If you ask an Angeleno of Korean heritage where you can find good kimchi jigae, or kimchi stew, more often than not you'll hear "my mom's." It's not out of any unwillingness to provide a tip, or maybe two. It's just one of those dishes that appear in a home cook's repertoire so often and in so many different renditions that many have their own definition of what's best.
Christine Chiao Kimchi jigae at Seongbukdong
The recipe is generally straightforward, calling for pork (usually pork belly), scallions, gochujang (red pepper flakes), tofu, and a lot of kimchi. The similarities often end here, with some adding ingredients like sesame oil and others listing fish sauce as a must-have. Thankfully, quite a few restaurants in Koreatown have the stew as an option on their menus, a relief for those of us who can't turn to our omoni's to figure out what ingredient is necessary and what's better left alone. Turn the page for three restaurants with their own distinct jigae take.More »