[Holly’s Korean Kitchen] Doenjang jjigae classic


Classic Doenjang jjigae (Holly Ford)

A pot of bubbling hot doenjang jjigae, or Korean soybean paste stew, is perhaps the most sought-after stew in Korea. In terms of Korean comfort food, this is the # 1 stew, and no Korean would disagree with it.

Without a doubt, most Koreans grew up eating this Korean stew at least once or twice a week. Certainly, the smell of doenjang jjigae coming out of the kitchen brings nostalgia to many Koreans.

I have fond memories of my mother often staring at her signature doenjang jjigae. My dad loved his jjigae.

My mom’s doenjang jjigae is special because she made her own doenjang paste. Nothing can beat homemade doenjang jjigae made from well-fermented homemade soybean paste.

Unfortunately, like many of you, I don’t have the luxury of having a homemade doenjang. Doing it is on my to-do list soon, and I hope I’m up to the challenge!

Although doenjang jjigae made with homemade doenjang is the best, you can still make a nice stew with store-bought Korean soybean paste.

If you love Korean soups and stews, don’t miss this ever popular Korean soybean paste stew. With my recipe, you will enjoy a delicious doenjang jjigae just like you would in your favorite Korean restaurant.

If you have a Korean man or woman in your life, make this stew and serve it to him. They will truly appreciate you and think you are about to master the art of Korean cooking. Well no ?

Classic Doenjang jjigae (Holly Ford)

Classic Doenjang jjigae (Holly Ford)

Korean Stone Pot (ttukbaegi): Ttukbaegi is a Korean terracotta made from a type of clay and usually glazed on the inside for baking purposes. Korean unglazed earthenware (onggi) is mainly used to store food for fermentation. Cooking doenjang jjigae in a ttukbaegi retains heat very well, which keeps the stew hot longer. Without the interference of metal surfaces on other types of cookware, ttukbaegi will maintain the natural flavor of fermented foods throughout cooking.


For the anchovy broth:

• 2 cups of rice water, see note below

• 5 large dried anchovies, deveined

• 1 piece of dried kelp (dashima)

For the stew:

• 2 heaping tablespoons of Korean soybean paste (doenjang)

• 1 teaspoon of Korean chili paste (gochujang)

• 1/2 small onion, chopped

• 1 small zucchini, diced

• 110 grams of soft tofu, diced

• 50 grams of mushrooms (optional)

• 1 finely chopped garlic clove

• 1 teaspoon of Korean pepper flakes (gochugaru)

• 1 fresh chilli, sliced

• 1 green onion, finely chopped


1. To make the anchovy broth, combine the rice starch water, dried anchovy and kelp in a stone or heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Discard the anchovies and kelp.

2. To make the stew, spread the pasta in a mini colander or slotted spoon and stir into the broth. Add the onion and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat.

3. Add zucchini, tofu and mushrooms; continue to boil over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes.

4. Add the garlic, chili flakes and fresh chili and heat through. Sprinkle with green onion and remove from heat. Serve hot with rice.

Note: To make rice water (rice starch water)

1. Briefly rinse your rice with water. Drain the water and throw it away.

2. Swirl the rice quickly with your fingers for 15 seconds to remove the starch from the rice grains.

3. Pour about 3 cups of water over the rice and rinse.

4. Collect the starch water from the milky rice and reserve 2 cups to use for this recipe.

5. Continue to rinse your rice 2-3 more times. Cook your rice using your usual rice cooking method.

By Holly Ford (https://www.beyondkimchee.com)

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Hye-gyoung Ford (aka Holly) is a well-known Korean food blogger and the author of the popular cookbook “Korean Cooking Favorites”. Born and raised in Korea, she has lived in many countries. She shares her recipes and culinary memories on her blog, Beyond Kimchee. – Ed.

By Korea Herald (khnews@heraldcorp.com)

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