Korean Soybean Stew (also known as Doenjang jjigae) is Korea’s staple soup. Virtually every Korean grows up eating it, staring as an infant. I think Doenjang jjigae should actually be up there – along with Kimchi – as Korea’s national food!
To make this soup, we will be using fermented soy-bean paste (doenjang). Korean doenjang is similar to Japanese miso, as they are both made from fermented soybeans and salt. But the two have quite different flavor profiles. Miso is much milder in taste, while Doenjang is stronger and sharper. A good analogy would be blue cheese to cheddar. But don’t let that scare you.
Deonjang is a very healthy soup. It includes tofu and various fresh vegetables. A good soup to get addicted to! I would recommend trying it out a Korean restaurant first. If you like it – you can use the recipe below to replicate that restaurant flavor at home 🙂
Note: You can also use anchovy-kelp stock instead of rice-water. Skip to step #6 if you do.
Korean Soybean Stew
Yield 2 people
Korean Soybean Stew (aka Doenjang Jjigae) is a stew that every Korean grows up eating. It is a staple soup that is eaten throughout the week.
- Rice water – 3 cups (anchovy-kelp stock ok too)
- Doenjang paste (fermented soybean paste) – 2.5 tablespoon
- Korean radish – 50 grams (daikon ok too)
- Sesame oil - 2 teaspoon
- Vegetable oil (or other neutral oil) - 1 teaspoon
- Beef (brisket is good, but any cut ok) - 60 grams
- Tofu (medium-firm) - 1/2 package
- Zucchini - 30 grams
- Onions - 1/2 a whole
- Spring onion - 30 grams
- Korean Cheongyang Chili Pepper - 1 pepper (optional, this one is spicy)
- Mild red chili pepper - 1 pepper (optional, not-spicy - just for color)
- Korean red chili flakes – 1/3 teaspoon
- Minced garlic – 1/2 teaspoon
- Scallion - Garnish (optional)
Make rice water
- Rinse out rice and save the residual water for stock (please reference video for this)
- Alternatively, you can make an anchovy-kelp broth for stock
Prep stew ingredients
- Cut tofu, Korean radish, onion, zucchini into small squares
- Cut brisket into small bite sized pieces
- Slice red and green chili and spring onion
- Place pot on high heat. Then add-in 2 teaspoon of sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
- Once oil is hot, put meat pieces in. Stir until they get a slight sear.
- Then toss in the Korean radish into the pot. Stir radish pieces until they become slightly translucent (~about 2 minutes)
- Then place-in in the rice water (or anchovy broth). Wait until the pot come up to a boil again. Then dissolve the soybean paste into the stock.
- Let the soup boil for 10 minutes. Sift-off the bubbles that form on the top of the soup
- Place in all of your vegetables (except for the tofu)
- Let it boil for another 10 minutes (or until all vegetable become soft)
- Finally, put the tofu into the stew. Add minced garlic, Korean chili flakes and garnish with scallions
- Enjoy with a bowl of hot rice!
- Eat with a bowl of hot sticky rice
- You can also use an anchovy-kelp broth (instead of rice water)
- Soup will stay fresh for 1-2 days (refrigerate and then re-heat)
- Watch video below for detailed instructions