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Korean Soft Tofu Stew aka Sundubu Jigae
Jigae is a Korean stew. Sundubu refers to an extra soft tofu. Therefore Sundubu Jigae is a soft tofu stew. Which is absolutely delicious by the way!
In addition to the tofu this stew usually includes some vegetables, gochujang (Korean red pepper paste), and gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder). You can also include some seafood or a bit of meat (usually beef or pork).
It is traditionally cooked directly in the serving vessel, called a dolsot. The dolsot is usually porcelain or ceramic, or made out of stone. It’s so lovely to dine on this dish from the dolsot, which keeps your food piping hot!
My Version of Korean Soft Tofu Stew
Allow me to introduce my version of Korean Soft Tofu Stew, which varies a tad bit from the traditional but is still a stew you will looove. I promise!
The variations I am referring to include the following:
I used a soft tofu from a square package instead of the “extra soft” tofu (called “soon”) which typically comes in a tube (see below). If you can find the “extra soft” please by all means use that, however the soft tofu in the square package worked just fine for me!
Another variation is that I ended up cooking my jigae in a regular saucepan and transferred it to my dolsot.
The last variation I made was instead of the traditional anchovy and kelp broth, I only used anchovies to make my broth.
The Ingredients You Will Need For This Dish
The ingredients you will need to make this Korean Soft Tofu Stew include:
- Dried anchovies (to make the anchovy broth)
- Soft tofu in the square package (or “soon” tofu in the tube if you can acquire it)
- Pork Sausage
- Sesame Oil
- Shiitake mushrooms (dried and rehydrated)
- Green onions
- Soy Sauce
- Fish Sauce
You should be able to find all of these ingredients at your local Asian/Korean market. I have also linked to Amazon for some of the items for convenience sake.
Let’s Make Some Korean Soft Tofu Jigae!!
Let’s do this! The hardest part is making the anchovy broth (and that’s not that hard to do)! Other than that it’s a bit of slice and dice and easy rehydrating of the mushrooms and soon you will be able to enjoy a piping hot bowl of jigae!
First Step – Anchovy Broth
First step is to make the anchovy broth. To do this, you will remove the head and guts (black color) from the dried anchovies. Then place in a mesh cloth, strainer, or anchovy strainer (as seen below) and add to water to make the broth.
After simmering for about 30 minutes you get a lovely anchovy broth!
Second Step – Stir Fry Garlic, Gochugaru, and Sausage
The second step is to simply stir fry the sliced pork sausage, garlic, and gochugaru in some olive oil to combine.
Third Step – Add Broth and Other Ingredients
The third step is to add the anchovy broth, onions, rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, gochugaru and gochujang to the saucepan. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil and then simmer for a few minutes.
Step Four (Final Step!) – Add Tofu, Seasonings, Green Onions, and Egg!
Now you are at your last step! Simply break up the tofu into bite sized pieces and add to your saucepan (or dolsot). At this point add sugar and a little bit of soy sauce and fish sauce, taste, and adjust further if necessary by adding more fish sauce, sesame oil, or gochugaru if you prefer it a bit more spicy. Now bring it to the boil once more…
If you have cooked this in a dolsot you are ready to add your green onions and raw egg! If the jigae is in a saucepan, then transfer it to your bowl or dolsot then add your garnish and egg. Please don’t worry…the heat of the dish will cook your egg. What I did is break up the egg and stir it into the jigae. 🙂
What To Serve With Korean Soft Tofu Stew
Serve this jigae with some rice and banchan. Banchan are the delish side dishes that accompany rice served at Korean meals. Some recommendations for banchan are:
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How To Make Korean Soft Tofu Stew!
- Dolsot (Korean hotpot bowl optional but nice!)
- Cheesecloth (optional for straining anchovy broth)
- 15 large dried anchovies heads and guts removed
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup pork sausage cut into small pieces
- 16 oz soft tofu you can sub 1 tube of soon tofu
- 1/2 onion (large) cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes/powder) you can vary the amount according to how spicy you like it!
- 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) you can vary the amount according to how spicy you like it!
- 1/4 cup dried Shiitake mushrooms rehydrate these before adding to the jigae (add hot water to them and let sit for a few minutes to rehydrate)
- 1 green onion sliced for garnish
- 1 ts soy sauce
- 1 ts sugar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 eggs 1 for each person
- Prepare your anchovies by removing the heads and the guts (black parts). Add the prepared anchovies to your anchovy strainer or a mesh bag. Add to the 4 cups of water in a large saucepan, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes. When finished simmering, remove the strainer/bag from the broth. If you have cheesecloth, it's very nice to strain any stray bits out so you have a clear broth. You can also take these out with a spoon.
- Heat up sesame oil in a large saucepan (or your dolsot) on medium high. Add the garlic, sausage, and gochugaru and stir for about a minute to combine all the ingredients.
- Add the anchovy broth along with the onions, rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, gochugaru and gochujang to the saucepan. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Break up the tofu into bite sized pieces and add to your saucepan (or dolsot). At this point add sugar and a little bit of soy sauce and fish sauce, taste, and adjust further if necessary by adding more fish sauce, sesame oil, or gochugaru if you prefer it a bit more spicy. Now bring it to the boil once more.
- If you have cooked this in a dolsot you are ready to add your green onions and raw egg! If the jigae is in a saucepan, then transfer it to your bowls or dolsot then add your garnish and egg. The heat of the dish will cook your egg when you break it and stir it into your hot stew. PLEASE NOTE: This will be enough for 2 large servings or 3 servings.