Meal for one: Kimchi pork stew

This is a rare Sunday. L left to work and W went home, I am left all alone at home. There will be no work trip today and no our usual weekend breakfast at the balcony.

I woke up the moment L kissed me goodbye. It was probably 7:30 am. I kept myself on bed, peaceful and quiet, until the room got a litter bit brighter and brighter. Then things just went on naturally like those days during my 10-month long break.

Here I am sitting in front of my working desk at 8:30 am and the morning is not yet fully recovered from the rainy night last night. I am facing a full messy board  of pending stories outline and deadlines, a DSLR that stuffed with too many cooking records, incomplete stories and blog entries on my computer desktop and a pile of books to be read. Back in those days, my daily schedule starts with clearing  one of those work mainly writing then followed by cooking myself a quick lunch.

To save time and make things easier, I prefer those dishes that I can make variations easily if there is leftover. For example, kimchi pork stew goes extremely well with rice and Korean instant noodles. After a meal with rice, I like to crack an egg into the stew and then add in the pre-boiled noodles for another meal. You would be surprised getting a nice kimchi stew really isn’t as complicated as I (or probably you) imagined.

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I was not motivated to clear any of the items in the pending list today (actually for quite a long time). I have not been fit to carry out my normal schedule. I put all my energy I have for work and there is not much stamina left in me everyday. The last time I cook and had a peaceful casual conversation with L and family seems so long ago and I thought this low mood and minimal motivation would persist much longer until I finally get back to the healthy state. Then a movie on the Saturday night did a magic change on that. The very first moment I woke up this morning, a line from the movie “Me before you” last night came into my mind: Just live well. Just live.

I still had my eyes closed when L closed the bedroom door. And here I am, retriveing an incomplete blog entry and photos and start my day with writing again. While typing with my mind half planning for today and the coming days, another half of my mind still lingers on another line from the same movie “Knowing you still have possibilities is a luxury.”

 

Kimchi Pork Stew

Serves 1-2
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Region Asian

Ingredients

  • 100g pork shoulder (cut into slices or long cubes)
  • 80g kimchi (cut into bite-size pieces)
  • 80g tofu (small cubes)
  • 70g zucchini
  • 50g enoki or other types of mushroom
  • 1/2 tablespoon doenjang (Korean bean paste)
  • 1/2 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Korean soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1-2 stalk spring onion
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)
  • 300-350ml water

Optional

  • 1-2 tablespoon kimchi juice

Directions

Step 1
Pre-mix doenjang, gochujang, gochugaru, grated garlic, soya sauce with 50-100 ml or water. Stir to mix well.
Step 2
Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Lightly stir-fry the kimchi and pork cubes inside the saucepan until fragrance and the pork cubes surfaces look cooked. Add in the pre-mixed sauce liquid and some water to cover the ingredients. Stir to fully dissolve the bean paste and chilli paste. Turn to high heat and bring to boil.

Step 3
Add in mushrooms, zucchini, tofu and extra tablespoon of kimchi juice. Add more water if necessary to ensure ingredients are covered. Bring to boil again. Adjust the soup to taste by adding the leftover water gradually if necessary.
Step 4
Turn off the heat and add in spring onions and mix. Leave some spring onions for garnish. Serve hot.

Note

Do not drain the juice off from the kimchi. Keep the juice with the vegetables to produce a flavourful stew.

To make kimchi ramen, cook the ramen separately and crack an egg into the stew. Ladle the stew over the ramen after the egg is cooked.

 

 

 

 

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