Need something spicy, flavorful, and warming? Alex Jones is here with a recipe for a tasty batch of soup that will help you make good use of that jar of kimchi you’ve got tucked in the back of the fridge! Yum! -Marisa
Throughout my preserving life, I’ve realized that I use some things all the time — pressure-canned tomatoes, stock and beans, dried herbs and Meyer lemon slices, frozen peak-season fruit. And others, like high-sugar jams, I don’t use much of at all.
As I go along each season, I try to learn from what I end up giving away or not enjoying so that I can maximize my food dollars, avoid waste, and devote space in my fridge and pantry to items I’ll actually eat.
When I found myself with two huge napa cabbages in my fridge two falls ago, I made a massive batch of kimchi (using the excellent recipe from Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking). After giving several jars away at the Philly Food Swap, I still had a gallon left. And while I’ve added it to rice bowls and eaten it on the side with scrambled eggs, two big jars still sit in the back corner of my fridge.
One of my intentions for the new year is tokeep my fridge slightly less jam-packed than it usually is — which includes using up good preserves that I sometimes ignore. Luckily, there’s an excellent Korean dish — kimchi-guk — that turns this pungent condiment into a delicious, warming soup.
Maangchi’s method is pretty simple (and delicious). But I wanted to see if I could find a kimchi soup recipe that’s even easier and a little more pantry-friendly.
Luckily, Serious Eats thought of this already, with their recipe for kimchi ramen. Using their recipe as a roadmap, I tweaked the proportions (boosted the aromatics and umami and cut the quantity of stock) made the noodle step even easier for a recipe that’s as foolproof as it is delicious.
And if your fridge is really empty, you could make this with just the broth, kimchi, onion and garlic, and noodles — just salt to taste and maybe add some takeout soy sauce packets from the kitchen drawer (hey, I won’t judge) and eat it without the garnish — but it’s so much prettier (and tastier) with a little greenery and some protein on top.
Do you keep a jar of kimchi in your fridge? What are your favorite ways to enjoy this peppery, funky ferment?
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil (safflower, grapeseed, canola, vegetable)
- 1 onion, sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2 inches of fresh ginger, chopped fine
- 1 1/2 cups kimchi (chop roughly if needed) and kimchi juice
- 2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock (ideally a bone broth that gets good and gelatinous in the fridge)
- 3 tablespoons red or white miso paste
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 blocks instant ramen noodles
- Toppings: scallions, firm silken tofu, soft-boiled egg, pea shoots, finely sliced greens, sautéed mushrooms (like maitake, shiitake, oyster, or a combination)
- Heat neutral oil over medium-high in a large soup pot. If using mushrooms, sautée for several minutes until cooked. Remove mushrooms and set aside.
- Add another drizzle of oil if necessary. Add onion and cook till translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add stock, kimchi and kimchi juice to the pot. Mix the miso in a small bowl with a ladleful of stock, then add it to the pot with the soy sauce, then bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt.
- Add noodle blocks, then cover the pot and cook for a few minutes. When the noodles are tender, stir to break them up and remove the pot from the heat.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with toppings. Serve immediately.