Sundubu - Spicy Korean Soft Tofu Stew.
It's has to be my favorite dish to eat when I’m craving that Korean spice!
At Incheon International Airport – you’ll see many Koreans that have returned home from abroad, lining up to order a sizzling pot of Soondubu - in hopes to get their digestion back on track (lol).
That’s because Sundubu has all of the flavors that Koreans love…
The smoky-spicy kick of gochugaru chili flakes. The soft texture of silky tofu. And the umami-filled seafood broth.
Today, I’ll show you an incredible way to make this delicious stew in less than 5 minutes! No shortcuts on flavor either - tastes on par with any restaurant-quality Sundubu.
To make it under 5 minutes, we'll make Sundubu Paste.
Once the paste is made, all you need is water, a tube of fresh tofu and some seafood if you'd like. 5 minutes to boil and you’re done!
It’s perfect for meal-prepping or for quick weekday meals after work.
What I love about this paste – beyond the taste – is that it doesn’t turn solid when you store in the freezer. This means no thawing time!
So ya'll ready to make this paste? 🙋♂️
NOTE: We’ve made the same recipe a few years ago. But we had readers tell us that the batch was too big! So this time around, we reduced the paste by half and added a few minor tweaks. Go with this version!
First and most important - do not use dining salt! For all recipes on future dish, we use kosher salt (see image below).
In fact, Kosher salt is the default salt you should be using for cooking. That's because it has a coarser texture and prevents you from over-salting.
In contrast, dining salt (or table salt) has very fine-sized grains - which makes things taste salty with just a small amount. That's why it's set on the dining table ... maybe the only time to use it is to salt scrambled eggs?
I repeat again, don't use dining salt for this recipe - or the ratio will be off and taste overly salty!
Now, the first tweak: When making the stew, use ½ cup of water when mixing the 2 Tablespoons of the Sundubu paste.
Second, make sure you’re using at least 350 grams of silken tofu (400 grams is okay too!) At Korean markets, this seems to be the standard size. If you use a smaller size, the overall taste of the stew may be slightly salty or spicy.
Finally, make sure to give the stew a quick taste before finishing. If it tastes salty or spicy for your palate, add in a few dashes of water.
Enjoy Neighbors and share some of the paste with your friends or family... they'll love it!
How to store? Keep it in the freezer and it should last 4-6 weeks. Now Smile 😄
Tag us on IG if you make the dish - we love waking up and flipping through your pictures in the morning!
Note: If you're interested in getting a Ttukbaegi pot (Korean Earthenware Pot), here's the one we use. These traditional pot retain heat very well and make for a beautiful presentation! (Note: We're using the 3-4 person sized Ttukbaegi)
-Daniel out 🕺
P.s. If you're cooking (or eating alone) at home - don't get too lonely! Play our latest discussions in the background and enjoy some food-for-thought 🙉:
- ½ Cup Diced Onion
- ¼ Cup Diced Spring Onion
- ¼ Cup Minced Pork (Ok to use Minced Beef or Minced Mushroom)
- ½ Cup Gochugaru
- 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt (don't use dining salt)
- 1.5 Tablespoons Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
- 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- ½ Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- ½ Cup Water
- 2 Tablespoons Sundubu Paste (Made from above)
- 1 Whole Shiitake Mushroom
- 4-5 Clams (Optional)
- 350 grams of Silken Tofu (use at least 350 grams!)
- 1 Egg
- Few slices of Spring Onion (Optional, Garnish)
- Few cracks of Black pepper (Optional, Garnish)
Prep Ingredients for Soondubu Paste
- Before we start stir-frying, we should prep all of the ingredients first. Dice Onion into small pieces (½ Cup). Cut Spring Onion into thin slices (¼ cup). Set aside Minced Pork (¼ cup).
- Then let's measure out the other ingredients: Vegetable Oil (2 Tablespoons) and Sesame Oil (½ Tablespoon) and set aside. Then measure out Minced Garlic (3 Tablespoons), Soy Sauce (3 Tablespoons), Sugar (1.5 Tablespoons), Salt (2 Tablespoons) and Gochugaru (½ Cup)
Make Soondubu Paste
- Take out a wok or large frying pan and place it on medium-high heat. Mix the two oils - Vegetable Oil (2 Tablespoons) & Sesame Oil (½ Tablespoon) - and add it to the frying pan. Once the oil is hot, add in the Spring Onion Slices (¼ cup) and it around.
- Once the spring onion starts sizzling in the oil, add in the Minced Pork (¼ cup). Stir-fry it around and make sure that the pieces don't clump. Then add-in the Diced Onion (½ cup). Stir everything together until the onions start to turn translucent.
- Now add in the Minced Garlic (3 Tablespoons). Stir that in as well. Next, add-in the Korean Gochugaru Chili Flakes (½ Cup) and stir that in too. The chili flakes will absorb all of the moisture in the pan. Reduce the heat to a medium-low now.
- Now, add in the Sugar (1.5 Tablespoons) and Salt (2 Tablespoons). Mix that in.
- Then add in the Soy Sauce (3 Tablespoons). Give everything a final mix. Turn off the heat.
- Place the paste in a bowl and pan it out. Let it rest for 15 minutes so it can cool off.
- Then carefully place the paste in a plastic bag. Then place into another Ziploc Bag.
- Store the paste in the freezer - it will last 4-6 weeks! Share some of the paste with friends or family.
Make Sundubu Stew
- Cut Shiitake Mushroom into thin slices. Cut Spring Onion stalk into thin slices as well.
- Now take out a pot (or Korean ttukbaegi pot). Add in Water (½ Cup) and Sundubu Paste (2 Tablespoons).
- Place it on a medium-high heat. Once the pot starts to boil, add in the Shiitake Mushroom Slices. Stir-it into the mixture with a spoon.
- (Optional: If you're including seafood, add the Clams and/or Shrimp now)
- Next, carefully add in the Silken Tofu (350 grams). Use your spoon and gently break the larger curds into the broth.
- Then carefully crack an Egg into the stew. Garnish with a small handful of Spring Onion Slices. Garnish with Black Pepper (few cracks).
- Finally, serve with a bowl of hot rice! Bon Appetit!