Kimchi Soup (Kimchi-guk)
Today, I am using some of my homemade Simple Kimchi to make a simple, but very tasty, soup. Many people may think of Kimchi as a simply a cold side-dish, or a Banchan (when included as part of a Korean meal). However, it is often used as a cooking ingredient as well. Most notably, it can be added to fried rice, it is used as a primary ingredient in particular types of Korean stews known as Kimchi-jjigae, and is also used in a class of soups collectively called Kimchi-guk.
As with any ‘traditional’ soup, there are as many recipes as there are cooks and, today, I didn’t have in mind any particular Korean recipe, rather, I have simply created a fairly straightforward Pork and onion soup to which I add a good, healthy dollop of Kimchi to give it a sour and spicy finish…
- 1 qt. good quality Chicken Stock;
- 1/4lb boneless Pork cutlet (slightly fatty preferred), cut in to thin strips;
- ½ cup thinly sliced Onion;
- 1 cup Cabbage Kimchi (homemade or commercially produced);
- Garlic Salt;
- Sesame Oil;
- Rice Wine;
- 2 (or more) whole dried Red Chilies.
This first step is not critical but I like to preserve the clarity of soup as much as possible (depending on the type) and so I pre-blanch my pork. To do this, bring a pot of water to a boil, add a good few pinches of garlic salt and a shot of sesame oil. Add the pork slices and let them cook for a minute or so until no pink remains. Drain and rinse under running water and set aside for the moment.
Pour the stock into a saucepan and add the onion, dried chillies and a splash of rice wine Bring the soup to a gentle simmer until cook the onion is soft and translucent.
Finally, remove the dried chillies and add the pork and Kimchi. Continue to simmer until the pork is cooked through and the flavours well blended and then serve hot.
I ate a small bowl of this batch right away and then put the rest in the fridge for the next day. As expected, the flavours really developed and it was even better the second time around.