Kimchi Soondubu Jjigae (Soft Tofu Stew)

This warming and comforting jjigae (Korean stew) is made with extra soft tofu (soondubu), thinly sliced meat, kimchi and anchovy broth.  It really takes less than 30 minutes to prepare this flavor packed Korean tofu stew!a spoon being dipped into a steaming pot of Korean Sundubu jjigae - a Korean silken tofu recipe

 

Today, I’m posting another soondubu jjigae (순두부 찌개), Korean soft tofu stew. This time, it’s made with soondubu (also spelled sundubu, aka silken tofu), ripe kimchi and thinly sliced meat. Do you have a Korean tofu house near you that specializes in soondubu jjigae? Restaurants usually offer several variations (seafood, meat, vegetables, combination, etc.) on the menu. Which is your favorite variation? This kimchi soondubu jjigae is very popular. Try making it at home.

For the best results, always use fully fermented kimchi to cook withIf you have some salted shrimp (saewujeot, 새우젓) leftover from making kimchi, use a little to season the stew instead of using salt. It adds a nice layer to the flavor of the soft tofu stew.

sundubu (Korean silken tofu)

I like to use anchovy broth as a stew base, which is typical, but you can use any other broth or water.

This recipe combines kimchi and pork, a classic match. Feel free to use beef, chicken, or seafood and switch out the pork. Mushrooms are a good substitute if you don’t like meat. If you start with vegan kimchi, you can even make the stew vegan. 

Soondubu jjigae is often served with a raw egg to be cracked in to the boiling hot stew at the table. The egg adds richness to the stew, but you don’t need to add an egg if you don’t want to. It’s a matter of preference.  

Korean silken tofu stew with a raw egg on top

I always keep a package or two of soondubu in the fridge, and whip up this bubbling pot of flavorful jjigae when I need to create something warm and comforting quickly.    

More soondubu jjigae recipe:

Haemul soondubu jjigae (seafood soft tofu stew)
Deulkkae soondubu jjigae (soft tofu stew with perilla seeds) – vegan

Have you tried this Korean tofu stew recipe? Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars or with a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! I’ll also be very happy to see you on PinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Bubbling hot kimchi soondubu stew

4.39 from 34 votes
Bubbling hot kimchi soondubu stew
Kimchi Soondubu Jjigae
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
This warming and comforting soondubu jjigae is made with extra soft tofu, soondubu, thinly sliced meat, kimchi and anchovy broth. It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare this bubbling pot of stew packed with robust flavors!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: kimchi, Korean stew, pork, silken tofu, sundubu
Servings: 2
Author: Hyosun
Ingredients
  • 1 package 12 ounces sundubu (extra soft/silken tofu)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced kimchi
  • 3 ounces pork or beef
  • 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes gochugaru- add more for a spicier stew
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil use a little more if using more gochugaru
  • 1 cup water or anchovy broth
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons juice from kimchi
  • 1/2 teaspoon saewujeot salted shrimp or salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 scallion finely chopped
  • 1 egg optional
Instructions
  1. Cut the meat and kimchi into small thin strips. Add the kimchi, meat, red chili pepper flakes, garlic and sesame oil to a small pot, and place it over medium heat.

    Kimchi soondubu ingredients in the pot
  2. Stir-fry until the meat is almost cooked, 3 - 4 minutes.

  3. Pour in water (or broth) and the juice from the kimchi. Bring it to a boil, and continue to boil for 3 - 4 minutes. Skim off the scum.


    Korean soft tofu stew broth
  4. Add the soft tofu in big chunks. Stir in the salted shrimp or salt to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon) and black pepper. Cook for 4 -5 minutes. Add the chopped scallion just before removing the pot from the heat. If desired, crack an egg into the stew to serve while it’s still boiling hot.

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Comments

  1. I am surprised that no one has commented yet…..Thank you so much for this great recipe. It was easy to make and so tasty. Made it twice within a week.
    Definitely approved by hubby. Thanks again.

    • Thank you, Jennifer! That’s great to hear. It means a lot to me that you took the time to let me know how the recipe worked for you. Hope there will be many more to follow you. Cheers!

  2. I would like to make a version with mushroom in place of the meat like you suggested. But what type of mushroom is best?

    • I rehydrated some dried shiitake mushrooms and it turned out delicious.

      Thanks for the recipe, so good! I love the photos.

  3. I make soondubu jjigae.. I used beef lion can put baby octopus.shrimp. clam sheell

  4. Can’t wait to try this.

  5. I wanted to eat this today, and I made it instead of going to a restaurant like usual and it is GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you!

