Kimchi Jjigae Index

As usual, the daily flames of debates, criticisms, rants keep alive in the Marmot’s hole on Korea / Korean matter.  Surprisingly it was Tteokbokki(떡볶이) that flamed the comment session today.  Yes, Tteokbokki, Tteok(,Rice cake) with hot spicy paste Gochujang (고추장), one of the most popular Korean snack dish(먹거리). The linked article was about the spicy “Tteokbokki” gaining its popularity among New Yorkers followed by other spicy Korean dishes. The thread also kindly compared how much need to be paid for a plate of Tteokbokki. That   

“In Korea, a serving of tteokbokki will cost between 1,000-2,000 won (about $2), but in New York, you’re looking at $6-19.95.”

 This line reminded me an interesting article from local Korean newspaper in recycled box.  A week old article wrote, original articles copied from overseas Korean newspaper(The Dongpo News,재외동포신문), about the interesting results from the price of a Kimchi Jjigae in different parts of the world.


Not the Big Mac Index but the Kimchi Jjigae Index(김치찌개지수).   

The Dongpo News started its research on the price of Kimchi Jjigae around the world back in 2004. This year’s result, the Kimchi Jjigae Index, concluded from the pricing comparison in 62 cities around the world.  The standard price of Kimchi Jjigae was set at 5000 won (approx. $5.50) as indexed as 100.  


So, You need to pay as high as $32 in Zurich, Switzerland or you could enjoy Kimchi Jjigae as low as $2 US in Kunming (昆明), China. Zurich got 620 index points and Kunming got 40 points. If you go to Berlin, it costs 12 Euro ($17) and 15Euro ($22) in Paris or in Amsterdam.

KJI, of course the Kimchi Jjigae Index not the dear Leader KJI, ranged from 350 to 620 in Europe.

You could enjoy Kimchi Jjigae less than $4 in anywhere China where Miyazaki (宮崎市), Japan scored parity with Seoul. In Moscow, you need to pay $12 (220 KJI) and it cost $3.50 in Bangkok with 64 KJI.  In this part of the world, Kimchi Jjigae priced at $13 in Washington DC, $10 in New York, $9 in Miami, $6.99 in L.A., and $7~$8 here in Vancouver. North American KJI ranges from 150 to 220. 

Kimchi Jjigae priced less than $11 in 45 cities out of 64 cities. It priced at $7.50 ~ $8.50 in average in the globe. The article points that the price dropped by 30% in Japan and North American cities caused by growing Korean population and the Korean wave (한류). It also claims that the Kimchi Jjigae Index, KJI, shows similar pattern as the Big Mac Index.


The Article also briefly states about the Soju index, indeed.


SOJU! You need to save some bucks in Frankfurt to drink a bottle of Soju; it’s a shocking $27. It’s $3.47 in Kunming.  I’m Kunming!!!. Soju costs $11 in global average.  So, you could drink a bottle of Soju with Kimchi Jjigae around $20. Of course taste will vary in different cities.

For your tip, here is one of the best Kimchi Jjigae restaurants in Seoul that I recommend to anyone who ask for the best Kimchi Jjigae. It is located near by Sejong Center, GwangHwaMoon.

In fact, it’s called, GwangHwaMoon House (광화문집).  


The restaurant serves the finest taste of Kimchi Jjigae if you don’t mind pieces of chunky pork belly. A plate of rolled egg fries (Gaeran Mari(계란말이)makes good combination of menu. But a bowl of rice does not come with Kimchi Jjigae. That’s right, you need to pay extra for it!

 Oh! This week’s TGIF song, I picked Koong Pak Life(쿵팍 Life) By JK Kim Dong Uk ft Leo Kekoa – TGIF!!


16 Responses to “Kimchi Jjigae Index”

  1. The Marmot’s Hole » $32 for a bowl of jjigae in Zurich? Says:

    […] Screw the Big Mac Index — over at I Dream Therefore I Am, JiMong gives us the prices of kimchi jjigae and soju in various cities around the world. […]

  2. Iceberg Says:

    Gettin’ jjigae wid it. Good work, JiMong.

    I’d never pay $27 for a bottle of soju. I have a hard time justifying paying 1000 won for a bottle. Unless, of course, I chase each shot with a bottle of beer.

