Korean Easy Meal Recipe: Doenjang-jjigae  (Korean Soybean Paste Stew)

Korean Easy Meal Recipe: Doenjang-jjigae  (Korean Soybean Paste Stew)

Korean Easy Meal Recipe: Doenjang-jjigae  (Korean Soybean Paste Stew)

Doenjang-jjigae (된장찌깨) soybean paste stew, is a Korean traditional jjigae (stew-type dish), made from the primary ingredient of doenjang (soybean paste), and additional optional ingredients vegetables, seafood, and meat. It is one of the most iconic and popular traditional dishes in Korean cuisine, and is often eaten regularly regardless of occasion or time of day. Doenjang-jjigae was initially made with home-made doenjang; however, due to extensive industrialisation of soybean paste, households and restaurants nowadays use factory-made doenjang instead as their ingredient. From traditional to modern Korean cuisine, doenjang has become one of the most frequently used jang (sauce/paste). It is claimed as a national dish.

Doenjang-jjigae is often mistaken for doenjang-guk (soybean paste soup). The main difference between Korean-style stew and soup is in the method of cooking and serving. Jjigae is thicker, has more ingredients, and is largely served as a dish. Guk is served more so as a companion to the rice to be eaten together

Korean Easy Meal Recipe: Doenjang-jjigae  (Korean Soybean Paste Stew)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 green Korean chili pepper (cheong-gochu), stemmed and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 large shrimp, shelled, deveined, washed, and coarsely chopped (about ⅓ cup)
  • 2½ cups water
  • dried anchovies, guts removed
  • 5 tablespoons fermented soybean paste (doenjang)
  • 170 grams medium-firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 100 grams of shredded Beef (optional)

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Korean Easy Meal Recipe: Doenjang-jjigae  (Korean Soybean Paste Stew)

How to cook

  1. Combine the potato, onion, zucchini, chili pepper, garlic, and shrimp in a 1½-quart (6 cups) earthenware pot or other heavy pot.
  2. Wrap the dried anchovies in cheesecloth (or a dashi bag, a pouch for stock-making sold at a Korean grocery store), and put them into the pot with other ingredients  Add water and cover.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes until it starts boiling.
  4. Stir in the soybean paste, mixing well. Cover and cook for 20 minutes longer over medium heat.
  5. Add the shredded beef (optional)
  6. Add the tofu and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the anchovy pouch and discard.
  7. Sprinkle with the green onions and serve as a side dish to rice. Serve it directly from the pot, or transfer to a serving bowl.

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