Cycle 3 – Item 166
19 (Tue) June 2012
Kong Biji Jjigae
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and DJ
As previously described (see 2.130 Kong Biji Jjigae with Soy-Sesame Dressing), paraphrased here, kong biji jjigae (콩비지찌개) is Korean dish. It’s a stew (jjigae) – texturally, more of a porridge – made traditionally from the dregs (biji) of soybeans (kong) leftover from making tofu. The modern version tends to use whole soybeans, dregs being generally unavailable except at restaurants that make their own tofu and give the dregs away to customers. Southern variations of the strew often include kimchi and/or pork and/or other ingredients to spice it up, though the Northern tradition keeps it white and simple, with soy sauce for seasoning.
Due to the lean-yet-hearty nature of beans, the dish manages to be light and filling at the same time. Like tofu, the nuttiness is subtle, almost austere.
- 1 cup of dried soybeans
- 3 cups + 3 cups of water
- 1 small yellow onion
- 200 grams of leafy green cabbage
- 2 TB of canola oil
- salt and pepper and/or soy sauce to taste
1. Soak the beans in 3 cups of water.
NOTE: After 1 day, the beans will rehydrate to full size.
2. In batches, purée the beans and the remaining water.
NOTE: The texture should be finely grainy.
NOTE: The addition of greens is optional (e.g., these “non-head chinese cabbage”), but I always do for the extra color, texture, taste, and maybe nutritional value.
TIP: Minced kimchi and/or pork are commonly added.
7. Add the bean pulp and bring to a moderate boil, stirring constantly to prevent the beans from browning at the bottom of the pot (15 min).
TIP: A thick-bottomed pot (e.g., enameled cast iron) will help maintain a steady temperature.
8. Simmer on low heat, stirring frequently, until the pulp has reduced to about 2/3 of its original volume and begins to get chunky (30 min).
NOTE: At first, the stew will have a strong raw aroma that dissipates throughout the process.
9. Add 1 cup of hot water and stir.
10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 for two additional cycles, once every 30 minutes or so.
NOTE: After 2 hours, the stew should be both chunky and moist, with a delicate nutty aroma.
11. Season with salt and pepper to taste and/or soy sauce.
12. Serve with steamed rice.
(See also FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)