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How to Cook Soondubu Jjigae 순두부찌개

August 23, 2013

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Hey everyone!

I was so happy to see that you guise liked my last Korean cooking video on how to cook Jjajangmyeon. I was really worried about putting it up because I really love cooking but I know I’m not a trained chef. I just seriously love tinkering with recipes and, let’s be honest, I love eating. ^_^ So, I’m making another cooking video today on one of my favourite Korean foods, Soft Tofu Stew 순두부찌개 (soondubu jjigae).

Korean cooking is interesting in the way that it’s very taste oriented and habitual. What I mean is, most Korean people I talk to don’t have a recipe as so much a technique that they use that involves a lot of eyeballing of measurements, like “I don’t know: you just add this much until it tastes good”. So for me, once I taste a Korean dish enough, I decide on my favourite version of that dish. And there are so many flavour variations on the same dish that just the kimchi you use in this recipe will completely change the flavour of the stew depending on how long it was fermented. The goal for me is to replicate the dish that I love as authentically as possible, and in this case, I’m trying to replicate my favourite 순두부찌개 restaurant

Now before you read the recipe let me explain this post’s layout. I divided the ingredients and instructions according to how to make anchovy broth and how to make the stew recipe because some of you may not be able to get all the ingredients or you may wish to make the stew with a different type of broth. In turn, I divided the videos into two parts as well:

1) How to cook soondubu jjigae, which is the main video, and
2) How to make anchovy broth, which is the secondary video. But I’ll be referring to this video in the future if I ever make another stew, because this is the foundation for many Korean stews. Check out the video here:

If you can’t make the Korean style anchovy stock, replace it with 2 cups of stock of your choice, but – of course – know that your final product might not taste the same.

For vegetarians/vegans who may not want to cook with the dried fish stock, you can easily replace the fish with extra dried mushrooms, but it will be a more earthy tasting stew. Also, for halal/vegetarian/vegan peeps: The pork is something you can leave out. A lot of stews in Korea have fatty pieces of pork that people don’t really eat, it’s simply added for flavour. You can also leave out the clams and egg at the end!

If you don’t have a ceramic bowl, don’t fret: you can make this in a normal pot as well. And one last thing, this is usually served with steamed rice. Forward ho~

INGREDIENTS FOR ANCHOVY STOCK 멸치육수

FOR THE STOCK (You need 1 big pot + 1 soaking bowl)

SOAK IN BOWL:
10-12 anchovies
2 pieces dried kelp (dashima)
4 cups water

BOIL IN POT:
3 cups water
1 white onion
4 cloves garlic
2-3 dried shitake mushrooms(whole) or 3/4 cup chopped dried

INGREDIENTS FOR THE STEW

2 cups of anchovy stock
1 strip (approx 1/4 cup) of chopped samgyapseol (or any piece of pork that has some fat on it)
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1/4 white onion diced
1-2 TSP red pepper flakes (you can adjust it to make it less/more spicy)
1/4 zucchini (cut in half, and diced into thin moons)
100 g (approx 3/4 cup) of chopped aged kimchi (if you don’t have kimchi, use 1-2 TBSP gochujang, it’s not the same but it will add that flavour you need from the kimchi)
1/2 TSP soy sauce (add more to taste at the end)
1 bunch of enoki mushrooms (a bunch the width of a plum, sorry guise, best description I got)
1 tube soft tofu 순두부
16 short neck clams 바지락 (approx 8 per individual serving)
1 green onion stem diced

OPTIONAL: 1 spicy green pepper diced (you can leave it out if you hate spice)

Cooking Instructions

ANCHOVY STOCK

1. First, GUT THOSE ANCHOVIES like a hungry Velociraptor from Jurassic Park! Otherwise, the intestines will make your broth taste a little bitter. Dump them into a bowl with 4 cups of water + your dried sea tangle and soak for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, add 3 cups of water to a pot on the stove and dump in a whole onion, whole garlic, and whole mushrooms. Once brought to a boil, turn the heat down to a light boil and keep covered for the first 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium high and remove cover for 5 more minutes so it can reduce.

3. After the 20 minutes of stove top boiling is up, dump in the bowl of soaking anchovies + sea tangle, water and all. The water is now flavoured so DON’T THROW IT OUT! Bring it all back to a light boil and let it go for 10 more minutes without a lid.

4. Skim off any nasty foam and toss. Don’t boil for over 10 minutes or it will start to taste bitter and nasty. OHH YOU SO NASTY DASHI…MA! After 10 minutes you can taste it. It should be a light fishy flavour. Drain the broth and set aside for upcoming use!

