Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Meatballs

A scrumptious kimchi stew loaded with meatballs and veggies. Serve it with some steamed rice and you’ll have a one-pot dinner in no time.

Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Meatballs - A scrumptious one pot dinner loaded with veggies.

This kimchi stew is one of my favorite dishes for winter. It is super comforting, bold in flavor, and loaded with nutrition.

I discovered kimchi stew when I was living in Japan, about 12 years ago. Back then, I was a rookie cook and I could barely make anything delicious. One day I discovered a Korean-style soup base at the grocery store. I followed the instructions on the back and made a one-pot dinner. It was SO GOOD that I devoured the whole batch in one sitting. From that point, I always kept a few packs of soup base in the pantry, and would throw in random veggies and protein to whip up a quick, healthy, and hearty dinner for one.

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Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Meatballs - A scrumptious one pot dinner loaded with veggies.

Later on, I realized it was so easy to make kimchi soup base at home. All  need is a big jar of kimchi and some gochujang (Korean Hot Chili Paste). You can even get both of these on Amazon (shop kimchi here, and gochujang here).

Once you get the basic ingredients ready, the cooking part is easy. All you need to do is stir fry tons of aromatics with the kimchi and gochujang to release their fragrance. Then you can throw in any veggies and protein you like.

Although traditional kimchi stew often uses thinly sliced pork, I prefer to use ground pork to make these flavorful, juicy, and tender meatballs. The soup is somehow more fulfilling this way. We serve it as a main dish with steamed rice for dinner. It makes a cold winter day extra warm and cozy.

Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Meatballs - A scrumptious one pot dinner loaded with veggies.

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Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Meatballs - A scrumptious one pot dinner loaded with veggies.

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Meatballs - A scrumptious one pot dinner loaded with veggies.

Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Meatballs

A scrumptious kimchi stew loaded with meatballs and veggies. Serve it with some steamed rice and you’ll have a one-pot dinner in no time.
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Course: Main
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Hot and Sour Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 to 3 servings
Calories: 444kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1/2 lb (230 g) ground pork
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger , minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 egg

Stew

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups (14 oz / 400 g) kimchi
  • 2 cloves garlic , chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped ginger
  • 4 green onions , chopped
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang Korean spicy chili paste
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pack (14 oz / 400 g) firm tofu
  • 2 cups mushrooms of your choice , sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 6 cups kale , chopped
  • egg yolk, green onion, and/or toasted sesame seeds for garnish (Optional)

Instructions

  • Combine ground pork, ginger, Shaoxing wine, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside at room temperature to marinate for 10 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and egg. Fold until it forms a quite soft paste. Add a bit more breadcrumbs if the paste is too runny. Do not over-mix.
  • Heat oil in a 3-quart pot over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic, ginger, and green onion. Stir a few times to release the fragrance.
  • Add kimchi. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until tender
  • Add the Gochujang. Cook and stir for 1 minute, when the ingredients are evenly coated.
  • Add the chicken stock, tofu, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium high heat until bringing to a boil. Turn to medium low heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and kale. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Use a medium-sized spoon or small cookie scoop to scoop the ground pork, shape it into a ball, and add it into the soup. Continue making the rest of the meatballs one at a time, in the same manner. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through but still very soft. You can take out a meatball and cut it to check whether it’s cooked. Remove the pot from the stove.
  • Pour the stew into serving bowls and garnish with egg yolk, green onion, and sesame seeds, if using. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of the 3 servings | Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.4g | Protein: 40.3g | Fat: 15.6g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1105mg | Potassium: 1399mg | Fiber: 4.2g | Sugar: 7.3g | Calcium: 39% | Iron: 41%

The recipe was originally posted on Jan 12, 2014  and updated by Feb 24, 2018.

Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Meatballs - A scrumptious one pot dinner loaded with veggies.

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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9 thoughts on “Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Meatballs

  1. Gina

    Delicious! I love gochujang, and the enoki mushrooms have such a lovely texture in soups 🙂 Is there any substitute for the sake/wine though? I have rice vinegar, but I’m not sure if that will do.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Gina, thank you for stopping by and I’m glad you like the recipe.:)

      I don’t think you can use rice vinegar to replace sake or cooking wine. You need a dry and light alcohol for substitute. I never tried, but I think 1 tablespoon dry white wine, or 1 teaspoon vodka (or brandy) will work.

      The purpose of adding light alcohol is to soften the meat and eliminate stinkiness of the pork. If you don’t have any alcohol at all, replace sake with 2 tablespoons water, and add 1 teaspoon minced ginger instead of 1/2 teaspoon. You could also add 2 tablespoons minced green onion (or onion).

      Have fun cooking! 🙂

      Reply
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  4. SecetSilverNeko

    So good! This will definitely be a favorite, thanks <3
    I never thought of putting meatballs in Kimchi Stew before, so really happy I came across your recipe. :3

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks for commenting and I’m so glad you like this one!
      I actually enjoy putting meatballs in varies soup dishes, they add great flavors 🙂

      Reply
  5. Sandra

    Hi Maggie, I made this stew last week and served it with steamed brown rice. Such a delicous balance of flavours…uber umami! Thanks so much for the recipe.

    Reply