Recipe: Kimchi Soup

Recipe: Kimchi Soup

Although there are a lot of ingredients, this is a fairly simple, spicy and flavorful recipe and will last you several days. And, it is a great way to pack in your favorite vegetables. Anyway, you gotta love any recipe that starts with sautéed bacon and onions.

Marinade, for 10 mins:

  • 3 thick cut bacon strips, about 1/4 lb, cut into matchsticks

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (2 drops is enough; use cautiously, not required according to some cooks)

In the meantime, for the soup:

  • Vegetable oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped small

  • 2 cups kimchi, aged if possible, squeezed dry and chopped plus the liquid it comes in (this is important for flavor, do not discard)

  • 3 tablespoons Korean red pepper paste (gochujang)

  • 1 tablespoon Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru), Sriracha, or 2 fresh green chilies work great

  • 8 cups water (for a richer soup, use about 2C of broth, 6C water)

  • 8 scallions or Korean chives, chopped, for garnish

  • 8 ounces soft or silken tofu, to add in at end

  • Any of your favorite vegetables: sweet potato, broccoli zucchini, asparagus, corn, carrots


  1. Put pork belly in a bowl. Add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and fish sauce. Toss well to coat and let marinate for 10 minutes.

  2. In a large soup pot, add oil, then add in bacon mixture and let it cook gently for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium high and add kimchi, and any spicy sauces (Sriracha, gochujang or gochugaru). Let mixture simmer for 2 minutes.

  3. Add kimchi juice and water (or broth, if using) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a brisk simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

  4. Add in any additional vegetables now and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are cooked. Taste broth and adjust seasoning.

  5. Just before serving in individual bowls, add in soft tofu and stir gently to combine. (Although the picture above has firm tofu, using soft tofu separately helps keep the soup fresh all week since tofu can spoil easily).

Although this recipe was inspired by a recipe in the NYT, this is a much more simplified version.

If you have questions or an idea for a recipe or feature, drop us a note.

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