the taste space

Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Mushrooms (Vegan Kimchi Jigae)

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Soups by janet @ the taste space on February 4, 2014

Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Mushrooms (Vegan Kimchi Jigae)

I don’t know what is in the air. I assure you, it was not weather-related. No snow or ice around here.

Between myself and my sister-in-law, we have a veritable collection of injuries: 2 sprained knees and 1 sprained (or broken, we’re not sure) toe. Sadly, it was me with both knees sprained. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) for my sister-in-law, sprained and broken toes are treated the same way.

Also sad is that I have not yet come up with a sexy story to explain my bilaterally braced knees. NOT MY BIKE, thankyouverymuch. In any case, each day is getting better.

I followed my mnemonic from medical school: RICE. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. (Of course, after a free consultation from my trauma surgeon friend to confirm my suspicions nothing was broken). And of course: anti-inflammatories for pain management. Turns out there is a modified mnemonic for that inclusion: PRINCE, including P for protection and N for NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. I like it!

Serendipitously, I also happened to make the perfect “anti-inflammatory” soup a few days before I went down. A warming soup filled with cabbage, mushrooms, garlic and tofu. Kimchi, pickled napa cabbage, added a lot of flavour. It was perfect to help me recover.

There is evidence fruits and vegetables possess anti-inflammatory properties and the reasons are multi-factorial. Some fruits and vegetables contain naturally occurring salicylates, the compound found in aspirin. This explains why vegetarians have naturally occurring salicylate levels in their blood, albeit not likely therapeutic. While I have heard of people shunning “nightshade” vegetables, including potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplant, because they are “pro-inflammatory”, I have not found any solid scientific evidence to support hiding from the nightshades. (If you know of any articles, please share!).

Anyways, this soup. Delicious. Not too spicy although this soup was a bit of a mystery to me. When I ate it right after making it, it was the perfect level of spice. I added the kimchi to taste, obviously. However, the soup was pretty bland as leftovers. The chiles had mellowed! To ramp the flavour back up, I added fresh kimchi to each subsequent serving. Definitely add to taste. Enjoy!

Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Mushrooms (Vegan Kimchi Jigae)

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to this month’s No Croutons Required.

Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Mushrooms (Korean Vegan Kimchi Jigae)
Adapted from Connoisseurus Veg

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cups stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb sliced cabbage (half a medium head, 4-5 cups)
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup kimchi + more if desired
1 lb extra firm tofu, cubed (preferably pressed)
4 scallions, chopped

1. In a medium or large pot over medium heat, add oil. Once hot, add onions and saute until soft, around 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and sprinkle with salt. Saute until the mushrooms are releasing some of their juices. Stir in the cabbage and continue to saute until it softens slightly.

2. Deglaze the pot with the vegetable broth. Add tofu and kimchi. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover with a lid. Simmer for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to meld. Sprinkle with green onions. Taste and add additional kimchi if needed.

Serves 3-4.

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27 Responses

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  1. sprint2thetable said, on February 4, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    That’s terrible! I hope this soup helps. I know cherries and ginger are good for inflammation too.

    On the bright side, this looks amazing! I made something similar this week but as a stirfry. I’ve been addicted to kimchi lately!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on February 5, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      Yeah! We love stir fries, too. I should make it tonight with lots of ginger.. I mean, suggest Rob make it when I get home. :)

  2. Laura said, on February 4, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Sorry about your combined injuries! No fun at all! I love Korean flavors – and this soup looks delicious!

    • Sherri Webber said, on February 4, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      Not sure how I would cope with your situation! Speedy recovery for you!
      LOVE this recipe…wish I had a big bowl sitting in front of me now, as it’s -33 Celcius
      in Calgary, Alberta right now!

  3. Alissa @ Connoisseurus Veg said, on February 4, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Kimchi stew is amazing and your version sounds fantastic! Thanks for the adaptation and link :)
    Sorry to hear about your injuries…I was battling with the first of two nasty winter colds (or flu?) when I made my version. It definitely made me feel better. I hope this did the same for you!

  4. Andrea said, on February 4, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Sorry about your injuries, but at least you didn’t break anything. I recently had a sprained ankle, too, and I know exactly how I did it! (I should really watch where I’m going.) Too bad I didn’t think to make kimchi soup. It sounds delicious and comforting.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on February 5, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      Andrea, yeah, thank goodness nothing broke. Turns out my SIL broke her toe. And I fully well know how I sprained my knees, I am just too shy to publicly proclaim my stupidity. ;)

      • Andrea said, on February 6, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        I’m just grateful no one took a photo of me. :)

  5. erika said, on February 4, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Oh my gosh!!! So sorry to hear about your sprained knees, that sounds awful! Can you walk? Cook? Yikes! Let me know if the answer is no to the above; I’d be happy to bring you some more soup or something :) (This looks so delicious!!)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on February 5, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      Erika, you are too kind! I am back to walking now. I wasn’t walking the first few days but thankfully that passed. Walking still isn’t back to normal but a slower pace with my braces. It is humbling and I hope I get back to normal soon enough. (Thankfully Rob was with me last week. He is gone this weekend and next week but I hope to be fully functional by the time he leaves, hehe)

  6. coconutandberries said, on February 4, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    Sorry to hear about your knees! Hoping this soup is doing you a world of good. I still haven’t tried kimchi.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on February 5, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      I just need to get you hooked and then you will be my source for new kimchi recipes. :)
      Which reminds me, I should check out my sauerkraut in progress tonight.

  7. Eileen said, on February 4, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    Yikes! Take care of yourself–this soup seems like the perfect way to to just that. Hope you feel better soon!

  8. Joanne said, on February 5, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Oh no!! How did this happen!!?? Definitely up the anti-inflammatories…lots of turmeric and ginger. And ALL THE BOWLS of this soup!

  9. dawnhutchins said, on February 5, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Oh my gosh Janet! Two sprained knees! You poor thing! If you have any mila left from a million years ago – eat it girl! The omega3s are HUGE anti inflammatories! Feel better soon!!!

  10. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts said, on February 5, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Oh gosh, I am so sorry about your knees! That sounds very challenging. I hope they heal quickly and am glad you’ve got some great nutrition on hand to facilitate the process :)

  11. […] you for all your kind words about my knees. Thankfully I had friends and co-workers (AND ROB!) to help with my (on-going) recovery. Unlike my […]

  12. […] thing my friends and family have heckled me about recently (not my knees, thank goodness), is my purchase of 25 lbs of coconut flour last […]

  13. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on February 9, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    so sorry to hear about your knees Janet! I hope you have a super speedy recovery!!

    and you know kimchi soup is right up my alley :)

  14. Deb in Hawaii said, on February 9, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    This looks like the perfect bowl to fix you up. ;-) Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays. Take care of yourself and those knees!

  15. […] picked up our packages (the first ones, at that, bib numbers 1 and 2). It was scheduled right after I sprained both knees, so understandably, we didn’t go. However, with such a descriptive name, we figured it would […]

  16. […] 3. Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Mushrooms (Vegan Kimchi Jigae) by the Taste Space […]

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