Soon Dubu Jjigae (Korean spicy tofu stew)

4 to 6 servings


  • Oil — 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic, minced — 2 tablespoons
  • Korean pepper powder — 1 tablespoon
  • Beef or chicken stock — 4 cups
  • Cabbage kimchi, shredded — 1 cup
  • Soy sauce — 1 tablespoon
  • Silken tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes — 4 cups (2 pounds)
  • Clams, chopped, with juice — 1 cup
  • Scallions, chopped — 3 to 4
  • Sesame oil — 1 tablespoon


  1. Heat the oil over medium flame in a clay hotpot or large saucepan. Add the garlic and pepper powder and saute until the garlic just starts to brown.
  2. Add the stock, kimchi and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until the kimchi softens.
  3. Gently stir in the tofu and clams with their juice. Adjust the seasoning with soy sauce and Korean pepper, and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with scallions, drizzle with sesame oil and serve piping hot in bowls with a side of steamed rice

Soon Tubu Jjigae Variations

    • Add some thin sliced pork or beef along when you add the garlic and pepper powder if you like.
    • Eliminate the clams and use vegetable broth if you prefer a vegetarian version.
    • Add enoki, shiitake or other mushrooms to the simmering stew if you like.
    • Sometimes an egg is cracked over the dish at the end and allowed to poach in the stew.
    • Only Korean pepper powder is suitable for making this dish (and most Korean dishes). Other kinds just won’t have the right flavor


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