This warm and comforting Sundubu Jjigae, or soft tofu stew, is a popular Korean dish loaded with velvety soft tofu, vegetables, seafood, all blanketed in a rich and flavorful broth. Make this comforting pot of soup in under 20 minutes with this easy and delicious recipe!
What is Sundubu Jjigae?
Sundubu Jjigae (순두부찌개), also known as soon tofu stew, is a spicy Korean stew made with silky soft uncurdled tofu. Originating in South Korea, this dish has caught global attention around the world and has now easily become one of the most popular items in Korean restaurants.
This dish is one of my absolute favorite comfort dishes, as the warm and flavorful soup served in a sizzling hot pot, is always at the center of my cravings. This dish is made in many variations of spicy level and ingredients, which can include either meat, vegetables, and/or seafood.
Out of all variations, my personal favorite is the moderately spiced seafood kind, as it perfectly complements the base of the anchovy-kelp broth (one that is used as a base in most Korean soups) and has an incredibly flavorful taste from the range of seafood that is used to make the stew.
What’s needed to make Sundubu Jjigae?
Contrary to popular belief, Sundubu Jjigae is delightfully easy to make. With a handful of ingredients, you can make this delicious stew in just under 20 minutes, in which most of that time is used to create the anchovy-kelp broth. Here is the list of ingredients you will need:
- Sundubu, or Korean soon tofu. You should be able to find a package of this in the Korean market. Just be sure to use the Korean kind that comes in a cylinder packaging like this that has an extra soft consistency and a shape that is easy to handle for making stews.
- Dried anchovies and kelp to create the base stock
- These two ingredients are referenced in most of my Korean soup recipes and are the ultimate foundation of Korean cooking. I suggest purchasing these ingredients in bulk to be used in your Korean dishes, as they are dry ingredients that will last over a long period of time.
- You can also purchase commercially packaged anchovy broth packets, which is a convenient option for those looking to ease up their cooking process.
- Frozen seafood mix and large fully-intact shrimps
- Feel free to be creative with this. If you prefer to use meats or more vegetables instead, it will work as well.
- Zucchini, onion, and mushrooms (enoki, shiitake, or even common mushrooms will work)
- Green onion, and Korean hot chili pepper for the extra kick
- Seasoning ingredients include:
- Cooking oil, sesame oil, garlic, onion, and Korean red chili powder (Gochugaru) to make the chili oil base
- Soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and salt to taste
- Freshly cracked egg to top off the stew
As long as you have these ingredients ready to go, the process is absolutely seamless. It is a two-step procedure of making the base stock (which is as easy as making tea) and cooking the stew by incorporating the ingredients above.
One thing I would recommend to make this dish (and other Korean stews) is to invest in a Korean stone bowl like this one here, as it is the ideal method of serving Korean stews in that it maintains the sizzling hot temperature for the duration of your meal. The same pot is used for serving bibimbap, and other hot dishes to retain the heat while serving.
I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious recipe, and please leave me a comment below or message me on Instagram if you have any questions. Happy cooking!
Other Korean recipes you may like:
- Korean Marinated Eggs (Mayak Eggs)
- Korean Egg Drop Sandwich
- Kimchi Udon Noodle Stir Fry
- Tteokbokki (Korean Spicy Rice Cakes)
- Korean Glass Noodle Stir-Fry (Japchae)
- Korean Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon)
Sundubu Jjigae (Seafood Soon Tofu Stew)
- 1 package sundubu (soon tofu) sold in cylinder packaging
- 300 ml water which will yield about 200ml of stock
- 8 dried anchovies
- 1 piece dried kelp (dashima) about 2" X 2" in size
Chili Oil Base
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/4 onion diced in small chunks
- 1/2 green onion use only the white portions at this step, as the green parts will be used to garnish the soup
- 1 tbsp Korean red chili powder (Gochugaru) adjust to your preferred spicy level
- pinch of sugar
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 70 g frozen seafood mix defrosted
- 3 fully intact large shrimp defrosted if frozen
- 1-2 mushrooms (shiitake, enoki, or common) sliced
- 1/4 zucchini diced in medium chunks
- 1 Korean chili pepper sliced, add more for extra spice
- 1/2 green onion for garnishing
- 1 large egg for the finishing touch
- To create the base stock, add water, dried anchovies, and kelp into a pot and bring to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the anchovies and kelp by using a strainer, and set aside.
- Heat sesame oil and cooking oil in a pot on medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and green onion and cook until the onion is transparent. Add Korean red chili powder, sugar, and salt, adjusting the spicy level as needed. Add oyster sauce and soy sauce, and mix well.
- Add base stock to the chili oil. Once the broth comes to a boil, add the tofu, seafood mix, and shrimp. After about a minute of boiling, add zucchini, mushroom, and Korean chili pepper.
- Simmer until the flavors have melded, about 2-3 minutes. Crack an egg into the pot, and garnish with green onion. If you are using a stone pot, you can remove it from the heat at this time. Otherwise, simmer for an extra minute or two until the whites are set. Serve with a side of freshly cooked rice and enjoy!