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SoonDuBu Jjigae, Spicy Soft Tofu Stew
순두부 찌개

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Average: 3 (1 vote)
nut free
prep time: 
15 min
inactive time: 
0 min
cooking time: 
25 min
total time: 
40 min

Soondubu jjigae, or Spicy Soft Tofu Stew, is a delicious and hearty stew. A robust and flavorful combination of meat, seafood, vegetables and the spicy seasoning is beautifully contrasted by the softness of soondubu ("extra soft tofu"). Soondubu can easily be a complete meal when served with a bowl of rice.

Although the recipe may work with regular tofu, authentic soondubu jjigae must include extra soft tofu. You can also make variations by using different types of meat, or only seafood. You can also add kimchi for kimchi soondubu jjigae.

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12 ozTofu, Extra Soft (SoonDuBu) 순두부
2 ozBeef (cubed for stew) 국거리소고기
2 ozShrimp 새우 (optional)
2 ozClam 조개살 (optional)
2 ozSquid 오징어 (optional)
½ Onion (Medium) 양파
½ Zucchini, Korean (Grey Squash) 애호박
Green Onion 파
Green Chili Pepper 풋고추
Red Chili Pepper 붉은 고추 (optional)
1 tbsGarlic (minced) 다진 마늘
3 tbsGochugaru, Korean Hot Pepper Flakes 고추가루
2 tbsSesame Oil 참기름
1½ tspSalt 소금
pinch Black Pepper 후추
1½ cups  Water 물
10 Anchovy (dried) 멸치
Egg 계란 (optional)
1 ozEnochi Mushroom 팽이버섯 (optional)

Optional Ingredients and Substitutions
Shrimp, Squid, Clam: You can make with just beef if you don't like seafood. You should increase the amount of beef for richer broth, or use a can of beef stock on top of beef cubes.
Red and Green Chili Pepper: Although these add a nice kick to the stew and serve as a beautiful garnish, you can get away with leaving them out.
Enochi Mushroom: nice to have as a garnish but not necessary.
Egg: can be omitted.

Good to know
If you use beef stock or anchovy stock instead of water, it will be even better.

More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comments section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.

Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.

1. Wash clams

If you have live clams, leave them in salt water (1 tbs of coarse salt + 4 cups of water) for 2-4 hours in a dark place, so that they spit out sand. Then, rinse and drain before cooking. If you are using frozen clams, you can use them as they are. Alternatively, you can thaw them in salt water, wash and drain (if you are worried about cleanliness.

image: nopic250.png

Live clams,

  • in salt water
  • in the dark image: clock.png 240 min

Wash & drain

2. Cut ingredients

Dice vegetables and cut beef into small pieces. Chop 1 green onion, 1 green chili pepper, 1 red chili pepper

image: STTFPK02.JPG


  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 50g beef


  • 1 green onions
  • 1 green chili pepper
  • 1 red chili pepper

3. Cook beef

Preheat a pot on low heat for a minute. Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, 50g of beef and 3 tablespoons of gochugaru (red chili flakes) and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes. (If you want medium spiciness, use 2 tbs of red chili flakes instead.)

image: STTFPK03.JPG

preheat a pot

Low Heat image: lowheat.png image: clock.png 1 min


  • 2tbs sesame oil
  • 50g beef
  • 3 tbs red chili flakes

cook Med Heat image: medheat.png image: clock.png 2 min

4. Cook vegetables

Add onion and zucchini and season with ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook for 3 minutes. If vegetables stick to the bottom, add a little bit of sesame oil or water.

image: STTFPK04.JPG


  • ¼ onion
  • ¼ zucchini


  • ½ teaspoon salt

Cook image: clock.png 3 min

5. Add water

Add 1½ cups of water (for a richer broth, add 10 anchovies in a net to the water or use beef stock instead) and 1 tablespoon of garlic. Bring to boil on high heat.

image: STTFPK05.JPG


  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 tbs garlic
  • 10 anchovies in a net (optional)

Bring to boil

High Heat image: highheat.png

6. Add shrimp and squid

Add 50g shrimp and 50 g of squid. Boil with lid for 5 minutes on high heat.

image: STTFPK06.JPG


  • 50g shrimp
  • 50g squid

Boil with lid

High Heat image: highheat.png image: clock.png 5 min

7. Add clams

If you want to use a stone bowl to serve, wet and preheat a stone bowl on low heat for a couple of minutes. Transfer everything into a stone bowl and place on high heat. (*You can cook in a stone bowl from the beginning but this way the rim of the bowl doesn’t get messy.) Taste and season. If it is too salty, add some water. If it’s not salty enough, add more salt. Add 5-10 live clams with shells or 50g of frozen clams (optional).

image: STTFPK07.JPG

Transfer into a stone bowl

Taste & season

Add clams (optional)

8. Add tofu

Add 1 pack (about 350g) of extra soft tofu. Cook for 5-10 minutes on high heat or until clams and tofu are cooked. Try not to stir too much at this point as tofu is very delicate. If you are using live clams, they are fully cooked when they open up. If you used anchovies, remove the anchovy net.

image: STTFPK08.JPG


  • 350g (1 pack) extra soft tofu

Boil with lid

High Heat image: highheat.png image: clock.png 7 min

Remove anchovy net

9. Serve and garnish

Add a pinch of black pepper. Garnish with 30g of Enochi mushrooms(optional), chopped green onions, red and green chili peppers(optional) on top.

image: STTFPK09.JPG


  • a pinch black pepper

Top with

  • 30g enochi mushrooms (optional)
  • chopped green peppers (optional)
  • chopped red chili peppers (optional)
  • chopped green chili peppers

10. Add an egg

Crack an egg on top just before eating. Enjoy.

image: STTFPK10.JPG

Add an egg (optional)



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