Korean – Sundubu-jjigae

by Evelyn Brutz

This is a Korean Soup that can be made up from Scratch. The spicy Korean Tofu soup is very popular in Korea. This is more towards the main dish like a stew or curry. It serves also as an appetizer like stew and soup. It is very delicious and tasty, loaded with tofu and seafood. It seems to be a comforting food for Korean people. Sundubu-jjigae or Soondubu Jjigae are two names of the same dish, tofu stew. The main component besides seafood is TOFU. Unpressed tofu is very commonly used in this dish. It is very spicy because of the addition of different chilies like pepper flakes, red chili powder, crushed chilies, etc. When you are using chili oil to cook this dish, it will make you sneeze and burn your throat. The traditional version of chili is added as chili oil. But the side effects of using chili oil are eyes burning, throat burning, sneezing, etc so people avoid using chili oil, instead, they add chili into the dish.

Vegetables like carrots, scallions, peas are also added in this except tofu, Seafood like prawns, shrimp can be added. The egg is also added to make it versatile. When it is served as the main dish, it is eaten with rice and bread. It is served as soup or stew as the starter of the menu.

This soup is very nutritious, tasty, tender, rich, and delicious. It has all the healthy benefits :

  • It has a lot of protein in the form of seafood that can help make your body to fulfill the requirement.
  • It maintains the growth of the growing child when you are using it in daily basis.
  • It is a source of vitamins, nutrients, minerals.
  • Improves weak health because it has vegetables, meat, stew, broth and spices for flavors.

It is the dish from JJIGAE :


Jjigae is the Korean cuisine part of dishes like stews and soups. It is very popular in Korea because of the broths, soups, stews, and many dishes like liquid gravy included in this part of the Korean Cuisine. Broth of Korean cuisine seasoned with chilies and spices to enhance the texture, color, and flavor of the broth. Broth or stew of meat and vegetables can be prepared. Then some elements are added for the solid texture like vegetables and meat chunks. Spices are added for color and taste.

The major part of Korean cuisine is either Jjigae or Guk.


Guk is the class of Korean Cuisine in which soup-like dishes, STEWS AND BROTH are included. Guk has thin consistency, less watery and more towards the thick versions of soup with those elements that make it thick like rice, flour, eggs, etc. Mostly, Tang and Guk are served with main rice dishes like Bap, Banchan, etc. This category is very versatile with many variations from light broths to heavily loaded soups.

Sundubu-jjigae is Less watery thicker in consistency because of the addition of meat and vegetables in broth with chicken or seafood which makes it thick. Soup is made up of seafood, with vegetables.

Haemul Sundubu Jjigae

This dish is from the different ingredients but the cooking method is the same and tasty. It included the addition of ingredients like :

  • Pork meat instead of seafood
  • Mince pork is added in the finely chunks form to make it thick and fatty in texture
  • Kimchi is the fermeneted korean vegetables, are also added to make it tangy in flavors.
  • This soup is not spicy and clear in appearance.
  • It has addition of salt and some sauce like soya sauce, vinegar and mirin.
  • It has zero spice addition.
  • Color is like a broth but with the addition of vegetable and prok mince.


The following are the varieties of JJIAGE, stew dishes of Korean cuisine :

  • Altang  : Made up of roe fish
  • Dubu jjigae : Made up of firm tofu chunks
  • Ge jjigae : Soya beans are added in this stew
  • Saengseon jjigae : Made up of frozen fish like salted salom, shrimp
  • Ge jjigae : Crab meat is added



It is a fermented soya bean thick paste with brine. It is commonly used in this broth to make it thick in texture and has rich flavors. Soybean is boiled in aged brine with the addition of potatoes sometimes and then make fermented. The fermentation takes from 15 days to 30 days. Meju, soya sauce, potatoes, rice, and barley is added.


Fermenting soya beans are solid beans with 50% fermentation done. It is not mixed and properly fermented. It required 3 to 5 days to make this Cheonggukjang. It ferments at 40 degrees and salt, pepper is added. It remains uncrushed and is served in many dishes.


It is fermented salted seafood. Fish sauce is then fermented from the fish included salmon, shrimp and prawns. There are different types of jeot with different fish type like :

  • Roe fish jeot
  • salmon jeot
  • Shrimp jeot
  • Prawn jeot
  • Jeotgal


  • Soft unpressed Tofu : 1 cup/ 250 grams
  • Shrimp : 1 lbs
  • Sesame oil : 4 tbsp
  • Chili oil : 1 tbsp
  • Kimchi : 1 cup
  • Mushrooms : 1/2 cup
  • Corns : 1/2 cup
  • Scallions : 1/2 cup
  • Red chilli flakes : 1 tbsp
  • Pepper : 1 tsp
  • Black crushed chilies : 1 tbsp
  • Salt : 1 tsp
  • Garlic chopped : 3 tbsp
  • Salted salmon : 1 cup
  • Egg : 2


  • Take sesame oil with chili oil in pot with seafood like salmon and shrimp and start simmering.
  • Fry them together and then add kimchi and all the vegetables with spices like pepper, salt, garlic etc.
  • Add 4 glass of water in them and let them cook together for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • whrn the meat is soft and tender after 10 minutes add soft tofu in it.
  • Let them cook on low flame for 10 more minutes so that tofu has assembles with the ingredients and absords it taste.
  • It is ready to serve.
  • Serve it in a bowl and crack raw egg on the top. It is the way to present tofu stew.
  • Serve and enjoy!
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