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Kimchi Jjim AKA Braised Kimchi

Proving once again, old kimchi is *magic* when cooked: Kimchi Jjim.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Braised, jjim, Kimchi
Servings: 4
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam


  • Shallow braiser with lid (donabe or clay pot or enameled cast iron braisers all work well)


  • 2 strips thick cut pork belly (about 2-3 lbs total)
  • 3-inch ginger, cut into thin strips
  • 2-3 cups old kimchi + juices
  • 1 block tofu (medium or firm)
  • drizzle sesame oil (optional, at the end)


Parboil Pork Belly:

  • In a shallow braiser, add pork belly and enough cold water to just cover. Add ginger slices and boil for 10 minutes. The water should boil furiously; scum will rise to the surface and stick to the pot and pork belly. (Don't be tempted to skip this step! Parboiling keeps the pork from tasting too game-y. Also, it prevents the kimchi from turning to mush while the pork belly cooks down to tender succulence).
    parboiled pork belly
  • Drain and wash pork belly with cold water, making sure to rinse off all the scummy bits. Discard ginger. Wash the pot thoroughly.


  • In the newly washed pot, fill the bottom with old kimchi + juice. Nestle the pork belly on top. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until the meat is tender and cooked through. Depending on thickness, this should take 20-30 minutes.
    parboiled pork belly in pot with kimchi
  • The pork belly should be tender enough to slice easily. After 20 minutes, I test by lightly tapping with my tongs. There should be no "bounce" to the meat. Instead, the pork belly should have some give and feel soft.
  • Using tongs, remove pork belly from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Slice into 1/2-inch slices. Return pork belly to the pan, keeping the slices shingled neatly.
    sliced pork belly and braised kimchi
  • Slice tofu into 1/2 inch slices and shingle slices in between the pork belly. There should be alternating rows of shingled pork belly and shingled tofu slices.
    kimchi jjim in black pot
  • Cover and simmer until tofu is heated through, about 5 minutes. Uncover and spoon kimchi juices over the tofu. Drizzle with sesame oil and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve with rice and other banchan (side dishes). Enjoy!
    braised korean kimchi in pot