Today I want to share a popular Korean stew – Sundubu Jjigae (순두부 찌개, Korean spicy soft tofu stew).
I think Sundubu Jjigae is one of the top 3 sought after Korean stews, followed by Kimchi Jjigae and Doenjang Jjigae. (“Jjigae” means stew in Korean.) If you haven’t checked out these two recipes yet, you should! They are two of my most popular recipes as well.
What is Sundubu Jjigae (Korean spicy soft tofu stew, 해물 순두부 찌개)?
Sundubu Jjigae is Korean stew made with soft (uncurdled) tofu. As you can imagine, the tofu texture is silky soft and because of that, this tofu is also a popular choice as a baby food.
I also want to highlight that there are two different types of soft tofu available at a Korean grocery store. The most common one is packaged in a long cylinder shape plastic bag and the other one is packaged in a regular tofu plastic container. I personally prefer to work with the cylinder shape soft tofu because I think it’s easier and quicker to add to the soup/stew.
There are also a few different ways to make Sundubu Jjigae but by far my favourite is the seafood version (Haemul Sundubu Jjigae, 해물 순두부 찌개) because it gives a light and extra refreshing taste. (I will cover other variations some other time!)
In general, the stew is spicy. It can potentially make you sneeze while you’re cooking and may even tickle your throat. But nonetheless, it’s refreshing, delicious and very comforting at the same time!
I hope you give this a try soon!
Ingredients for 2 to 3 servings
- 350g/12 ounces Korean soft tofu (sundubu)
- 110g/3.9 ounces littleneck clams, cleaned
- 3 medium banana prawns (80g/2.8 ounces), head, shells and guts removed
- 100g/3.5 ounces enoki mushrooms, bottom 4-5 cm stem removed and rinsed briefly in cold running water
- 45g/1.6 ounces oyster mushrooms or shimeji mushrooms, rinsed and separated by hand
- 2 small shiitake mushrooms (20g/ 0.7 ounces), cleaned, stem removed and thinly sliced
- (optional) 1 egg
- 1 stalk of spring onion (10g/0.4 ounces), diagonally thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups dried kelp and anchovy stock
- 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil – I used rice bran oil
- 1 Tbsp Korean chilli flakes (gochugaru)
- 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt (or more to taste)
- A few sprinkles of ground black pepper
- A dash (about 1/2 tsp) of sesame oil
* 1 Tbsp = 15 ml
** If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my essential Korean cooking ingredients list!
How to Make Sundubu Jjigae
1. Put the cooking oil, chili flakes, garlic and soy sauce into a pot. Heat the pot on the stove on medium low heat and stir the spices well for 1 min. Make sure not to burn the chilli powder.
2. Add the clams and shrimps and stir quickly to coat them with the chilli sauce.
3. Add the dried kelp and anchovy stock and boil it on medium to medium-high heat until it starts to boil rapidly (2 to 3 mins). Add the salt and stir.
4. Add the tofu, in big chunks, mushrooms, and egg and cook them for another 1 to 2 mins.
- Make sure your pot is large enough to hold all the ingredients listed above, otherwise it can boil over. As an indicator, 24cm/9.4 inch pot holds the ingredients quite comfortably (no boiling over!).
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Sundubu Jjigae (Korean Spicy Soft Tofu Stew)
- 350 g Korean soft tofu (12 ounces)
- 110 g littleneck clams (3.9 ounces), cleaned
- 3 banana prawns (80g / 2.8 ounces), head, shells and guts removed
- 100 g enoki mushrooms (3.5 ounces), bottom 4-5 cm stem removed and rinsed briefly in cold running water
- 45 g oyster mushrooms or shimeji mushrooms (1.6 ounces), rinsed and separated by hand
- 2 shiitake mushrooms (20g / 0.7 ounces), cleaned, stem removed and thinly sliced
- 1 egg , optional
- 1 stalk green onion (10g /0.4 ounces), diagonally thinly sliced
- Put the cooking oil, chili flakes, garlic and soy sauce into a pot. Heat the pot on the stove on medium low heat and stir the spices well for 1 min. Make sure not to burn the chilli powder.
- Add the clams and shrimps and stir quickly to coat them with the chilli sauce.
- Add the dried kelp and anchovy stock and boil it on medium to medium-high heat until it starts to boil rapidly (2 to 3 mins). Add the salt and stir.
- Add the tofu, in big chunks, mushrooms, and egg and cook them for another 1 to 2 mins.
- Top up with the green onion, black pepper and sesame oil. Serve hot with Korean rice and side dishes (banchan).