Korean Soybean Paste Stew (Doenjang jjigae)

This soup-like stew served at the center of the Korean dining table, mainly as a sharing dish between 2 or more people. Doenjang-jjigae is served alongside steamed rice and other banchan (side-dishes) consisting of meat, salads, kimchi, or vegetables. Banchan are set in the middle of the table to be shared. At the center of the table is the secondary main course, such as galbi or bulgogi and a shared pot of jjigae. Ask any Korean about their family memories and they will inevitably wax-on poetically about bowls of grandmother’s special jjigae and kimchi.

Doenjang Jjigae - Soybean Paste Tofu Stew

Doenjang Jjigae – Soybean Paste Tofu Stew

Other than having a few special ingredients on hand, making this Korean dinner table classic is quick and easy. Asian comfort food at its best.
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Course: Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: Korean
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large saucepan, small bowl


  • 2 cups Rice starch water (see Notes)
  • 6 Dried anchovies
  • 1 3-inch Dried sea kelp or seaweed
  • tbsp Doenjang (Korean soybean paste)
  • 4 oz Firm tofu, cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • ½ medium Onion, diced
  • ½ medium Zucchini, diced
  • 1 tsp Chili flakes
  • 1 clove Garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium Fresh chili pepper, sliced
  • 1 handful Enoki mushrooms or any other, sliced
  • 1 stalk Scallion, cut into ¼ slices


  • Heat large saucepan over medium-high heat. Toast the anchovies for 1 minute then add rice starch water and kelp. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 more minutes. Remove and discard the anchovies and kelp.
    Put soybean paste in a small bowl and add ½ cup of the boiling broth. Mash it all together with a fork and then whisk it into the broth. Add onion, zucchini, chili flakes. Bring to a boil, then add tofu, garlic, and chili. Cook for another 2 minutes. Turn heat off.
    Place enoki mushrooms at the bottom of a serving bowl and pour hot jjigae over, top with scallions and serve with white rice.


  • To make 2 cups of rice starch water, rinse the rice you’ll be making white rice once and drain. Add a half cup of water and swirl around for 30 seconds. Add 2 more cups and swirl to make water milky white. Drain over a bowl to use for the soup.


Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 703mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg

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