I have to thank my friend David for a lot of things in my life—but especially for teaching me how to eat a variety of Korean foods, and how to eat a lot of it from a shared plate while pretending he ate most of it. He introduced me to this spicy, fragrant kimchi stew on a cold, wet, rainy day in New York. I crave this when it rains. It’s also a great use for kimchi that may have been aging gracefully in your fridge for a while.
1poundbeefcut into 2 inch cubes, preferably a fatty cut
1cupchopped yellow onions
1cupdried shiitake mushroomsor other dried mushrooms
1tbspminced fresh ginger
1tbsptoasted sesame oil
1tbspdark soy sauce
1tbspgochugaruKorean ground red pepper or 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper,
1tbspgochujangKorean red chile paste
1/2cupSliced scallionsfor serving
1cupdiced firm tofufor serving (optional)
In the Instant Pot, combine the beef, kimchi, water, onions, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, gochugaru, gochujang, and sugar.
Secure the lid on the pot. Close the pressure-release valve. Select MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK and set the pot at HIGH pressure for 15 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pot to sit undisturbed until the pressure has released.
Taste and season with salt. Stir in the scallions and the tofu, if desired, and serve.
• First things first. There is NO substitute for gochujang. None. Don’t even try. Don’t even ask me, I won’t respond to your question. Buy it and use it in my other recipes that call for it.
• Gochugaru looks flaming red, but it’s actually a lot less spicy than cayenne pepper. You can put in a tad bit of cayenne pepper instead, but be mindful of the spice in the kimchi.
• You can use regular soy sauce instead of dark soy sauce. The dark version just has a richer, sweeter taste.
• For a vegetarian version, omit the beef and cook the kimchi (use a vegetarian version), water, onions, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, gochugaru, gochujang, and sugar for 5 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then add the diced tofu.
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