  3. Sidney Says:


    재미있는보고인데, 고마워요. 근데, 난 옛날 한국에 많이 다녀 왔던 미국놈인데, 언제나 한국음식을 그립게 생각 하는데요. 국경을 곳 건너 있는 도시 벨링함에서 살고 있지만, 밴쿠바시
    부근에는 맛이 있는 김치찌개 먹을수 있는 식당이 어딘지 알려 주시지 않겠읍니까? 씨돈


    Very interesting reportage. Thanks! By the way, I am an American who spent a lot of time in Korea many decades ago and always am hungry for good Korean food. I live right across the border from you in Bellingham. Can you tell me any really good place to eat kimchi jjigae in the Vancouver area??


  4. London Korean Links / Koreans masquerading as Japanese (and vice versa) Says:

    […] has been compiling an international Kimchi chigae index for the past few years: read about it at Hojupjimong Post a comment — Trackback URI RSS 2.0 feed for these comments This entry (permalink) was […]

  5. JiMong Says:


    Me neither but I start to appreciate every single drop of Soju from a Soju Jan after I moved in here. One-shot is too luxurious way of Soju drinking that I’m saving for my next visit to Seoul.

    Sideny 씨돈씨
    Thank you for visiting my site. The taste can’t be comared to the one in the post nor to the homemade kimchi Jjigae, but I know one good restaurant, they serve very good Jjigae. I will email you the information.

  6. Surabaya Johnny Says:

    I imagine some day I’ll have to pay twenty bucks for a bottle of soju – but not today. I’m in Seoul!

  7. lookingreflection Says:

    Hello Jimong, it’s been a while.

    Very interesting blog again with Kimchee Jigae Index. I just cooked one for myself today. 🙂 Luckily, I had a good kimchee that was kind of old in my refrigerator. It is such a comfort food after long days of work and eating out.

    I will definitely go check out that Gwang Hwa Mun restaurant since it looks like where I stay in Seoul in wallking distance. Also, I began to drink “처음처럼” brand soju since I came to Korea this year. Now, other brands of soju taste funny to me. People do like to drink so much and so fast here – I still have a hard time to cope with.

  8. JiMong Says:

    Enjoy while you have more buying power, Surabaya!

    Hi YH,
    How goes? How’s 가을 like in Seoul? It must be beautiful around 광화문.
    Yes, I like 처음처럼 too although totally depends on indirect import supply. (like 아는이들이 한국에서 가지고오는것;-)) Korean do want to get drunk fast it also caused by one-shot culture (Soju, beer, whisky, 폭탄주..any kind of drink). But I also heard it’s getting less favorable way of social drinking among young people. So I think you would be find^^ But still you could go for 해장국 or good kimchi Jjigae afterwards, that’s one of thing that I miss most. Definitely, try out 광화문집. Kimchi Jjigae taste so good! Let me know your rating that place afterwards!

  9. paka Says:

    forget about the kimchi jjigae at $27.00. the fat that some people would pay about $20.00 for ddokbokki is outrageous! anyway, the next time i’m back home. i’ll bring over some soju for you. =)

  10. Jon Allen Says:

    I lived in Zurich for 6 years and never knew there was a Korean restarant there!

  11. JiMong Says:

    Thank you Paka and I will be more than happy to make Kimchi Jjigae Anjoo for your Soju. 😉

    Jon /
    really? Did you also try a Japanese restaurant too? I also found that many restaurants serve Korean and Japanese dishes together in their menu here in Vancouver as well as some European cities that I visited.

  12. musicfrommyseoul Says:

    Oh Kimchi Jiggae!! My utlimate satisfaction in Korea! It’s almost like a drug!! But seriously… it’s just kimchi, fat pork and tofu……. how on earth could it ever be so expensive!?

    And soju? It tastes like rubbing alcohol! I can’t believe this!

    Really interesting data Jimong!

    And yeas, you can use the pretty lady soldier picture hahaha I got it off Google Images 😉 I thought it would make my blog entry a little more interesting!

  13. JiMong Says:

    Thanks and I will use the Pretty NK soldier picutre ^^

  14. kim Says:

    At my house kimchi jijae is free since I make it. I told my husband he would be poor if he lived in zurich since he likes to eat it every week in wintertime.

    from NYC

  15.,nauka/ksiazki,s,8515/ Says:,nauka/ksiazki,s,8515/…,i,sztuka/ksiazki,s,1391/…

  16. Pequenas anotações de viagens virtuais 23 - Uma Malla Pelo Mundo Says:

    […] …e já que o assunto é dinheiro, cada povo com seu índice monetário BigMac (Via Marmot’s […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: