Mackerel Pike Kimchi Stew

Mackerel Pike Kimchi JjigaeOne of my favorite way of consuming overly fermented cabbage kimchi would be…,

Of course, it will be making into kimchi stew.

There are many things you can throw in this total comfort stew of Korea; pork, anchovies, tuna, ham, tofu, fish cakes, rice cakes. And Richard Parker, too, if you dare.

Today, I am trowing in a fish called “Mackerel pike”.

Mr. Pike is related to Mackerel family, but only smaller. He happens to be my favorite kind of canned form of fish. You can eat the BONES!!! – a wonderful supplement of natural non-dairy calcium in a very affordable price. And I promise I won’t let you down with this Mackerel Pike Kimchi Stew (꽁치김치찌개,  kkonchi kimchi jjigae). This is my favorite type of kimchi stew and I hope it can be yours, too.


Mackerel PikeDrain your pikes but reserve about 1/4 cup of its juice.


Get your onion ready, chop your garlic and ginger, too.


In a small bowl, combine the reserved canned juice with Korean chili flakes, garlic, ginger, and Korean soy sauce for soup.


You gotta add kimchi juice when you make kimchi stew. Add the juice to the chili garlic mix in the bowl and combine well.


Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a pot and fry your truly sour kimchi for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Ooooh, the aroma! There is something about kimchi being fried. The salivation!

Hint: If your kimchi is too sour, add 1 tsp of sugar. This will neutralize the sourness a bit.


Add the fish and the onions on top.


Drizzle the sauce evenly over to our ocean friend.


Then pour some water to barely cover everything.


Boil first, then cover and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until your kimchi is soft.


Then it will look like this.

Season with more Korean soy sauce for soup if you need.


I like to throw some chilies on my stew but it is optional choice. If you add the chilies, cook 1-2 more minutes so that the flavor will mingle all together.


Bring your creation close to the light. Take a shot of your not-so-hard work of art.

Then, bring a bowl of rice piled high and dig in! You don’t need anything else, honestly. Well, maybe a tall glass of water?


I am so, so, soooo sorry that I am eating this all by myself.  However, I am leaving the recipe below just for you.  Some says that sharing is the icing on the cake. For me, it is the kimchi on the rice. :)

The world seems much better place when we share what we love.

Hope you would give this a try!






Mackerel Pike Kimchi Stew

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: about 4

Mackerel Pike Kimchi Stew


  • 1 can of Mackerel Pike, reserve 1/4 cup of juice and drain the rest
  • 2 cups diced kimchi
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1 tablespoon grape seed or canola oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon Korean chili flakes
  • 1-2 tablespoon Korean say sauce for soup
  • 3 tablespoon kimchi juice
  • 1-1/2 cup water, or more
  • 1 of each green and red chilies, sliced, optional
  • 1 green onion, chopped for ganish


  1. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of canned mackerel juice with garlic, ginger, Korean chili flakes, and soy sauce. Add the kimchi juice and combine well. Set aside.
  2. Heat grape seed oil in a shallow pot over medium heat and fry kimchi for 5 minutes until they get somewhat soft. (Add 1 teaspoon sugar if your kimchi is too sour)
  3. Add canned fish and onion to the pot and drizzle the chili garlic sauce over. Pour water to barely over everything. You might nee a little more.
  4. Bring to boil and cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Taste the stew and season more with soy sauce if you need.
  5. Add the chilies, if using, and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Garnish with green onion. Serve hot with rice.

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  1. 1

    bindc says

    When I make kimchi chigae, I actually only ever use kkongchi. I like the pork and beef versions that other members of my family make but I only ever make it with kkongchi. Always have a can or two in the pantry. Just in case.

    Thanks for the great recipes! I’ve been reading for a while but have never commented before. Cheers!

  2. 2

    alice says

    This is how mom used to make kimchi jjigae when I was a kid. She always used the mackerel pike and never used pork in our stew. I loved it! Thanks for sharing this!

  3. 3

    향 목 says

    My umma always makes kimchi jigae with mackerel pike as well! (^ ^) My umma does cook the jigae differently though. XD

  4. 5

    amy says

    This is going to be my first attempt at Kimchi stew! Excited! However, I can’t find mackrel pike canned here in Nova Scotia. Not even at my local Korean & asian grocery stores. Would sardines be an okay substitute? Or what about locally smoked mackrel? Not sure what the canned makrel pike tastes like so I dunno what a decent substitute would be. But I’ve got a good two cups of my homemade kimchi that is about 3 weeks old now and can’t wait to chuck it into a stew! Thanks for the wonderful recipe and pictures!

    • 6

      Holly says

      Hi Amy
      Sardines would be wonderful to make kimchi stew with. Smoked mackerels will bring a little different flavor due to the smoked flavor. Try with sardines and let me know how you like it. Thanks!

  5. 9

    Dave says

    Hi, I just made your recipe using my home made kim chi and a can of mackerel pike from the local Korean store – it was AMAZING! The juice tasted like hot and sour soup and the other flavors were superb – thanks for this recipe!

  6. 11

    Macklyn Ansam says

    thanks for genuinely recipes but some ingredients I’m cannot find in my country. I love your kimchee very much look like very delicious, TQVM

  7. 12


    Thank you for this recipe Holly! This is my favorite type of kimchee stew as well, so I was excited to come upon your website. I wish you many blessings! ^_^

  8. 13

    Qwerty says

    What kind of red and green chili did you use? Are they Korean peppers? I can’t find them in the supermarket. 😐

    • 14

      Holly says

      They are called finger long chilies. It common chili that you can see in most Asian countries. You can use any red or green chilies as long as they are not overly spicy.

  9. 15

    tunai ansam says

    I’m very interested to learn how make kimchi but I never try. I always used red chili instead of green but love both chili very much.

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