Ps: some people keep the mushrooms. They chop them up and put them into the stew, but I personally find them overpowering.

CERAMIC POT TIME

1. Add the fatty chopped pork to a medium-high pre-heated pot. Cook for 1 minute or until lightly browned. Depending on if you need more oil, add 1 TBSP of oil and add the diced white onions + zucchini. Once softened add the kimchi + red pepper flakes and stir constantly until you can smell them in the air.

**note** We made the mistake of chopping the fatty pork up into small pieces. Make them big pieces instead, so you can easily pick them out of your stew. Our pieces were too small to fish out afterwards. Oops!

2. Add 2 cups of the stock to your hot pot. Carefully add the soft tofu and bring back to a boil. Now is a great time to taste the broth. Is it too watery? Let it boil a little longer to reduce the water. Not salty? Add a little more soy sauce. Not spicy enough? You’ll need that hot pepper for the end!

3. Once you’re happy, add the mushrooms and stir gently so the tofu doesn’t stick to the bottom. Bring back to a full boil. Boil for 3-5 minutes. The goal is to further reduce the broth since the tofu and mushrooms add more water. Korean cooking is very much a taste as you go kind of cooking, so taste it. Maybe you like it the way it is and don’t need to further boil it!

(If the broth looks too watery, let the soup boil down for 2-3 more minutes. Watery looking means the broth looks like it has a layer of clear broth, you want it to be more chunky since it is a stew not a soup, so simmer it down so there is a more tofu/veggie thickness present.)

5. Add the clams. They should open after 2-3 minutes.

6. Toss in the diced green onion + optional hot pepper. Turn off the heat, add a little drizzle of sesame oil, and crack an egg into it. TA-da! Don’t worry, the egg will cook, and you can either mix it in like scrambled eggs or let it poach whole.

OPTIONAL RECIPE GOODNESS

DECONSTRUCTED HOTDOG-TOFU STEW
Ready for me to blow your mind? Add a 1/4 cup of diced spam instead of clams. Toss in a slice of processed cheddar cheese and mix it up before adding your egg. BOOM! It is UNBELIEVABLY GOOD and yes, this concept is from one of my favourite chains in Korea, but I had to guess their secret recipe.

SEAFOOD SOONDUBU JJIGAE

Same steps as before, but toss in a 2-3 fresh shrimp – no need to peel and de-vein. In Korea we do that at the table – 4 mussels, 2-3 of those mini octopus. Booya!

EXTRA FLAVOURED BROTH
For an even deeper flavoured broth, I would also add some dried shrimp, maybe a tablespoon’s worth, to the soaking bowl with the anchovy. Also, if you have any left over broth that you won’t use right away, I recommend pouring it into ice cubes trays and freezing them. I do the same thing with pre-chopped garlic and fresh herbs that I can’t use up! Water + herbs = ice cube herb that isn’t frost bitten and is ready to be used! :D

If you have any other tips, tricks, or suggestions, please let me know! And send me pics if you cook it! I loved seeing all the tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter pics for the last recipe!

Also, if you like these videos, make sure you subscribe for more! We can teach you how to cook lots of stuff. These cooking videos are fun for us to make :D

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How to Cook Soondubu Jjigae 순두부찌개

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  1. this was serendipity! my boyfriend and i just got our chigae bowls that we ordered from korea (2 months ago!), and were saying we needed to find a good recipe to make our very first soondubu chigaes!!! this amazing video could not have come at a better time! yay! <3

    2 years ago
  2. oh, dried kelp. I kept hearing her say dried “cicadas.”

    2 years ago
  3. I’m pretty sure my favorite part of these is actually the shot of pushing the shopping cart, I dunno why but i just have to take a second to die laughing everytime i see that.

    2 years ago
  4. Guise who was that girl that slapped Martina’s bum?

    2 years ago
  5. Another question because I’m a noob-
    does it have to be cooked in a ceramic pot or could you cook it in a chili pot? Sorry if I’m bothering anyone….

    2 years ago
  6. What do you do with the anchovy, etc after you use them to make the stock?:

    2 years ago
  7. yessssss~~!! last time there was a cooking vid i prayed to the gods that next time would be soondubu jjigae!! WHO-HOOOOOOO

    2 years ago
  8. OMG Martina, I’m thoroughly impressed…. your recipes are pretty authentically Korean (if that makes sense)! They look like how my mom or any Korean person would actually make the food (except my mother would use homemade kimchi, but that’s beside the point :P) I don’t know why I’m surprised though, because you’ve been living in Korea for so long. Looks amazing!

