Sundubu Jjigae (Korean Soft Tofu Stew)

This sundubu jjigae recipe is sponsored by Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that keep this blog going.

Korean soft tofu stew with seafood

Take your taste buds to Korea with sundubu jjigae, a delightfully spicy and rich soft tofu stew that will bring you comfort and warmth in every bowl! {Gluten-Free}

My husband and I are big fans of Korean cuisine, and one of our favorite dishes is sundubu jjigae. It’s a Korean soft tofu stew that’s a bit spicy in the most delightful way. The tofu used is a soft uncurdled form that yields the silkiest texture, and the stew has a bold red color offset by the tofu, seafood, zucchini, and enoki mushrooms. And yes, it has kimchi in it too, and it’s topped with a raw egg for good measure.

Why this version

Traditionally, sundubu jjigae uses anchovy stock. It can be a bit challenging to find dried anchovies to make the stock. And since I don’t often use dried anchovies in my cooking routine, I decided to create the broth base from a combination of dried shiitake mushrooms and fish sauce. It was very simple to prepare and tasted just as great as the traditional anchovy broth.

If you order sundubu jjigae in a restaurant, you usually have the option to choose your protein. Things like chicken, pork, beef, and seafood are available to you, but I used the most popular option – pork, with added seafood – to make the soup extra scrumptious. You can use any other proteins you desire, though – it’s a flexible recipe that you’re going to love.

Korean soft tofu stew bubbling hot

Ingredients

What type of tofu to use

One of the most important things, though, is the tofu. To make the most authentic tasting sundubu jjigae, you need to use the uncurdled tofu, and not just any kind. It’s even softer than silken tofu. This tofu usually comes in tubes, but you will also find it in plastic boxes (just like regular tofu). It may say “soon-tofu” on the package. 

You will probably need to take a trip to the Korean market for the tofu. If you can’t find it, silken tofu will work, but the texture will be different.

Sundubu jjigae with seafood

Add an egg on top

I mentioned a raw egg on top too, didn’t I? Don’t be alarmed! You add a raw egg yolk right at the end of the recipe. The hot broth will lightly cook the egg. When you stir it into your stew, it will thicken up the broth and make the flavor irresistible.

It’s so important to choose high quality eggs for this step because they’ll be just slightly cooked. That’s why I use Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs. They’re free-range, USDA Certified Organic (which means no GMOs or pesticides), and the hens are never given no antibiotics or hormones. You can truly taste the difference in these indulgent eggs with creamy and beautiful yolks. They’re good for you and the environment too, plus if you love eggs, the difference in taste is amazing when you go with organic eggs.

I love eggs so much that I must reveal my guilty secret…I tend to add 2 eggs into my sundubu-jjigae – I stir one into the soup to thicken it up, then I add another on top just to enjoy it with the stew. Because it makes it so good and to me, it tastes better than at a restaurant 🙂

Sundubu jjigae

Gochugaru and spice level

To make an authentic tasting sundubu jjigae, you will need to use Korean chili powder, or Gochugaru. It’s a finely ground chili powder that has the right spice level to make this dish. Using 3 tablespoons of chili powder in one pot might sound like a lot, but trust me, the finished dish is a bit spicy, but not as spicy as you’re thinking. You can purchase gochugaru at Korean grocery stores, H Mart, or on Amazon.

If you cannot handle the spiciness, you can use paprika to replace the Gochugaru. 

Prep work

You will need these ingredients to make sundubu jjigae. It might look like a lot, but trust me, the cooking is super easy!

Ingredients for making Korean soft tofu stew

Cooking process

To make sundubu jjigae:

  1. Brown the pork in sesame oil
  2. Cook the gochugaru to release the fragrance
  3. Cook the onion and garlic 
  4. Add the broth with the seasonings, shiitakes, zucchini, and kimchi
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes
  6. Cut the tofu tube in half so it’s easier to add to the soup
  7. Add the tofu to the stew and gently break it into a few big pieces
  8. Add the seafood and enoki mushroom. Cook until just cooked through

Add the egg once the soup is done, and break the egg when you’re ready to eat.

