicious kimchi stew before people steal the delicious stuff you have made or bought from a restaurant. Again, I thank everyone who is reading this story and I hope everyone enjoys their wonderful and delicious kimchi stew. Thank you!

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