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Sundubu jjgae or korean soft tofu stew in a ttukbaegi

Vegan Sundubu Jjigae 순두부찌개 (Korean Soft Tofu Stew)

Jeeca
4.96 from 23 votes
This Vegan Sundubu Jjigae (which literally translates to ‘soft tofu stew’) is one of my favourite Korean dishes. It has a light yet really rich and flavourful base with a kick of spice from gochugaru. This is so comforting and perfect for warm and hearty meals with a bowl of steamed short grain rice and some banchan (or side dishes) like kimchi and kongnamul.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Asian, Korean
Servings 3
Calories 198 kcal

Equipment

  • Korean ttukbaegi (earthenware bowl) or regular pot

Ingredients
 
 

Broth

Sundubu Jjigae

  • 1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil or sesame oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallion or green onions
  • 2-3 tbsp gochugaru or korean hot pepper powder feel free to adjust according to desired spice (see notes)
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce or to taste
  • 3/4 cup vegan kimchi optional (see notes), homemade recipe here
  • 1 tbsp rice wine like mirin, sake, etc. (optional)
  • 1 medium zucchini , sliced into small 1/4” thick quarters
  • 1 bundle fresh enoki mushrooms , 150 g
  • 1 lb sliced fresh king oyster or shiitake mushrooms , feel free to use rehydrated shiitake mushrooms (see notes)
  • 3 cups mushroom-kombu broth or vegetable broth (see notes)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste
  • 1 lb sundubu or soft tofu or silken tofu (mine was in a tube)

Optional to Serve and Enjoy

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the broth: I like to cut through the kombu using a pair of scissors. I fold mine in half and cut around five 1” (2.5 cm) cuts on each side.
    Also, do NOT wash your kombu. The white powdery layer on the kombu is naturally occurring and is what adds to the umami flavour when soaked.
    I like to soak the mushrooms and kombu in room temperature water and leave it in the fridge overnight for best flavour.
    This will yield around 3 cups of broth since the dried mushrooms and kombu will absorb some water.
    Dried mushrooms and kombu
  • Another option is to boil the mushrooms and kombu in water for 10-15 minutes and leave it to sit for another 10-15 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and kombu from the broth.
    A glass measuring cup filled with vegan kombu shiitake dashi or stock
  • Do not discard the kombu and mushrooms. You can also cut the rehyrdrated mushrooms and mix it in your jjigae.
    For the leftover rehydrated kombu, you can make this into Kombu Tsukudani or simmered kombu for a delicious dish with rice. You can see the recipe here.
  • Slice the veggies and other mushrooms you're using.
  • Prepare your sundubu or soft tofu. If using sundubu in a tube, slice the tube in half (or follow the dotted lines), and slice the tofu into a few pieces.
    If using a block of sudubu, carefully remove it from the tray of water and slice into a few pieces. Note that you can opt not to slice the tofu and simply break them into smaller pieces when placing in the stew later on.
  • Heat a medium sized pot or a Korean ttukbaegi over medium.
  • Once hot, add in the oil.
  • Sauté the onion and scallions. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent and cooked through.
  • Add in the garlic, gochugaru and/or gochujang, and soy sauce. Cook for 2 minutes. Add in kimchi (if using) then saute for 2-3 minutes. Add in the rice wine (if using) over high heat until it slightly evaporates.
    Afterwards, add in the king oyster or shiitake mushrooms, and some of the enoki mushrooms then sauté for a few minutes until lightly cooked through, around 3 minutes.
  • Add in the zucchini and mix well.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth or water.
  • Cover the pot and leave to boil over medium high heat, around 7 minutes.
  • Once the zucchini and mushrooms are cooked through, taste soup and season with more salt as needed.
  • Add in the soft tofu and remaining enoki mushrooms on top then leave to boil for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Enjoy while hot with some steamed rice, kimchi pancake (recipe here), and Korean banchan (side dishes) like kimchi and kongnamul (bean sprout salad).

WATCH Video

Notes

Kimchi:
  • you can add some kimchi to this stew to make a sundubu kimchi jjigae! The kimchi adds a nice layer of flavour and extra texture. Fermented kimchi really works best for the best flavour. I have a vegan kimchi recipe here.
 
Mushrooms:
  • If using only dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrate additional pieces to add to your jjigae. Remember not to discard the water since you can add this to the soup base/broth!
 
Gochugaru:
  • If you don't have gochugaru, feel free to use gochujang, which is the fermented chili paste. You may just have to adjust the soy sauce and lessen it a little since some gochujang brands are heavily salted.
 
Water/Mushroom/Vegetable broth:
  • If you don't have kombu, you can use just dried mushrooms. You can also just use vegetable broth or use water and add a vegetable cube or bouillon and dissolve it in the soup base.
  • Feel free to season with more salt or soy sauce, to taste if needed.

NUTRITIONAL INFO

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 2015mg | Potassium: 554mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 798IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg
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