Spicy Korean Tofu & Kimchi Stew (Soondubu Jjigae - 순두부찌개)
Korean food has always been my destiny. Way before Danny, I can remember being a little kid with a sore throat and my big sister who has a Korean best friend figured out how to find some kimchi and whip me up some kimchi jjigae. She told me it would make all of the snot fall out of my face and it did and that crude tenderness is exactly what sisters are for.
This week, with the temperature steadily dropping, I started to feel that same kind of tickle in my throat and drippiness from my nose. So, I made Korean stew! I've learned the tricks from Danny to get this soup done in minutes, provided you have everything you need on-hand. But that's really the beauty of Korean food. As long as you have all of your pieces ready, a meal is never far away.
The trick is to a) have kimchi in your fridge, but you really ought to be doing this by now anyway and b) have fish stock, ready to go! I make a huge batch and then freeze it in small ziploc bags. Then when it's time for soup, I thaw the bag a bit under some sink water and then boil the frozen stock, which is ready in no time. Trust me on this one--you will have no snot left and you'll never want to open a can of Cambell's again.
Soondubu Jjigae - 순두부찌개
- 1/4 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup cabbage kimchi, chopped
- 1 cup dashi or fish stock, preferably made with seaweed and anchovies (Korean-style!)
- 2 Tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- pinch sugar
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1/2 tube silken tofu
- 1 egg
- In a small, earthenware pot, heat onions, garlic and oil until fragrant over medium heat. Season with salt. Add in kimchi and give it a stir; warm the kimchi, but don't brown the cabbage at all. Once warm, pour stock over mixture and bring to a boil.
- Combine pepper flakes, sesame oil, and sugar in a small bowl and stir to create a paste. Once soup is boiling, top with this mixture and stir to combine. Bring soup to a simmer and let cook for about 5 minutes to meld flavors.
- Add in green onion and tofu. Stir to break up any large tofu pieces.
- Turn off heat and crack an egg on top. Stir and egg will cook with residual heat. Serve with a side of steamed rice.
You might also like these other Korean recipes of mine:
And for good measure... what to order your first time at a Korean restaurant!