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Keeping with the tradition of a mother's influence, this month's feature comes from Optimist Made's Brand Strategist, Rebecca Johnson. She shares with us the magic of Kimchi Jjigae:

"Kimchi Jjigae is a Korean kimchi stew and a staple for a Korean household. As a Canadian born Korean with immigrant parents, I grew up eating a lot of Korean food in the house. I never fully appreciated it until I went to college and every time, I came back home for break, this stew would always bring me back home. Now, living in sunny California with my non-Korean husband, I’ve grown to make an effort to incorporate Korean dishes into our meals and this stew has been one of them.

Food holds memory, and when I asked her to recall a time when she had the BEST Kimchi Jjigae, she brought up the time when I was 11 years old, and during our trip to Los Angeles, she missed eating Korean food so much and so we stopped by Koreatown and of all the dishes she could choose, she wanted Kimchi Jjigae. She said it was just the best feeling.

I then asked her what it meant to her. She said that it reminded her of home, Korea. That Kimchi is super important to Korean culture and that there can never be no Kimchi because it goes with everything!

We proceeded to continue our conversation about the origins of Kimchi and why Kimchi is so important for Korean culture. One thing that stood out to me was this...

Kimchi was and is eaten by everyone. I mean, everyone. Kimchi wasn't served to any specific social class in past dynasties, and it is something that the people of North and South Korea both consume today. For a country still so divided, at least we can share the same side dish at every meal." 


Kimchi Jjigae 

Optimist Made Wine Pairing

2019 Che Fico Pinot Grigio, DOC delle Venezia, Italy

Ingredient List

Kimchi 300g Pork 125 g
3 cups of water
1/3 sliced onion
2 Teaspoon garlic
2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Teaspoon of Fish sauce
Tofu 125 g

Cooking Directions
1. Cook pork and kimchi with no oil as the pork fat is usually enough
2. When the meat his half-cooked add water, just enough to soak it
3. After letting it cook for a bit, add sliced onions, garlic and red pepper flakes (optional)
4. Boil it until a rolling boil and then let it simmer for about 20 mins
5. Taste! Depending on your kimchi, if it's too sour: add sugar; if it's too bland: add salt
6. She likes to add fish sauce for flavor.
7. Top it off with tofu




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