My mom was a fantastic cook. I still remember a moment when my late grandfather was sick in the hospital and my mom was like, "Gross, I don't want him eating disgusting hospital jello." Even though we'd all thrown on our shoes, ready to go visit him, she made us wait while she whipped up a batch of soon tofu jjigae and packaged it up. When we got to the hospital, my grandpa smiled with relief and gobbled it down and complimented Mom on her stellar cooking.
Mom also made great kalbi, miyuk guk, and she made the best kimchi. But, there was also a host of dishes she never made at home that we only enjoyed when we dined out; whether it was because she couldn't be bothered to make it or she preferred it made for her, I couldn't tell you. Ahl jjigae was one of those dishes. It's so good and so simple, I'm not sure why she wouldn't make it for us at home. Luckily, I'm the boss of my own kitchen these days and I love making this stew. It's definitely not for everyone (finding an egg sac in one's dish isn't v. exciting for squeamish people) but I think it's super delicious.
1 tablespoon oil (neutral oil like canola or vegetable)
1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
¼ cup chopped kimchi
2 to 3 cups stock (fish stock, vegetable stock, chicken stock, or beef stock)
2 teaspoons bean paste (dwenjang)
2 teaspoons hot pepper paste (gochujang)
¼ lb. tofu
handful rice cakes
1 seasoned pollack roe
handful bean sprouts
1 scallion, chopped
soon tofu jjigae. Start by heating a stone pot (or heavy bottomed saucepan) over medium heat.