I try to eat healthy all week so I can splurge on the weekends (80% good/20% BAD). To keep my weekday meals from getting too boring, I am always trying to come up with new recipes. I came across this recipe in Bon Appetit for spicy kimchi stew and decided to make my own version.
Kimchi is incredibly good for you. It is a traditional Korean side dish made with cabbage, radish, cucumbers, and/or daikon. This kimchi tofu stew calls for cabbage kimchi, but any kind can be used. The kimchi is fermented and flavored with chili spices, ginger, garlic, fish sauce (or fermented fish paste), scallions, and sugar. Due to the fermentation process, kimchi is high in lactobacilli (healthy bacteria) which aids in digestion. It is also very low in fat and high in fiber, adding to its health benefits. In addition to its multitude of health benefits, kimchi is YUMMY! The spicy, fermented umami flavored goodness is one of my favorite snacks and I can often be found eating it straight out of the jar.
Let’s Make the Stew
Although a lot of ingredients are involved, this stew is quite easy to make. For the tofu, either firm or soft will work. I like to mix it up to get a slightly different texture, so I use 2 different kinds. I use a kimchi that is not overly spicy and use the Korean chili powder to adjust the spice level. If you want more spice, feel free to adjust the chili powder and/or use a spicier kimchi. For the fish, I used red snapper, but any firm-fleshed fish will do. Be careful to remove any bones before adding to the stew as they will make for an unpleasant eating experience!
Sauté the garlic and Korean chili powder in coconut oil on medium low heat for 1-2 minutes. Sautéing spices in oil before using helps to bring out their flavor.
While aromatics are sautéing, combine beef broth, chicken broth and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add sautéed garlic and chili, kimchi, tofu, soy sauce and vinegar. Return to a boil.
Add broccoli, bok choy and miso paste and bring back to a boil. Turn the heat off and add the fish. The fish will continue to cook.
Options for serving: garnish with green onions, add an egg for additional protein, or add noodles or rice if you are looking for a heartier version (I’m going low carb here).
What are your thoughts on kimchi? What else do you use it in? Do you have any favorite healthy soup/stew recipes?