    By the way, I know of at least 4 soondoobu-specializing restaurants in Toronto – one in North York, two downtown, and one in Etobicoke! ;)

    2 years ago
  9. So awesome :) I just arrived in Korea two days ago, and I am looking forward to cooking as much as I can! I can see it now: standing before my apartment stove, channelling my inner Nasty, and invoking the power of Chef Martina (an official demigod in T.O.P.’s divine hierarchy) as I gut the anchovies… gut the anchovies… yes, well um, maybe I will just have to go through all of your old FAPFAPs so I can collect restaurant suggestions :p

    2 years ago
  10. ah so ironic!! i made this last weekend. no lie. I added some shrimps and clams to mine though. ^O^

    2 years ago
  11. Special Ingredient! truililil truililili

    2 years ago
  12. Hey, instead of making broth the old fashioned way do you have any tips on using powdered anchovy stock like this that I bought: http://www.hmart.com/shopnow/shopnow_newsub.asp?p=8801007241067_tmp

    So far I’ve tried it out in Tteokbokki and it seems to turn out less fishy? But I don’t know if I am putting too much or too little in :) When I look at the broth it looks like enough… I will have to try to make this Jjigae… I’m a bit sick today so maybe I should try it with whatever ingredients I can find?

    2 years ago
    • I have to say, my jjigae turned out amazing… I ended up making it with what I could find around here which was chicken breasts, tteok (rice cakes for those that don’t cook/eat Korean food often), potatoes, gochujang, gochugaru, sesame oil, some dashida and a tad bit of soy sauce.

      Thanks for the inspiration!

      2 years ago
    • Hmmm, powdered anchovy stock. I’ll have to think about trying that.

      2 years ago
  13. Can anyone tell me if red pepper flakes are just jalapeno type peppers or does it have red bell pepper in it? This probably sounds weird but I can tolerate small amounts of jalapeno type but bell peppers will literally kill me lol. and IF it does have bell pepper in it, does anyone have a suggestion on a substitute?

    2 years ago
    • the red pepper flakes are made out of dried korean red chile peppers. They are not the same as jalapeno or red bell pepper. You can buy them at a korean/asian market near you :) Just ask for Gochu garu. there are no bell peppers when making Gochugaru. Its all red korean chiles.

      2 years ago
  14. Well, I don’t like mushrooms or fish/seafood, so I guess I’ll be skipping out on this one. :P

    2 years ago
    • That’s too bad, cause the soup doesn’t really taste fishy or mushroomy. You could also leave out the mushrooms and use chicken stock instead of anchovies.

      Edit: I don’t like seafood either and I love this soup.

      2 years ago
  15. Aww! You gave us shellfish impaired people an alternative. You love us, you really love us! :D

    2 years ago
  16. This came with perfect timing because I’ve literally been stalking a 순두부찌개 playlist on youtube! Also, recently when I was out at a Korean BBQ place, as a 반찬 they served macaroni salad (along with traditional sides). It seems like more of a Westerner thing, unless it’s common in authentic Korean restaurants?

    2 years ago
    • its common. Sometimes we have potato salad. its like a korean version of a western thing, I’m not really sure why we have it either but most likely due to during/after KOrean war when there were a lot of western (specifically US) soldiers about and introducing western foods.

      2 years ago
      • Ahh, I see! It just stood out so much on the table, but I figured it was an attempt of presenting something familiar?? haha Thank you for replying ^^

        2 years ago
  17. I’m allergic to mushrooms but I want to try this soup, if I used chicken or pork stock could I leave the mushrooms out of the soup in the end? Just curious if it would be okay or totally ruin the soup.

    2 years ago
    • Pork stock would be better than chicken stock (although not impossible, it’ll just have a slightly different taste). It won’t ruin the soup if you don’t add the mushrooms

      2 years ago
  18. Does the claw you used to get the bowl off the stove normally come with the bowl when you buy it or do you have to buy it separate? If so, what’s the name of it? I tried searching for the uhh… claw grabby thing, but couldn’t find it. I’d love to get bowls like those, but I don’t want to make an S-Rank mission out of getting a hot bowl off the stove. XD

    2 years ago
  19. would of been SO awesome if you had Onew there to “get jiggy with it” along with Simon!!!

    H-2-O!! ahaha!!
    loving these cooking segments!!

