No need for a kimchi hot pot base!! With a little extra steps, you can make a surprisingly delicious miso kimchi hot pot. It's mild in flavor so those who aren't used to hot foods can eat this as well.
Separate the cabbage into core and leaves, and cut into 1 to 2 cm strips. Break the tofu into bite-size pieces, roughly shred the shimeji, and cut the chives into 7 to 8 cm pieces.
Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan. Add in kimchi and stir-fry thoroughly.
Once the kimchi is cooked through, add the pork and continue stir-frying.
This is the pork and kimchi stir-fry. Once the pork is cooked through, transfer to a clay pot.
Add 3.5 cups of water and dashi granules into the clay pot containing the pork and kimchi, and bring to a boil.
Once it starts to boil, lower the heat and dissolve the miso into the soup.
Add the core part of the cabbage, cover, and simmer over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
Once the core is cooked through, add the leaves and continue simmering for about 5 minutes.
Check the taste at this point since water starts to come out from cabbage. If it seems too watery and lacks in taste, add a bit of salt.
Add the tofu and shimeji, put the lid back on and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. I actually added some leftover leek this time.
Add the chives and lightly spoon the soup over the ingredients. Cover again and heat for about 5 minutes.
Once the chives are cooked through, it's done.
For the last bite of the meal, you can add some udon or rice porridge; either one goes well with the soup. Today, I added beaten egg over udon.
Story Behind this Recipe
An acquaintance of mine heard from his Korean friend that the key is to stir-fry the kimchi and pork with sesame oil. Keeping this in mind, I made it into an even milder kimchi hot pot by adding miso. This is my husband's favorite, and among all hot pot meals, it's served most frequently in my family. Please give it a try at least once.
The key is to have the kimchi stir-fried thoroughly with sesame oil in the beginning. When adding water, you can first pour the measured water into the container that held kimchi, and then add that into the pot. That way, you can use up the kimchi sauce without letting it go to waste. If you like it hotter, you can also add some gochujang (Korean hot chili paste) paste.