Sometimes I think I was Korean in my past life because I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Kimchi Jigae.
Actually I love all kinds of Korean food.
My boy Pete would take me to all the awesome Korean restaurants in Flushing (back in the day) and he’d order Bulgogi, Kalbi, Bimbimbop, Pajun and of course Kimchi Jigae.
“Yo, why we gotta order when they give us all the free sides?” I used to say to him.
“Oh my god, would you stop being so Chinese? You can’t just eat the sides and shit, you have to order! Don’t embarrass me” he used to say.
Over the years, I have grown this addiction to Kimchi Jigae which is like a stew/soup containing scallions, tofu, pork, seafood and kimchi. You can basically include or exclude certain ingredients but after trial and error, I finally discovered that I love my Jigae with pan fried SPAM.
I used to go to this spot on Tonnelle Avenue in Ridgefield, NJ when I first moved to Jersey a few years ago. I would call in and pick it up and it’d cost me nearly $10 but it was always worth it.
When I first moved to North Bergen and didn’t know where to get Jigae, I drove into NYC this one time because I was so desperate.
Madi was about 5 years old and I remember driving in, picking up the soup and driving right back to Jersey.
I then took her to the park and as I started unpacking my Jigae and ravaging it right there and then by the monkey bars, she goes, “Are you really going to eat that here Mommy? It stinks!”
Mind you, Kimchi is pickled cabbage and isn’t exactly a fond smell for everyone.
“Oh hell yeah, you go play girl” I said. Nobody gets in between me and my Jigae.
When I was prego with Joey, I was craving Jigae all the time. My doctor was Korean and when I had asked her if it was okay to eat spicy foods, she said, “Sure, of course.”
I was in prego heaven!
And when Sam refused to go get me my Jigae one night because he didn’t want to lose our parking spot, I think I flipped out so hard that the entire neighborhood learned of my fetish for the soup.
These days, I now go to H-Mart (Korean Market) on Tonnelle Ave. I found out that I could just purchase the pre-maid soup in a container for $3.99 and then I add my own rice and SPAM to it, and voila! Heaven!
I don’t know why I’m so addicted. I just love the spices and the aroma and I think it brings back a lot of nostalgia when I eat it.
“Yo, you’re gonna love this stuff Shorty. It’s mad spicy but it’s good for you.” Pete used to say.
He was right.
Whenever I eat it, I’m happy, full and I think of him =)
FYI: The photo above was taken from: http://norecipes.com/2009/11/18/kimchi-jigae-recipe-kimchi-soup/