    2 years ago
  20. Yeah, it is indeed somewhat cheaper to eat out or buy pre-cooked food if you live alone. But it can be quite repetitive: soondubu jjigae, jjambbong, ghimchi jjigae, jaeyook bokEum, sea food jjigae, 5 different dishes, but all taste more or less the same…. And the quality is sometimes questionable.

    Once you add more variety by eating foreign dishes, the cost starts to go up.

    2 years ago
  21. I absolutely love this new segment!!! I am training to be a chef and it is hard to find recipes for authentic Korean food! This video is so funky and fun, I cant wait to see the next one!

    2 years ago
  22. Martina you and I could be twins because I love cooking too but I’m not trained yet

    2 years ago
  23. I reeeally love these cooking videos! Please make more in the future! :)
    Lots of love from Spain ^o^

    2 years ago
  24. i love the style of this! it’s quick and funny and really fun to watch! the food looks really good too! i hope you do more~

    2 years ago
  25. You guys make it look so easy!!

    2 years ago
  26. I’m so glad I now live somewhere somewhat close to an asian market (unlike where I did, where the nearest asian food store was over 90 minutes away…)
    So I can now make all the foods I’ve wanted to make!!!
    Except that I’m a student with low income…bweeh!

    2 years ago
  27. like like like :) .. I live in perth and I dunno where to buy short neck clams though..

    2 years ago
    • Me too – I think I’ll just substitute it for something else… Sucks that they’re not coming to Perth, right? I feel like it’d be cheaper to go to Korea than Sydney or Melbourne…

      2 years ago
    • In Perth? You can probably get fresh seafood easily! Just google Perth + Seafood market.

      2 years ago
      • yeh other seafood I can find easily but I can’t find short neck clams, unless I travel to the fishing docks and try finding there, which isn’t an easy drive :)

        2 years ago
        • Just use any sort of clams you have available. IF you have the bigger ones, clean them extremely well and boil them and use that stock and add it to the jjiggae. Take out the flesh of the clams and then add it to the jjigae as well. If you use any sort of clams it should be fine. You can even add shrimp, or fresh pieces of squid.

          2 years ago
        • Yeh looks like I’ll need to substitute. Thanks for the tips *thumbs up*

          2 years ago
  28. “These cooking videos are fun for us to make :D”–> I’d like to know Simon’s opinion after you slap him XD lol

    2 years ago
  29. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite segments Martina :) Keep it up! Don’t doubt yourself just because you’re not a trained cook!

    2 years ago
  30. Martina, I think the blog link on the YouTube description box is somehow not correct? It didn’t lead me to this page.. I think

    2 years ago
  31. OOoooh I love you Martina <3 Awesome video!

    2 years ago
  32. For vegans or vegetarians (if you are a pescetarian then add the fish) just use shittake mushroom and dashima (its dried seaweed kelp, or Konbu Kelp for the japanese version) to make stock (also add onion and garlic (crushed) and 1/3 of a green onion stalk) and let it boil (this is what my mom’s tofu restaurant does for vegetarians and vegans). The stronger the stock, the better the jjigae will taste. Add whatever vegetable you want (nothing starchy) and just don’t add the meat/fish; idk how it will taste with fake meat (like seitan or anything else) but you can try to. It’ll be a lighter version of soondubu but still delicious. The point is that if you make a strong stock, you don’t have to season (salt). The tofu restaurant my mom works at actually mixes the gochujang and pepper flakes together and then stirfries the meat with the paste sauce on high heat (for vegetarians and vegans get some mushrooms, chop it up and stirfry with the paste). The key point is making sure the paste doesn’t burn (stirfry it with tiny bit of sesame oil). You have to be really quick about it and only stir fry briefly before adding the stock (like 30 seconds?). If you want to add the egg, try using that egg imitator/substitute they sell that are for vegetarians and vegans.

    2 years ago
    • It needs to be mentioned that kimchi may be made with fish products ( fish sauce, possibly other things ), so vegetarians and vegans need to be aware of this. I’m guessing most kimchi is made that way, so you’ll need to make it yourself or have someone else make it ( edit: if you make it yourself, you can use extra salt / soy sauce / something salty ). I’m not sure at all if you can buy vegetarian/vegan-friendly kimchi anywhere.

      2 years ago
      • its fish paste they use though my mom makes it with vietnamese fish sauce because she tried it once and loved it. However, most soondubu (for me, its every single soondubu jjiggae I’ve had because its my favorite food XD and I always get the mixed one) don’t have kimchi in them unless you specifically order the one with kimchi in it. So, kimchi is not an ingredient you HAVE to put in. You can substitute the additional spiciness with korean green chilis or jalopenos.

