Kimchi Soup: A Warm and Nutritious Delight

kimchi soup
kimchi soup

Kimchi Soup

I am thrilled to share my family’s special kimchi soup recipe with you today. Known as “kimchiguk” in Korean, this flavorful soup is incredibly easy to make and serves as a well-balanced one-pot meal when paired with rice. Packed with vitamins and minerals from well-fermented kimchi, and protein from pork and tofu, it is the perfect dish to keep you nourished and satisfied during the winter season.

The Tradition of Kimchi

Before the era of modern preservation and farming techniques in Korea, preparing food for the long, cold winter posed a challenge as fresh vegetables were scarce. In response to this, neighbors would come together just before winter to make huge batches of napa cabbage kimchi, enough to sustain all the families involved throughout the entire winter. This communal event, known as “kimjang,” ensured that kimchi would not freeze in the winter. The kimchi was stored in onggi crocks, buried in the ground to maintain a temperature above freezing, allowing families to enjoy nutritious kimchi all winter long.

Today, while vegetables are available year-round and electric refrigerators are commonplace, many Koreans still make winter kimchi in late November. This is when napa cabbage is in season, ensuring the kimchi is fresh, delicious, and affordable. It remains the best time to make napa cabbage kimchi, preserving the culinary traditions passed down through generations.

In my experience living in Korea, I would make winter kimchi at the start of December and enjoy it until late March of the following year. Like many urban dwellers, I kept my onggi on the balcony. When preparing kimchiguk, the first step was always to put on my long red rubber gloves. Then, I would take a stainless steel bowl out to the balcony and retrieve some kimchi. The feeling of pressing down on the remaining kimchi in the onggi after taking some out is etched in my memory forever.

Making Kimchi Soup: A Culinary Journey

Kimchi Soup Ingredients

Ingredients (for 2-3 servings)

  • 2 cups of chopped kimchi
  • ½ pound of pork shoulder (or pork belly), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of hot pepper paste
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 5 cups of water
  • 2 stalks of green onions, chopped
  • 1 package of tofu (14 ounces: 396 grams), cut into bite-sized cubes


  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine the kimchi, hot pepper paste, kimchi juice, pork, and sugar. Kimchi Chopped
  2. Add water and bring to a boil over high heat, then cook for 30 minutes.
  3. Add tofu and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for another 10 minutes. Kimchiguk
  4. Add green onion and remove from the heat. Kimchi Soup
  5. Serve the soup hot with rice and an assortment of side dishes if desired. Kimchi Soup

Kimchi soup is truly an unforgettable culinary experience. Once you try it, you’ll understand why Koreans make such large batches of kimchi during kimjang. The versatility of kimchi allows us to create hundreds of different and delicious dishes.


Q: Can I use store-bought kimchi for this soup?

A: Absolutely! Store-bought kimchi works perfectly fine for making kimchi soup. However, if you have the time and desire, making your own kimchi adds a personal touch and allows you to adjust the flavors to your liking.

Q: Are there any vegetarian alternatives for the pork in this recipe?

A: Yes! If you prefer a vegetarian version of kimchi soup, you can omit the pork and increase the amount of tofu. Additionally, you can add mushroom or vegetable broth to enhance the umami flavors.

These FAQs should provide you with valuable insights and guidance as you embark on your culinary journey with kimchi soup.

Remember, Takeout Food is your go-to resource for culinary delights. Celebrate the joy of food, explore new flavors, and indulge in the creativity of cooking. To discover more culinary inspirations and explore a wide array of delicious recipes, visit Takeout Food.

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