Last week I started coming down with a good old-fashioned head cold. On Saturday I started to get really sick, despite herbs, an acupuncture treatment, and rest. I wanted soup, the most nourishing, immune-building, virus-killing soup I could come up with. There was 1/4 jar of kimchi left over from the batch I made in November, nice and sour and perfect for kimchi jigae- old kimchi soup. “Jigae” means soup or stew in Korean. This isn’t quite traditional kimchi jigae, more a WAPF/paleo version with bone broth for an extra mineral boost. I ate nothing but kimchi soup and tangerines for the next two days and by Monday I was feeling better.
Spicy Kimchi Soup
1 unsmoked, uncured ham hock, or any cut with lots of connective tissue and some meat
2 tsp salt
4 cloves of garlic
2 leeks, white part only
1 tbl coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
1 tbl honey
1 tbl toasted sesame oil
1 tbl fish sauce
6 c water
2 c old kimchi, with plenty of juices
1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
2 big handfuls bean sprouts
1 lb left over roast pork or meat of any kind, sliced thin
In a deep dutch oven or wok with a tight lid, add ham hock through water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 2 hours. Check the broth. It should be milky from dissolved collagen. This is the goodness! When the ham hock is falling apart, take it out of the broth with tongs and set aside to cool.
Add the kimchi and shiitake mushrooms to the broth. Bring to a boil again, then cover and turn down to a simmer. Cook for another hour.
Strip the meat off the ham hock and shred or chop. Add to the soup along with the green onions, bean sprouts, and roast pork. Stir and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until the green onions are wilted.
Serve extra hot in big bowls.