  6. Thank you for this recipe 🙂

  7. Hello!!

    Can I use Gochujang instead of Gochugaru? Would it affect the test of the jiggae?

    Thank you!

    • Yes it will. Gochujang is salty and sweet whereas gochugaru is just spicy. A little bit of gochujang is okay, but too much will make soup thick, salty and slightly sweet.

  8. Song Neul Ra says

    I wanted this today and found your recipe. I modified the recipe, leaving out the meat and using organic tempeh. it turned out fabulously. Big hit in my house!!!

  9. Thank you! I have loved soon dubu ever since I had it living in Seoul. This recipe was perfect and not intimidating, like some Korean food recipes.

  10. Thank you so much for this. I went to Koreatown in my area just to have it and now I can make it at home.

  11. I used firm tofu instead, I thought I bought soft tofu. Will the firm tofu effect the taste?

    • For this stew, it’s actually extra soft tofu (aka silken tofu). It’s a little different concept because this is to be made with silky soft tofu, but I am sure it’s still delicious.

  12. Thank you so much for this recipe. I will surprise my wife with this when she gets home.

  13. Haysook Choi says

    Thank you for clear and easy to understand korean recipes. I can now make proper korean dishes without guss work! Soondubu stew is my very favorite dish. Thank you so much!
    Haysook.

  14. I’ve tried some of your recipes. They turned out very good! Love your blog! Thank you!

  15. Thanks for the recipe; this is one of my absolute favourite Korean dishes and I can’t get it here in the UK. I will definitely be trying out your recipe; I just hope I can get hold of the ingredients. I loved your bibimbap recipe too and hope you don’t mind that I posted a link to it on my vegetarian food blog!

  16. Cherryl Vinluan says

    I will be honest, I am not a good cook,but I nailed it, just by following the recipe! I added some clams to it. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  17. ANNYEOUNGHASEYO! I am grateful for this recipe! However, I am sad to say I am allergic to Sesame Oil and Sesame Seeds. What can I use instead?

  18. Thank you for generously sharing your recipes with us all, Hyosun. You are such an angel.
    Today I am trying your crockpot pork belly recipe ~~^^
    정말 감사합니다 *^^*

  19. Hi Hyosun,
    Could I kindly enquire whether you have the receipe for Korean steamed egg?
    If so, would be really appreciative and greatful if you could kindly share it with us.
    Sincere Thanks,
    Janice

  20. catherine jhung says

    i love your website. Please make all recipes PRINTable. thank you

  21. I just noticed that whenever I made this (and that’s about five times by now) I measured the gochugaru using tablespoons instead of teaspoons… they turn out spicy (and awesome!) enough for my family’s tastes, but does it alter the flavor so much that it becomes less authentic? Thank you!

    • Wow I am sure it was spicy! Glad to hear your family still enjoyed it. No, it doesn’t alter the flavor other than the spiciness overpowering the soup.

  22. Thank you so much for posting these delish looking recipes, I just found your page, but I’m so looking forward to trying each one of them, thank you.

  23. Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s just like when I lived in Guri. There was a galbi restaurant in the market and this takes me back there.
    I used portobello mushroom slices and some thinly sliced yellow squash and zucchini. Wonderful!! 감사합니다!!

  24. I made and ate my first soondubu jjigae today and I liked it! Thanks for the recipe
    Do you have a facebook page?
    https://www.facebook.com/gangnamfoodstation05/

  25. Meetow Kim says

    I want to report that this recipe is low carb/sugar diet friendly. Many Soup recipes like this use Gochujang, which is high in carbs and Corn Syrup.

    Also, a good substitute for the anchovy broth is Dashi. A Japanese fish broth. You can get bouillon type granules for it in the Asian markets and some non-Asian markets. Its much easier than making it from scratch and tastes good in recipes. I have it on hand for Miso Soup.

    Also, you can get anchovy paste. Choose a good one, they can vary in quality. Just squirt some in with water in the soup, taste and adjust as needed!

    Thank you for this recipe. I was becoming disillusioned trying to find my favorite Asian foods on a law carb/sugar diet

  26. Eugene Sullivan says

    Thank you for a great recipe; is this a family recipe? I mean its that good. When I was living in Korea, I had food like this from the homes and people who treated me to all the wonderful cuisine of the country. This recipe brought me back.

  27. I didn’t realize how easy this recipes is. I didn’t have gochugaru so I use regular red pepper flake instead and it still make out Delicious! Thank you!

