Do you have a Korean tofu house near you that specializes in soondubu jjigae (순두부 찌개)? Restaurants usually offer several variations (seafood, meat, vegetables, combination, etc.) on the menu. Which is your favorite variation?
This recipe is made with ripe kimchi and thinly sliced meat. Try making it at home. You would be pleasantly surprised to find out how quick and easy this hearty, flavorful stew is.
You might also like Haemul soondubu jjigae (seafood soft tofu stew) and Deulkkae soondubu jjigae (soft tofu stew with perilla seeds) which is mild and vegan.
Soondubu (also spelled sundubu) is tofu that’s not pressed, so it has high water content and an extra silky, velvety texture. I always keep a package or two in the fridge, and whip up this bubbling pot of flavorful stew when I need to create something warm and comforting quickly.
I like to use anchovy broth as a stew base, but water is totally fine. You can also use any other broth of your choice.
This recipe combines kimchi and pork, a classic match. Feel free to use beef, chicken, or seafood and switch out the pork. For best results, always use fully fermented kimchi to cook with.
Mushrooms are a good substitute if you don’t like meat. If you start with vegan kimchi, you can even make the stew vegan.
If 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. My secret ingredient!
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.
Watch how to make it
More soondubu jjigae recipe:
Kimchi Soondubu JjigaeMain Course
- 1 package 12 ounces sundubu (extra soft/silken tofu)
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced kimchi
- 3 ounces pork or beef
- 1 to 3 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes gochugaru- add more for a spicier stew
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil use a little more if using more gochugaru
- 1 cup water or anchovy broth See note
- 2 to 3 tablespoons juice from kimchi
- 1/2 teaspoon saewujeot (salted shrimp) or salt to taste
- pinch black pepper
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- 1 egg - optional
- 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.
- Stir-fry until the meat is almost cooked, 3 - 4 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.