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Sundubu-jjigae (Soft Tofu Stew): A Comforting Korean Delight

Sundubu-jjigae (Soft Tofu Stew): A Comforting Korean Delight

Sundubu-jjigae is a popular Korean stew known for its rich, spicy broth and delicate pieces of soft tofu. It's a comforting dish, often enjoyed during the colder months but perfect any time of year for those who love a good, hearty stew. Typically, sundubu-jjigae is made with a seafood or meat base, chili, and various vegetables, creating a flavorful and comforting meal. Here’s how you can prepare this delicious Korean soft tofu stew at home.


  • 1 package of soft tofu (sundubu)
  • 100g pork belly or seafood (such as shrimp or clams), chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 hot chili pepper, sliced (optional)
  • 2 cups of chicken or anchovy broth
  • 1 tablespoon of Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 egg (optional)


  1. Prepare the Broth:

    • In a pot, heat a little sesame oil over medium heat.
    • Add the minced garlic, onion, and pork belly or seafood. Sauté until the meat is lightly browned or the seafood is cooked.
  2. Add Seasonings:

    • Stir in the Korean red pepper flakes and soy sauce. Mix well until the ingredients are coated with the seasonings.
  3. Add the Broth:

    • Pour in the chicken or anchovy broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Add the Tofu:

    • Gently add the soft tofu to the pot. Break it into smaller pieces with a spoon. Be careful not to crush the tofu completely; just enough to integrate into the stew.
  5. Simmer:

    • Let the stew simmer for about 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and sugar.
  6. Final Touch:

    • Add the chopped green onions and sliced chili pepper. If you like, crack an egg into the center of the stew just before removing it from heat.
  7. Serve:

    • Serve hot, allowing the egg to finish cooking in the residual heat if used. Enjoy with a bowl of steamed rice and perhaps some kimchi on the side for a complete meal.

Tips for Perfect Sundubu-jjigae:

  • Use fresh ingredients, particularly the tofu, to ensure the best texture and flavor.
  • Adjust the level of spiciness according to your taste by modifying the amount of gochugaru.
  • Adding an egg at the end provides a richer flavor and texture to the stew.
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