This is a very satisfying, hot, spicy soup experience. Its a quick version, inspired by more complex soups and stews like kimchi-jjigae. I really adore kimchi, which is a traditional Korean side dish often made by fermenting napa cabbage or other vegetables.
I find this soup is especially good if one is feeling under the weather.
Couple of slices of a fatty ham, cubed (optional, remove if you wish to make the soup vegetarian)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB grated ginger (optional, can be strong. leave out if you like)
2 TBs soy sauce
1 TSP toasted sesame oil
1 TSP fish sauce/Worcestershire
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups kimchi, (a bit older is fine) squeeze out juice and chop
1 TB red pepper flakes
1 TB gochujang
1 cup kimchi juice or how ever much you can squeeze out of the kimchi, even if its not a full cup.
8 cups water/ broth
1 c chopped scallions
Chop the ham and marinate for a few mins with the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and fish sauce.
Sauté ham mixture in a medium/large pot cook for a few mins. Add onion and cook for a few.
Turn heat to medium high and add the kimchi and gochujang. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
Add the kimchi juice and the water or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Serve in big bowls with scallions on top. I also like some thin sliced daikon floated on top, and to add a squeeze of lime.