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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

ToFebruary
  1. turtleyperson

    Just made this today for my family… None of us were thrilled with it, but I might have messed up somewhere along the line. Is it supposed to taste really fishy?

  2. Can you make a video for Dolsot Bibimbap? I’d like to make it similar to the way you’d probably eat it if you live in Korea, and every single recipe I find either seems too American-ized or they’re all different.

  3. I Love your cooking segment! I cant wait to get more of them!!

  4. I was just wondering…How many does this recipe serve? I only really cook for me and my partner so I don’t want to make too much :D

  5. bvds – Last few years I used to be down on cash and debits were killing me from everywhere. that was Right Until I decided to make money.. on the INTERNET! I went to surveymoneymaker period net, and started filling in surveys for money, and doing so, i have been greatly more able to do my things!! i am so happy, I did this!!! With all the financial stress these years, I really hope all of you will give it a chance. lpVI

  6. Sarraa ㅇㅂㅇ

    “Is salt alive?” thi may be one of my fave phrases Martina dearest.

  7. Hilde Grannes

    This makes me want to go to South Korea even more! :o
    Made this today and it was sooo good <3 (even though I can't handle spicy food very well, so i became a little sweaty…)
    Definitely going on vacation to SK this summer!

    Thank you for sharing this Martina! :D
    Love from Norway <3

  8. Michelle Folvar

    Just made this with your recipe and I must say thank you! It came out wonderful and delicious! (And spicy too since I jut threw in tons of hot peppers and pepper flakes xD) I’m going to make your lovely Pajeon next!

  9. Mildred Cady

    Thank you so much for the cooking episodes!!!

  10. Foamyrokks

    Hi Martina – you mention that you freeze leftover broth to save it. Is there a reason people always seem to make the broth right before? And that you can’t find it pre-made? Does it degrade in quality quickly or something? Just wondering if I could make a huge batch and freeze soup size portions.

    Also, a trick I learned from a Korean cooking blog: buy empty paper tea bags or spice bags online. Spend an hour or so gutting a whole bag of anchovies and cutting up your kelp. Put one soup portion of each in a bag and tie or staple shut. Store the little bags in a zip top bag in the freezer. Next time you need stock? Pull out one fishy tea bag and proceed as directed. Makes fishing them out at the end easier too!

  11. Kimdition

    Thank you!!!! x 200!
    I keep trying to make korean food, which is… challenging, since I don’t cook regularly (ermagahd T_T”’….) and I’ve never had authentic korean food, so I never know if my food turns out like it’s supposed to LOL, so these videos help reassure me and teach me how to make these things!!!!!
    (on a side note, this recipe helps clarify for me why I spend so much money on food, HAHA)
    Btw, my puppy was even begging for tastes of this recipe! :D

  12. Shared this on my google + page. I feel I was victorious for dinner. My step-son, who is half Korean and a very picky eater ate this! He says he hates egg, mushroom, onion and kimchi. Oddly enough the only thing he picked out were the clams. Silly guy! I ended up using green bell pepper instead of zuchini, I forgot which green thing I had to get at the store. And I put big clams in cause I couldn’t find the little guys you used. It made for a more expensive stew but still very very good. Thanks for sharing! Now I will retreat back to my lurking corner. :p

  13. Long time lurker and just got done with my own variation of Soondubu jjigae. It was delicious I substituted green bell pepper for zuchini but hey I at least remembered a green veggie was involved. And I ended up using big clams cause the only local place had big ass clams. I enjoy your cooking segments and I will be trying another of your recipes hopefully this weekend. Thanks for sharing and helping a fellow foodie dabble in the kitchen fearlessly.

  14. ohsojjigae

    Ok, this is killing me.
    I live in Seoul and I have tried many a sundubu. But I REALLY want to go to this freakin LA soondubu place because it looks awesome. I mean, check out that banchan! I have tried naver searches and google searches and gone on 3, thats right, 3 expeditions to find it. I’m not usually an obsessive character, but dear god, this sundubu house has turned into my holy grail. Can someone, ANYONE, please help me out. Seriously, I’m near some sort of sundubu breaking point.

  15. Dad: You smell like a kitteh! Martina: Shaddap Dad, I’m broke! Oh man, I almost splurted my coffee everywhere. Love love this cooking segment, it’s so inspiring!

  16. Matt Clayton

    It looks good. Love that format for homemade Korean food.

