Kim Chili 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

The Process Oct 24, 2012

Kimchi, a traditional Korean dish made with fermented vegetables (often cabbage, radishes, scallions) and piquant red chilies, accounts for the name of this version of chili.

Several other ingredients reinforce the Korean profile of this dish. They include: gojuchang, a spicy red chili paste made with glutinous rice and fermented soybeans; gochugaru, dried red chili peppers ground into coarse flakes or fine powder; and galbi marinade, made with soy sauce, onion, garlic, sesame oil, sugar and Asian pear, the last of which acts as a meat tenderizer. All are available at H Mart grocery stores and other Asian markets.

Chopped kimchi and scallions are the garnishes; a spoonful of Salvadoran crema or sour cream would add richness.

Make Ahead: The chili improves if it's made a couple of days in advance so the flavors can meld. It can be sealed in an airtight container and frozen for up to 3 months.

Servings: 6 - 8
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, fat trimmed off, meat cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions (from 2 to 3 large onions)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups medium-spiced cabbage kimchi, such as Sunja's brand, plus 1 cup chopped kimchi, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup gojuchang, such as Haioreum brand (see headnote)
  • 1/4 cup coarse gochugaru, such as Wang brand (see headnote)
  • 3/4 cup galbi sauce, such as Yissine brand (see headnote)
  • 3 tablespoons peeled, grated ginger root
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 6 ounces canned tomato paste
  • Two 15-ounce cans no-salt-added kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 whole scallions, chopped
  • 8 tablespoons Salvadoran crema or sour cream (optional)


Use paper towels to pat the pork cubes dry. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the meat in an even layer and let it cook undisturbed for 6 to 8 minutes or until it is well browned. Stir in the onions, then cook without stirring for 8 to 10 minutes, until all of the released liquid evaporates and the onions have browned slightly. Stir in the water, 2 cups of kimchi, the gojuchang, gochugaru, galbi, ginger, garlic and tomato paste.

Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kidney beans and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pork is very tender and the sauce is thick.

Serve over steamed rice, garnished with chopped scallions and the remaining cup of kimchi, plus crema or sour cream, if desired.

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Recipe Source

From the Process columnist David Hagedorn.

Tested by David Hagedorn.

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