Korea – Soft Tofu Stew

by Evelyn Brutz

Soft tofu stew as the name indicates stew having soft tofu as the main ingredient in this dish. This dish is also known by the other name SUNDUBU-JJIGAE. Sundubu is the word for extra soft curdle tofu and Jjigae is the Korean stew category. This is a very delicious stew in Korean cuisine has many other elements to go well in this stew, like vegetables, beef, and seafood also be added. Kimchi, raw eggs, scallions, chili paste, etc. This is also known as Spicy tofu stew because Gochujang and chili powder are added to this stew. This is a very tasty dish, full of extra nutrients, flavors, and different textures like liquidy stew, solid vegetables with some semi-solid raw egg.


  • Jjigae
  • Spicy tofu jjigae
  • Gochujang tofu Jjigae
  • Sundubu jjigae
  • Sundaeguk
  • Korean jjigae
  • Dubu jjigae

There are three different Korean stew and soup/ broth categories :


Jjigae is the Korean stew category in which different Korean stew is placed. There are many types of stew cooked in Korea. Different ingredients are added like vegetables, fish, tofu, mushrooms, kimchi, gochujang, dubu, etc. Broth of meat like fish, oysters, prawns, shellfish is prepared as the base of the dish. Now ingredients are added like vegetables, and spices because Korean cuisine has lots of spicy dishes. Jjigae is the stew that is served boiling hot.


Guk is the soup category of thick consistency. Guk is actually a broth of meat and vegetables then some spices are added to it. It is Cooked with other elements like kimchi, tofu, corns, etc. But the main difference is the texture and consistency. Soup towards the thick size is placed in the category of Guk.


Tang has watery consistency, very thin broth of small vegetable and meat pieces. It also has a mild version to a spicy version but has a water-like thin consistency. It is served along with Bap, rice, porridge, oats, etc.


The origin of soft tofu stew was recorded first time at Joseon Dynasty. When Sundubu jjigae is served then tofu is pressed hard tofu was added. After the evolution, the tofu varieties came up and the addition of soft tofu in the dish is formed.

Sundubu jjigae has the hipe after Korean immigration in the 1990s and after that, the popularity was at its peak.

Hee Sook Lee was the first Korean immigrant to open the restaurant having Sundubu jjigae.


  • It is a very good source of protien
  • It helps to reduce cholestrol
  • It has total 180 calories
  • It has good anti oxidant properties
  • It is very good soya protein, good for immunity and muscle mass
  • It helps the renal function regulation
  • It is good for osteoporosis


  • 157 calories
  • 9 g of Carbohydrates
  • 12 g of fat
  • 25 g of protein
  • 20 mg of zinc
  • 400 mg of Calcium
  • 3.5 mg of iron
  • 200 mg of phosphorus



Kimchi is a vegetarian pickle that is dipped into brine or salted water with chili paste, salt, and some sauces. This is prepared and added to the stew for kimchi-flavored jjigae.

Jjigae is prepared by chicken stock or dashi stock then kimchi is added with some spices and raw vegetables can also be added. This is the vegetarian dish in which meat pieces are not added although, meat stock is used in it.

This is a very spicy stew because first of all kimchi is very spicy and then it is added to stew makes it spicier.


Budae jjigae is the stew that is cooked by assorted meals. Like sausages, kimchi, noodles, fish cutlets, etc. This dish is also known as Spicy sausage stew and also ARMY STEW.

Budae means Troops, it is invented at the time of US military bases so this dish is named BUDAE.

This is prepared by many meals like :

  • Kimchi
  • Noodles
  • Ham
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Gochujang, etc.


Doenjang is a soya bean paste that is formed in stew or Korean broth and named as Soya beans Paste Stew or Doenjang stew.

It has Key ingredients is Soya beans paste and many vegetables, meat like :

  • Green onions
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Potato
  • Tofu
  • Daikon, etc.


  • Soft Tofu : 1 cup
  • Dashi broth : 1 cup
  • Chicken broth : 1 cup
  • Soya sauce : 1 cup
  • Mirin : 4 tbsp
  • Fresh Pork slices : 1 lb
  • Napa cabbage : 1/2 cup
  • Carrots : 1/2 cup
  • Corns : 1/2 cup
  • Mushrooms : 1/2 cup
  • Daikon : 1/2 cup


  • Salt : 1 tsp
  • gochugaru : 3 tbsp
  • Seven Herbs : 1 tbsp
  • Chili flakes
  • Jeotgal


  • Take the dashi broth, chicken broth and 1 cup of water in large cooking pot and add all the seasonings into it.
  • Heat up the broth and when it started to simmer, add all the vegetables with tofu into it.
  • Pork meat slices is also added into the broth.
  • Cook it for 15 minutes so the stew reduce in amount.
  • When stew is ready, crack a raw egg over the stew and it is ready to serve.
  • It is served with rice or buns.
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