Soondubu jjigae, or Spicy Soft Tofu Stew, is a delicious and hearty stew. A robust and flavorful combination of meat (or 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 seafood. Meat can be easily replaced with shiitake mushroom for vegan soondubu. You can also add kimchi for kimchi soondubu jjigae.
A little bit about Korean stews vs soups:
‘Stews’ are supposed to be a salty dish eaten little by little with rice. It’s usually placed in the middle of the table and shared with a few people. ‘Soups’ are more of an individual dish that is less salty and usually larger in quantity, and served in individual bowls.
Soondubu Jjigae (Spicy Soft Tofu Stew)
- 2 TBS Vegetable Oil
- 1 TBS Sesame Oil
- 1/3 cup Green onion chopped
- 60 g Pork belly or shiitake mushroom for vegan, or your choice of meat
- 2 tsp Garlic minced
- 1/2 cup Onion chopped
- 2 tsp Gochugaru coarse
- 1 tsp Brown sugar
- 1 TBS Soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp Gochujang
- 1 cup Beef broth or any broth you like
- 1 package Soon tofu silken tofu / extra soft tofu (11 oz)
- 2 TBS Green onion chopped
- 1 tad Salt Taste and add to your preference, it can vary depending on the brand of the stock. If you are making your own stock, you will have to add a lot more salt
- 1 Chili pepper optional, thinly sliced
- 1 Egg optional, add when you eat
- On LOW heat cook chopped green onions in vegetable and sesame oil for 2 min. Let the aroma of the green onions come out.
- Add meat (or mushroom for vegan) and cook for 2 min.
- Add onion and garlic and cook for 1 min.
- Add gochugaru, brown sugar and cook for a minute or two. So far everything should be on low heat.
- Add soy sauce and gochujang and cook for 1 min.
- Add beef broth (or veg. broth for vegan). Do not add more than 1 cup per 11 oz tofu. If you want, you can always add a little bit more but if you put too much from the beginning, it’s over.
- Close the lid and bring to boil on high heat.
- Add soon tofu. Do not break up too much.
- Boil on med-high heat with a lid on for a few min.
- Add chopped green onion and sliced chill peppers just before eating. Fresh green onion at the end is actually important for a good flavor. Chili pepper is optional but it’s really good.
- Add an egg just before eating. (Egg is optional. Add only if you like it.)