In a large pot, boil the pork riblets in water with bay leaves and/or a few garlic pieces. Boil for 25~30 minutes; remove foam and scum that floats to the top with a ladle or spoon. Or at the end of boiling, drain entire broth and bay leaves; refill with 8 cups of fresh water. Remove pork to cool and cut into individual pieces; return pork to the large pot.
Bring water to a boil adding chopped kimchi and remaining ingredients, save the scallions and soybean sprouts. Cook for another 20 minutes and let sit on low to medium setting.
After washing and removing dirty end tips, add soybean sprouts and cover with lid; cook for about 10 minutes on medium setting.
Plate into soup bowls and garnish with pepper slices. Serve hot with a bowl of rice and other banchan (side dishes).
*Kimchi jjigae is very versatile with many variations and substitutions; common meat/protein substitutes include chicken (which tastes surprisingly good), canned tuna, bacon, seafood, and even beef slices. Don't be surprised to see many Koreans eating this soup with kimchi as the sole ingredient and a bowl of rice for a quick and efficient meal. In our household, we usually make a large batch that provide a few extra meals.
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