Sundubu jjigae cooking step-by-step

A word on cookware

This recipe is designed for one person (or two servings, if sharing) to be made in a clay pot for a wonderful meal that’s a bit luxurious and divine, just like they do in a Korean restaurant. But if you don’t have one or if you want to make more for the rest of the family, you can scale up the recipe and use a large Dutch oven instead. It’s really flexible and once you get the hang of this soup base, you can switch things up to fit your tastes.

Korean soft tofu stew with seafood close up

Other delicious Korean recipes

If you want to recreate the authentic Korean meal at home, pair your Sundubu Jjigae with these recipes below.

Want to learn more about Chinese Cooking? Sign up my newsletter to receive the 5-Day Chinese Cooking Crash Course and recipe update!

Take your taste buds to Korea with sundubu-jjigae, a delightfully spicy tofu stew that will bring you comfort and warmth in every bowl!

Sundubu Jjigae (Korean Soft Tofu Stew)

Take your taste buds to Korea with sundubu jjigae, a delightfully spicy and rich soft tofu stew that will bring you comfort and warmth in every bowl! {Gluten-Free}
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: restaurant-style
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 1 to 2 servings
Calories: 565kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 oz (80 g) pork , cut into 1” (2.5 cm) strips (loin, tenderloin, or thin pork chop will work)
  • 3 tablespoons gochugaru Korean chili powder
  • 1/4 large yellow onion , diced
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 zucchini , cut into 1/2” (1.3 cm) thick half moon shapes
  • 1/2 cup kimchi , chopped (add any juices pressed out in the cutting process into the measuring cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tube unpressed soft tofu (12 oz/350 g) , or 3/4 block silken tofu, broken into large pieces
  • 1/4 pack (1.8 oz/50 g) enoki mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup mixed frozen seafood
  • 2 green onions , chopped, for garnish
  • 1 Pete and Gerry’s Organic Egg

Instructions

  • Add the dried shiitake mushrooms to a small bowl and pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over them. Let soak for 20 minutes while preparing the other ingredients. After the mushrooms turn tender throughout, rub them between your fingers to remove any sediment and squeeze out the excess moisture. Cut each shiitake into half moons or quarters, depending on their size, and reserve the soaking liquid.
  • Heat a small, heavy-bottomed pot or clay pot (*Footnote 1) over medium-low heat and add the sesame oil. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the pork and brown it on all sides.
  • Add the gochugaru. Cook and stir for 30 seconds.
  • Add the onion and garlic. Stir to release the fragrance, another 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Pour in the fish sauce and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the reserved shiitake liquid, being careful not to add the sediment on the bottom. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Add the shiitakes, zucchini, and kimchi. Taste the broth. Add salt to taste and stir to mix well. The broth should be a bit salty so that it stands up to the unsalted tofu.
  • Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the tofu by cutting the tube in the middle and squeezing the halves directly into the pot. Add the enoki mushrooms, seafood, and green onion. Give the soup a gentle stir, being careful not to break apart the tofu too much.
  • Bring the soup to a rolling boil. Crack the egg into the center and continue to boil until the egg is softly cooked, you can bury the egg in broth to cook it faster and more thoroughly if desired. For a more authentic experience, add just the egg yolk to the hot soup and stir it in before eating (*Footnote 2).
  • Serve hot with steamed rice as a main dish.

Notes

  1. Make sure your pot can hold at least 4 cups of water for this recipe. If you scale up the recipe, you can use a large dutch oven and serve the stew in individual bowls with an egg once cooked.
  2. Do not throw away the egg white – use it to make egg drop soup! Using more egg whites instead of whole eggs in the soup will make beautiful egg ribbons just like at a Chinese restaurant.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 565kcal | Carbohydrates: 78.6g | Protein: 27.1g | Fat: 22.1g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 1321mg | Potassium: 1267mg | Fiber: 15.1g | Sugar: 19.3g | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 6mg

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook and @peteandgerrys on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

More delicious one-pan meal recipes

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Share:
Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my New York kitchen.

FREE 5-Day Chinese Cooking Crash Course

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




3 thoughts on “Sundubu Jjigae (Korean Soft Tofu Stew)

  1. Pennie G.

    I just made this. It needed a tad more liquid so I added stock but otherwise it was pretty good. Not as pretty as yours, though!!

    Reply