After your batch of kimchi has been sitting in the refrigerator for months and has started to taste sour, it has reached its prime stage – it’s now perfect to use in kimchi stew.






Skill level

Average: 4.7 (3 votes)


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 300 g (10½ oz/2 cups) Cabbage kimchi (recipe here) roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) kimchi juice (see Note)
  • 2 tbsp Korean chilli flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 150 g (5½ oz) firm tofu, cut into 2-cm (¾-in) cubes

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Heat the oil in a Korean stone bowl pot (dolsot) or claypot over medium–high heat. Add the kimchi and garlic and fry for 2–3 minutes, until softened. Add the kimchi juice, chilli flakes and fish sauce, then pour in 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) water. Stir, and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the tofu, cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to medium–low. Simmer for 10 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the stew still bubbling away in the pot, with steamed rice on the side.


• This is a great way to use the juice (liquid) from your homemade kimchi.


Recipe and images from Little Korea: Iconic Dishes and Cult Recipes by Billy Law, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99