*This recipe was done in our first years of filming. We have made an updated version of it - smaller portion size and tweaks in the water amount. Tastes even better - click here!*
Soondubu - it's my go-to spicy stew that I eat when I return back to Seoul from trips abroad.
One sip of Soondubu and my body knows its back home ... time to de-compress!
Soondubu is a very famous spicy Korean stew that's made with freshly curdled soft tofu, vegetables, and your choice of protein.
There are seafoods versions (that includes oysters, clams and shrimp) or meat versions (which include beef or pork).
As soon as the dish arrives, locals like to crack a raw egg into the soup. Then bury it under the piping-hot tofu curdles. The egg will poach itself as you eat.
Then halfway into the meal, you can scoop out the perfectly poached egg and break it gently over white rice.
Sounds great no?
Soondubu is not made too frequently at home. That's because its cumbersome to make!
But today, I'll show you an amazing way to make it under 10 minutes! We'll shorten the time by making a Soondubu paste.
Drop a block of this special paste into a ceramic pot, along with some water. Then add-in your fresh veggies, protein and tofu.
Bring it up to boil... and that's it!
It's an incredible recipe for meal prepping. Or for making quick savory Korean dinners after work.
Key taste variable: Gochugaru
Gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes) is the key ingredient to get the spice level and flavor just right. It provides that smoky spice which is hard to replicate with other chili peppers.
The gochugaru we use on our videos is made from 100% Korea-grown chili peppers.
(Many Korean marts in the US or abroad sell gochugaru that are sourced from China - which have lower quality and taste).
You can find the brand we use here on Gochujar.
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 any recipe. That's because it has a coarser texture and prevents over salting.
In contrast, dining salt (or table salt) has very fine grains - which makes things taste salty real quick. That's why it's typically 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 too salty!
The listed recipe will make enough paste for you to make at least 16+ individual servings of Soondubu. It seems like alot but it gets used quickly - especially if you're cooking family portions.
However, if you're living by yourself, I would recommend reducing the listed ingredients for the Soondubu paste by half. This should be enough.
If you go to a Korean mart, look for "Soondubu" tofu. It's usually sold in a cylindrical tube. Or you can show them this text ("순두부 두부 찾고있습니다"). It means: "I'm looking for tofu to make Soondubu."
*Recipe Tweak: In our video tutorial, we used ⅓ cup of water to mix with the paste. But we have since tweaked the recipe to ½ cup of water. Make sure to give the broth a taste before dropping-in the egg. If it's slightly spicy or salty, add in a 1 or 2 dashes of water!*
Alrighty, enjoy Neighbors! Tag us on @IG (efutureneighbor) if you try it out. We love seeing pics of you cooking! 😊
-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 🙉:
Soondubu - Spicy Korean Tofu Stew
- 1 cup Onion
- ½ cup Spring onion
- ½ cup Minced pork
- 1 Cup Gochugaru (Korean Red Chili Flakes)
- ¼ Cup Kosher Salt (Don't use table salt)
- 3 Tablespoons Sugar
- ⅓ Cup Minced garlic
- ⅓ Cup Soy sauce
- 4 Tablespoons Vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons Soondubu paste (shown above)
- ½ Cup Water
- 350 grams Silken Tofu (1 Tube)
- 1 Shiitake mushroom
- 3-4 Clams
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tablespoon Spring onion
- Few Shakes Black pepper
- Dice Onions (1 cup) and Spring Onion (½ cup) into small pieces. Give your Minced Meat (½ cup) one more chop.
- Place each ingredient listed under "Soondubu Paste" onto small dishes (except for the vegetable and sesame oil).
- Mix Vegetable Oil (4 Tablespoons) and Sesame Oil (1 Tablespoons) together in a separate dish. Set aside.
- Pour the Mixed Oil (5 Tablespoons) into a large frying pan. Once oil is hot, place in Spring Onions (½ cup).
- When spring onions are sizzling, place in Minced Pork (½ cup). Then add in chopped Onions (1 cup). Cook onions until they turn translucent and there is little left-over liquid in the pan.
- Then add in Minced Garlic (⅓ cup) and mix well. Then add in Gochugaru (1 cup). Lower heat.
- Add in Salt (¼ cup) and Sugar (3 Tablespoons). Then add in Soy Sauce (⅓ cup). Give final mix and set the paste aside in a bowl to cool-off.
- Pour Water (½ cup) and Soondubu Paste (2 Tablespoons) into pot. Thoroughly mix-in the paste as the water comes to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, add in the mushrooms and seafood (or other meats). Add in 1 tube of silken tofu (350 grams). Break tofu up with a spoon. Let it cook for one minute.
- Now... important! Give it taste. If it taste slightly too spicy (or salty) for your palate... feel free to add 1-2 dashes of water.
- Now drop in 1 egg. Garnish with spring onion slices and black pepper. Eat with rice!
- After you drop-in the paste, make sure to use a spoon to dissolve it into the boiling water. After you place in the tofu, break it into smaller pieces with your spoon so that all of the tofu curds can get flavored in the sauce. If you are vegetarian, replace the minced pork (in the paste) with diced button mushrooms.
- Place left-over paste in a few ziploc bags. Use your hands to flatten out the paste. Then store in the freezer. Will keep for 2-3 months.
- See video below for more details
Megan Riley says
Hey Daniel!! Thank you for this awesome recipe. I made some last night and had leftovers as I doubled the recipe. How long would this soup last in the fridge?
Derrellyn Yates says
Thank you!!! It is perfect. I keep a batch in my refrigerator constantly.
Frank F says
We made this tonight and the family loved it. I had thought it would be much more involved with multiple hours of simmering but bam, it was done in about 40 mins from start to finish and it was delicious.
This recipe is way too salty. Almost inedible for me.
i would have to agree with Jenni, its wayyyyy too salty for me as well and had to throw it out.
This recipe is a paste so it will be naturally very salty on its own. But mix it into the water as indicated in the other stew recipe, it's perfect!
I have made a batch of this and keep it in the freezer. It is NOT salty. You MUST use Kosher salt (ie. Diamond Crystal or Mortons).....table salt will ruin it and you have to watch the measurements. Highly recommend this recipe.....making two bowls tonight ......with clams and some shrimp and.....a bit of lobster stock!!
Aidan Grey says
This is awesome! I love sundubu, and its my regular choice when out at a Korean restaurant. I've made it at home, but it was always bit long, and always make way too much (same with tteokbokki). This will help me get the serving size just right!
Excited to try this recipe! This is my favorite dish at my local Korean restaurant, but I am concerned about how spicy it will be. My red chili flakes are very spicy, and I typically order my stew at about medium/mild. How spicy does this paste come out to? should I cut the amount of chili flakes for the paste, or the amount of paste I put into my broth?