  17. How much servings does it make, just one?

  18. Farah Iznaida

    Hi Martina ^_^ How many servings is this recipe for?

  19. Eryn Moragin
    Eryn Moragin

    Grr, I went to my ginormous local Asian market and found two cases of soft tofu. So I bought them. But they had no tubes! So my wondering is how many grams/ ounces are in one tube of soft tofu? thanks a lot, I really love this segment! :)

  20. Min Danica Kim

    My mama puts clams in the broth with those ingredients Martina puts in, and sometimes little tiny crabs too! I really recommend putting clams and crabs in along with shrimp (which Martina suggested) when you boil the broth to all the nasties who love seafood;)

  21. Jenna MacLellan

    You should teach us how to make manduuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!

  22. If you are lazy and/or Anchovy averse, Japanese Dashi can be an excellent substitute for the Anchovy & Dashima soak liquid. Just make 4 cups of strong Dashi, from the powder or the Bonito flakes and Konbu (a.k.a. Dashima).

    Voila! No gutting Anchovies!

  23. KATHyphenTUN
    KATHyphenTUN

    These are soo awesome! I just wish I would make time to go out and buy the ingredients! I’m so lazy!!!

  24. Ariadne Locket
    Ariadne Locket

    Martina just keeps getting more and more beautiful each video!

  25. v a l eria ⃝

    Hello guys!I I gotta say this has become my favorite segment, I’m currently in culinary school and I’m really amazed by korean gastronomy, and you are making my learning of this so fun!! Please don’t ever stop with this :B

  26. Jose Tang

    Martina, is it ok just to use a normal pot because I don’t have that pot u used

  27. I love the cooking segments! Have you ever thought about doing a cooking segment on the regular?!

  28. Leah Chung

    It’s so nommy! I’m excited to make some but my local hmart is like 20 miles away from me and I bus D8 uuurgh but now I want some!

  29. Eryn Moragin
    Eryn Moragin

    Question specifically for Martina- Does this make one serving or two? Thank you and sorry for being a bother! :)

    • Barry Adams

      In case she doesn’t reply, here is a quote from her from earlier

      “It serves 2 big eaters or 1 very hungry person. OR 3 people if you serve it with rice (which they do in Korea) so that it can fill you up more!”

  30. EY-Onigiri

    Your cooking videos remind me of “Who’s in the Kitchen?” an old PC game I used to play. It was really funny and had a zany way of having you cook with the ingredients making their own commentary. I loved that game and I love your cooking videos. I hope to someday follow one of them. ^.^

  31. I love your cooking segments these are great. There is a Korean market near my job I am totally going to try this soon <3

  32. Florence Ling

    Have the hats arrived?

  33. Jasmin Vela

    Omg I’m loving your cooking videos Martina, it’s both educational and hilarious.
    If only I could cook I would totally try to cook this but since I suck at it I can only watch and
    drool over the food

  34. Cyrie Wilson

    I really made that apron too big…… :_:
    If your reading this Martina, check your YouTube inbox. If you want, you can send the apron back and I’ll make it smaller.

    • Cyrie the apron is super lovely the way it is. I think it’s meant to fit on top of a big puffy dress as per 50s tradition, so I still love it. Also, I know those were hand covers for moving hot pots but I thought it made a cute hot pot stand at the end of the video. ^^

      • Cyrie Wilson

        Well, if your sure. I was a seamstress’s daughter and she passed on her ‘Sewing Nazi’ attitude, were all of the things we made had to be perfect.
        I use potholder for that too. But I’ll see if I can’t make a mini table mat (for hot food) out of the left over kitty/Marvel fabric. Unless you have any requests for something else, I have quite a bit left over.
        BTW- Thanks for the reply, I understand you we’re busy.

  35. blackcatamaran

    I can help with the vegan questions even though I am not vegan. I worked in the kitchen of a natural foods deli and I know a lot of the tricks and substitutions.

  36. THANK YOU i have the worst time making this :)

  37. if you’re short on time or ingredients you can just add anchovies and dashima into a pot of water and boil for 10-15 minutes or so. That’s how I make my broth before adding other ingredients for some korean soups and it works just fine :) — oh and i don’t bother gutting the anchovies either. I personally can’t tell that much of a difference XP

  38. these cooking videos are p much my new favourite eyk segments UuU ((also martina, you look so cute and hip with your flower crown))

  39. otakufool

    Martina, you are an awesome human being. You even included substitutes for Kimchi *hugs*

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