Stewed Okra and Kimchi

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Stewed kimchi, called kimchi jjim in Korean, is a comfort dish for me made with over-ripe kimchi on lazy days. Kimchi jjim is one of my dad’s favorite dishes and he would often make it on colder days when there wasn’t much banchan in the fridge for us. Kimchi jjim is one of those dishes that is perfect, only paired with a single bowl of hot white rice (and a pat of butter too, mm!). I love the simplicity of savory stewed kimchi, pleasantly soft and full of pungent umami.

I saw a beautiful package of okra at the market the other day and decided to take some home with me. One of my favorite ways of preparing okra is in a nice and tangy stew or curry. Nice, I thought, I can’t wait to stew these babies when I get back home.

Having been busy from all the travelling I’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks, my fridge was looking a little bare, but lo and behold, I saw a shining jar of uber ripe kimchi I had made early on in the summer. The perfect pairing revealed itself to me immediately and I went to work right away to make this hearty winter-time favorite!

By the way, this is a great dish to make if you are looking for keto-friendly recipes! I ate this with a bowl of hot buttered cauliflower rice.

Prep time: 45 minutes

Serves : 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups okra, trimmed and cut into equal-sized pieces (10 oz)

  • 2 packed cups of cut ripe kimchi, aka maht kimchi (12 oz)

  • 2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion (5 oz)

  • 5 oz thin-sliced pork belly (optional) **

  • 2 tbl cooking oil (I used olive oil)

  • 1 tbl sesame oil

  • 1 tbl gochujang

  • 1 tbl gochugaru

  • 1 tbl soy sauce

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 cup water

**If you decided to omit the pork belly, then add in an extra drizzle of cooking oil (about a teaspoon).

How to make it

  1. When prepping the okra, make sure to trim off any tough stems and cutting them into equal sized pieces. I sliced mine diagonally to exposed the beautiful white seeds. If you are using pork belly, cut them into equal-sized pieces as well.

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2. Heat a shallow medium non-stick pot over medium high heat. Add in pork belly and cook until the pork has browned and have just began to crisp on the edges. Remove from heat and set aside.

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3. Add in cooking oil and sesame oil and then turn up heat to high. Add in onion and okra. Sauté for about 4 minutes or until the okra brightens in color and the edges of the onions have slightly browned.

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4. Add in kimchi, gochujang, gochugaru, soy sauce, pepper and continue sautéing the mixture over high heat for approximately 4 minutes or until caramelization occurs. The onions should begin to look translucent and there should be some browning at the bottom of your pan.

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5. Add in water. Bring to a simmer and add back in the cooked pork belly, then lower heat to bring the stew to a gentle simmer and cover pot with lid. Let stew for 30 minutes, covered.

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6. After 30 minutes, turn off heat and leave the stew covered for a few minutes and until the simmering has subsided. Serve warm finished off with a drizzle with a little extra sesame oil. Enjoy!

The stew should be soft, chunky and savory.

The stew should be soft, chunky and savory.

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Stay warm my friends,

Wavey.