  28. Samantha says

    Your recipes are my favorite of all the Korean recipe blogs. You keep it traditional and simple just like my Mom’s. Whenever I want to make Korean food, this is the blog I go to. Thank you for sharing your recipes


  29. hi! i really enjoyed this recipe and plan on making it soon once i have all the ingredients. i have a question though – once made, can this recipe be frozen? i am unsure due to the addition of tofu.


  30. Hi! I so appreciate your easy to follow recipes — I don’t live near family nor are there any good Korean restaurants in my area so my husband and kids rely heavily on me to provide Korean food for them!

    Is there a way to make this jjigae non-spicy for little kids? I know the tofu restaurants have non-spicy versions of these but I haven’t been able to figure out how to get it flavorful if I leave out the kimchi and gochugaru 🙁

  31. Hi! Thank you for sharing this recipe! I tried it and unfortunately it didn’t turn out as flavorful as I would hope. I’m wondering where I went wrong. I followed the recipe but since I didn’t have gochugaru I used the red chili flakes from a Costco packet and did 2/3’s cup of thinly sliced kimchi instead. I also used water instead of anchovy broth. Does that anchovy broth make a huge difference?

    It smelled delicious when I was cooking the meat but then after a certain point (especially after adding the water it didn’t smell as great).

    Help please 🙂

    • First of all, that’s a lot of kimchi for one package of soondubu. The tofu should be the star of the dish, not kimchi. The combination of gochugaru and sesame oil, stir-fried with fatty pork, is an important step for flavors. When gochugaru is cooked in oil, it creates a chili infused oil flavor, which is delicious. Was kimchi ripe? Another important point. Anchovy broth makes a noticeable difference for the depth of flavor, but if all the other ingredients are used, the stew is still delicious without anchovy broth. I make this stew with water sometimes. Hope this helps.

  32. Tutu Lorna Poe says


    Delicious! Delicious! Soondubu my favorite! Thank you for sharing. Do you have a recipes for O’jingopokum? Another favorite.

  33. I love this soup, sometimes I make this 2 to 3x a week.

  34. i always crave this whenever it starts to get really cold, I’m excited to try this recipe in particular! thank you!

  35. Hello! I am going to make this recipe in the next few days and I have a question: does the raw egg get stirred into the stew at the end so that it blends into the broth? Or do I end up with a cooked egg on top? The recipe says it’s for two people, so I want to know whether I need to add a second egg ( if it remains whole on top). Thank you!

    • Yes it blends into the stew, making the stew a bit richer and adding another layer of flavor. But, it’s optional. This is two small servings. I wouldn’t add 2 eggs. Hope this helps!

      • Thank you for clarifying that the egg should be mixed into the stew. I ended up doubling the recipe so we’d have leftovers (but did not add two eggs). It was so good, and so easy!


  36. Fantastic recipe. Easy to follow and adapt as needed. This is one of our favorites and my husband adores. Very easy, quick, comforting and delicious. Healthy as well. My favorite combination

  37. Trying recipe now, but curious what is the name of the pot you are cooking with looks like one that can transfer to table

  38. I made this for dinner this evening and it was yummy!


  39. So easy and delicious! I used oyster and enoki mushrooms instead of beef, and used dashi broth+fish sauce for the broth- worked great! Also doubled the broth amount for extra liquid… had it two nights in a row and can’t wait to have it again. Thanks for posting this easy recipe!!

  40. Stephanie Po says

    Hi! So glad i came across your recipe as i’ve been craving soon tofu for weeks! Looking forward to trying this on the weekend. May I ask, what’s the best pork cut to use for this? Thanks!

  41. Ronald Levy says


    Excellent recipe. Had this in restaurant, now to make my own


  42. I’ve made this jjigae so many times, it’s delicious and I find myself craving it lately!! I always leave out the meat to make it vegetarian, but I don’t think the flavor suffers at all. Thank you for the great & really easy recipe!

  43. I am so thrilled that I found your blog! My boyfriend is Korean and I wanted to try cooking Korean for him, but I haven’t been able to find any recipes I liked. I will definitely try this one out!!!


  44. I just thought I’d leave a message here saying how much I love your recipes and let you know that they’ve reached as far as Denmark (if not before, at least now).
    This was the first korean dish I made (and the one that got my boyfriend to let me try other ones!) and it is the absolute best on a dreary day with cold air and heavy rain.
    Thank you, not only for the wonderful recipes, but also for the stories that come with them and the way they’re written. It’s easy to follow despite having no pre-existing knowledge of korean cuisine and it’s given me the confidence to try more new wonderful dishes!

    • Aww thank you, Marina! I’m so happy to hear you’re making and enjoying Korean dishes all the way from Denmark! By the way, I’ll be visiting Copenhagen as part of my travel to Scandinavia this summer. I can’t wait!

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