Soondubu Jjigae (Korean Tofu Stew)

Recipe by lacezhang


Prep time


Cooking time



Soondubu Jjigae usually arrives on the table all fiery red and bubbling, its contents threatening to spill over the piping hot stone bowl it's usually served in. Its appeal, like a tall and dashing soldier (*coughs* Hyun Bin) in a K-drama series, is not hard to miss. The purity of the white, silken tofu is stained with flecks of chili oil - that glistening red sheen floating atop every well made tofu stew. To achieve the sexy red gloss, you'll need to bloom some gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) in hot fat first, a process that's documented in the written recipe and notes below... Enjoy!


  • 100g pork shoulder or belly, cut into chunks

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1.5 Tablespoons gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)

  • 20g kimchi chopped (optional)

  • 2 teaspoons light soy

  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (to taste)

  • 280ml dashi or stock or water

  • 1 package of soft, korean tofu (about 230g)

  • 1 garlic, minced

  • 4 spring onions, minced (Separate the whites and greens)

  • 1 egg, to serve


  • Heat your earthen pot or saucepan over medium-low heat. Drizzle in your sesame oil and add the spring onion whites. Saute lightly until fragrant. Add your pork and continue stir-frying for a few minutes.
  • Add your gochugaru, garlic, and kimchi. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the chili to bloom in the oil, making sure not to burn the chili flakes! *See notes*
  • Add your dashi or stock, light soy, and fish sauce. Let everything simmer for about 6 to 10 minutes, skimming the scum as needed. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  • Add your soft tofu in large blocks *See notes*, and break it up gently with a spoon. Let it simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the tofu is heated through.
  • Switch off the heat and crack in an egg. Garnish with spring onion greens and serve piping hot, with a bowl of white rice.


  • To get that gorgeous red sheen floating atop your soondubu jjigae, you gotta bloom your chili flakes in oil first. We do that by stir-frying the chili flakes with the pork initially, allowing the pork fat, sesame oil, and chili to mingle. Be careful not to burn the chili too at this point - if burnt, it'll leave a bitter taste throughout the entire stew. Keep stirring and have a watchful eye (and nose...)
  • Cut your tofu in half and add each entire half into your bubbling stew. Break it up gently with a spoon, leaving large chunks. The beauty of tofu stew is that the soft tofu is left in large chunks, not broken up into tiny bits.

About Me


When not working on recipes in her kitchen, cranking up her overused commercial (yes, you read that right) oven at home, Lace can be found reading about food, writing impassioned paragraphs about food, thinking about food till the wee hours of the night, shopping for groceries as a serious sport, or gazing longingly at bakery displays.




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