        2 years ago
        • As long as you have some sort of fishy salty component you should be fine if you’re going to attempt in making kimchi. Online recipes don’t speak for the every single method in preparing over 100 types of kimchi even the most similar kinds. (also depending on the region you live in Korea, the preparation of kimchi differs and also differs depending on family) Also, adding jalapenos does not change any “authenticity” of the soondubu kimchijjigae because all it does is just adding spiciness; it doesn’t do anything for flavor wise. The korean restaurant that my mom works at adds jalapenos to the jjigae just to add spiciness. It doesn’t derail from any sort of authenticity. If you want “authentic” then add Korean chilies.

          2 years ago
        • I’m a vegetarian, and any time I accidentally have fish, I find out within 30 minutes. I have severe abdominal pain for days, even with a -broth- with a tiny amount. It’s safe to say that I can’t just go eat whatever I want when/if I move to Korea. =(

          2 years ago
        • Some health food stores (like whole foods) sell vegan kimchi :)

          2 years ago
        • Awesome :o There aren’t any Whole Foods close to me though..

          2 years ago
    • Wow! Thank you it’s very useful and interesting! <3

      2 years ago
  33. Thank you for this receipt, you make it look so simple and easy I will definitely try and make it at home, thankfully I have a korean supermarket down the road and I am sure I went past the ingredients so many times.

    Love these how-to-cook FAPFAPs, I hope you keep doing them.

    2 years ago
  34. I heard subliminal messaging…anyone else? xD

    2 years ago
  35. Are you guys going to sell the “you so nasty” hats? Because the one Martina was wearing was badass.

    2 years ago
  36. were you making fun of vegans Martina? So sad… :-(

    2 years ago
    • I don’t think she was making fun of vegans at all. She’s mentioned that she’s been making a lot of vegan food lately and I think her mom still is a vegetarian or she was a vegetarian before~ or something like that. I understood her remarks to be making fun of salt and is it alive~ that sort of thing. Vegan Nasties FIGHTING! <333

      2 years ago
    • Haha no, I wasn’t, sorry! *hugs* I love making vegan food actually, but sometimes it’s very scary to post a recipe yourself when you’re not a vegan/raw/paleo etc. b/c I’m never sure what is or is not okay to eat! I got scolded once by a vegan so now I’m scared….*shifty eyes*

      2 years ago
      • I’m vegan and I laughed out loud at the end, like literally laughed
        alone in my room at my computer. You are a beautiful person Martina.

        2 years ago
      • I know what you mean Martina. A vegan told me she doesn’t eat honey either and when I asked why I got evil looks lol

        2 years ago
        • I got yelled at for jello as well when I was in high school. I totally didn’t know what jello was made of! :( But now I use chia seeds and xantham gum instead of gelatine. :P

          2 years ago
        • Ha-ha yeah, i didn’t know about that either actually until I became Muslim. I’d been living a lie! There i was stuffing my face with gelatin and claiming vegetarian >_< I also started using chia seeds recently, I like em but my family is hard to convert when it came to texture lol

          2 years ago
  37. I’m vegetarian too. Read the blog post for the vegetarian version of it. :)

    2 years ago
  38. You look like a forest fairy, Martina~ :3 Love it!

    2 years ago
  39. thanks for the great info for vegan/halal alternative… so any ppl can make this jigae…

    2 years ago
    • Can someone post this link to the alternative tips, mainly the halal ones? cause I don’t see them in the blog post on the first video. Maybe they are at the end?

      It like that feeling you get when you search the store for something, then give up go ask for help but your standing right next to it…. Yeah…..

      Oh the side. THANK YOU EYK for thinking of the rest of the world and offering alternatives. Some people are like “This is how I cook it, if you want something else figure it out your-dang-self”…. Just makes me love you’ll more.

      2 years ago
      • It’s just written at the top of this blog post. All it says is, “Also, for halal/vegetarian/vegan peeps: The pork is something you can
        leave out. A lot of stews in Korea have fatty pieces of pork that people
        don’t really eat, it’s simply added for flavour. You can also leave out
        the clams and egg at the end”

        2 years ago
    • You’re welcome! I hope it was correct!

      2 years ago
      • mny ppl give some idea for vegan… for halal option, mayb pork can b replace by beef or chicken?or mayb seafood(martina, is that possible??)? i dont know exactly abt korean recipe/food… just my idea….

        2 years ago
  40. Martina, I’m loving your flower power, hippie style this video! :DDD

    2 years ago
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