Hot and Sour Kimchi and Quinoa Stew

Hot & Sour Kimchi and Quinoa Stew / Eat Your Greens

Since I started working from home, I’ve developed a minor obsession with lunches that can be pulled together in 15 minutes or less. We don’t usually keep cold cuts on hand, so that usually means some sort of canned fish salad (better than it sounds) or a mishmash of whatever odds and ends I have in the fridge.

Sometimes the mishmash is legit. This was one of those times.

Hot & Sour Kimchi and Quinoa Stew / Eat Your Greens

Mix one aging package of Trader Joe’s kimchi — it’s pretty good! — with a container of leftover cooked quinoa, a handful of chopped kale and a swirl of Korean red pepper paste, and cover it all with some water. That’s it: a spicy, sour, warming stew perfect for a rainy day lunch.

A poached egg or some cubes of tofu would make this a more filling option for dinner. Whatever you choose, you’re better off eating this particular stew in the privacy of your own home. Kimchi has the power to make enemies in work kitchens. Of course, if you and your co-workers are already enemies, by all means — fire the next shot with this kimchi-based soup. Or bring a canned fish salad. People love that.

Hot & Sour Kimchi and Quinoa Stew / Eat Your Greens

Hot and Sour Kimchi and Quinoa Stew

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

{ Ingredients }

3 cups water
1 cup cabbage kimchi, roughly chopped
1 cup greens (such as kale, chard or spinach), chopped
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1-2 teaspoons gochujang (Korean red pepper paste), depending on spice preference
2 cups cooked quinoa

{ Directions }

In a medium pot, combine the water, kimchi, greens, soy sauce, ginger and gochujang and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa and bring back to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

• If you are using softer greens like baby spinach, add them during the last minute of cooking instead of at the beginning.

• Not all brands of kimchi are vegan/vegetarian, but the Trader Joe's brand is.

• Use tamari to make this recipe gluten-free.



  1. #
    Jess — February 11, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Anjali – love the pictures in this post (as always), but the flavors in this stew are so intriguing, I can’t wait to try it. I can get my hands on all sorts of kimchi here, but I have to admit that I’m intimidated to use it. This is calling my name.

    • Anjali — February 11th, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Thanks, Jess! Kimchi is definitely worth a try and cooking it is a good way to start. (It’s a little mellower.) kimchi fried rice is another fave.

  2. #
    lynn @ the actor's diet — February 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

    sounds delicious – i’m always looking for a recipe to use up my korean red pepper paste…

    p.s. i used the same/similar bowl for my grapes last night!

    • Anjali — February 11th, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Yes, I’ve been making an effort to use red pepper paste wherever I can! I forget how good it is.

      And funny about the matching bowls! I can’t remember where I got mine, but I use it all the time.

  3. #
    Rebecca — February 12, 2013 at 12:30 am

    This looks good! I have some kimchi left from a batch I made back in October. I think this would be a perfect use for it. I’m not a quinoa fan though so, I’ll just use rice. Yum!

  4. #
    em — February 13, 2013 at 8:56 am

    just found your lovely blog via the kitchn (so jealous that you get to write for them!). looking forward to reading more!

    i’m a dietitian living in the mitten state-i work in peds clinical but have had some community experience, too.

  5. #
    janet @ the taste space — February 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    What a neat idea – using kimchi in a soup with quinoa and greens, to boot. I prefer a ginger-heavy kimchi which should work too… better get cracking ont eh kimchi first, though. 🙂

  6. #
    Jacqui — February 18, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I work from home as well and this sounds exactly like the kind of lunch I would pull together! And I’ve recently become obsessed with that kimchi from Trader Joe’s, it’s so good!

  7. #
    Sue | My Korean Kitchen — March 7, 2013 at 2:04 am

    I landed on your blog while I was browsing the web design portfolio of Purr. Love the look of your blog by the way! And, yes, Kimchi is such a convenient ingredients when you are in a rush or feeling lazy. 🙂 It’s such a versatile dish. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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