Friday, January 27, 2012

Soon Dubu Jjigae (Korean Soft Tofu Soup)

At first I wanted to make a portabello mushroom and cabbage soup because I just happen to have those things and I wanted soup. It somehow evolved to watching Maangchi make this Soon Dubu Jjigae, and then I wanted it so badly!

Most (if not all) of these ingredients requires that you go to a well stocked Asian grocery store. I went to a Korean grocery store near Japantown in San Francisco. The prices aren't cheap though!

Broth Base:
5 Anchovies
3 large shittake mushrooms
1/2 onion
3-4 pieces of kelp
5 garlic cloves
5 cups of water

1 cup mixed seafood
7 oz of beef (any cut is fine, I used round eye)
2 tbsp red pepper paste
1 tbsp miso paste (I used red miso)
2 tbsp fish sauce
18 oz of soft tofu
2 sprigs of green onions, chopped
sesame oil
an egg for each person
cabbage (optional)

This is what all the ingredients look like (minus the fish sauce that I forgot to put in the photo). I think it cost me about $20+ total (excluding the beef). This is because I didn't have any of the ingredients! Shame on me, right?

These are the ingredients for your broth base. Starting from the upper left hand corner (going clockwise), I have chopped onions, sliced mushrooms, kelp, anchovies, and garlic. I would recommend you not slicing your shittake mushrooms right now.

To make the soup base, place all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn it down and simmer for 20 minutes. Now you're done with the soup base!

Here are some of the items for your soup. I have pictured the mixed seafood, beef, hot pepper and miso paste, green onions, and a pack of dashi seasoning. If you don't want to buy all that stuff for the dashi broth, you can buy packages of dashi seasoning, which is like a stock bullion.

To make the soup, heat up a heavy bottom pot (like a dutch oven). Add in the beef and cook until almost done. Add in the red pepper and miso paste and stir.

This is what your beef will look like.

Fish out the shittake mushrooms from your soup base and slice (if they weren't already).

Take two cups of your broth and pour it in with the beef. Add in your fish sauce.

I accidentally added a little too much fish sauce. Oops! It was a little salty.

Bring to a boil and add in your mushrooms, seafood, and tofu.

Bring this to a boil and add in green onions. Boil for about a minute. Drop in your egg(s) and cook for about two minutes.

Add in a couple drops of sesame oil per bowl and you're ready to serve!

This was really good, and to me, it tasted pretty darn authentic (not that it matters). The only thing I would change would be to put in a little less red pepper paste. I am a giant weenie and it was too spicy for me! In the later batches I made, I decided to add in some cabbage, which was awesome, so I would suggest you add some too. Also the texture of the tofu is really important. You do not want to get extra firm tofu. You want to get the softest silkiest tofu you can find. It really changes the texture of the soup, and the softer tofu is way more delightful.


  1. Jeannie said your soup looked delicious. Keep up the Korean sooking and you might be able to make David a lil bit Korean after all. The next time you are here I will have to show you her secrets fr seafood pancakes.

  2. There is no way that I can say this without sounding like a hipster/asshole... I'm a lacto-ovo pescetarian. What can I replace the beef with in this recipe?

    1. I think you can omit the beef and add in more tofu/mushrooms/seafood. It's really flexible!