‘Twas the Korean Night Before Christmas – Kimchee Jji-gae

christmas eve kimchee jjigae
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and sisters and spouses
Have gone to have dinner at their In-Laws’ houses.

Dad’s overseas because Grandma needs care;
Mom’s alone in OC so I went down there.

What should we eat for our Christmas Eve dinner?
Something with spice is surely the winner

And mamma in her golf shirt said let’s go out
But the only thing open is Denny’s, no doubt.

When in front of the fridge there arose such a clatter
I asked my Mom, “Mom, what is the matter?”

“The fridge is empty, no leftovers to re-heat!”
She looked the freezer for something else to eat.

“Everything’s frozen like new-fallen snow
By the time it defrosts it’ll be tomorrow!”

When, what do my wondering eyes should see,
An enormous jar of overripe kimchee!

We rinsed the kimchee otherwise it’d be too hot.
We chopped it and added it to a large pot.

Others might make jji-gae with bacon or Spam;
It’s all about pork ribs in the Delicious fam.

Now, garlic! now, ginger! now, salt and black pepper!
On, scallions! on onions! on Korean red pepper!

Bring to a simmer, meat from the bones fall.
Now dash of soy! dash of soy! dash of soy all!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 eric yang December 29, 2005 at 10:15 pm

Honestly, that picture alone has put a fire like hankering in me for ji-gae…


2 craig December 29, 2005 at 10:15 pm

I have friends who purposely keep their few remaining kimjee particles in the jar with the liquid to get jiggee with it. Nothing like it on a cold winter’s night in the L.A.


3 Eddie Lin December 30, 2005 at 12:16 am

Excellent, Sarah! When is the animated version coming out?

Ahem, “new-fallen snow”… “be tomorrow!” If there ever was a time to invoke poetic license, right. ; )


4 sarah January 3, 2006 at 2:08 am

we’re lucky if our kimchee lasts long enough to get to the jji=gae point, so no, yes, I have to purposely set aside a little jar specifically for future jjigae use.

eddie: hey if “one fish, two fish” is poetry, so is this! lol!


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