Soondubu Jjigae

In my mind, Korean food is always so red. Turns out, there’s a simple trick to that: gochugaru. Red chili powder. The Korean grocer just sells very large quantities of it. The smallest package is 7 oz, which means I now have more gochugaru than all other spices combined.

Soondubu Jjigae (Korean spicy tofu stew)

To make a stew, I want to start right at the source: an anchovy and seaweed stock. Sourced from chowdivine and zenkimchi and kimchimom.


  • 2″x3″ strip kombu (or dashima), 1/2  onion, 3 garlic cloves in 8 cups water. Boil for 10 minutes.
  • 10 large dried anchovies, gutted. Add, then boil on low uncovered for 15 minutes.
  • Scoop out solid ingredients, leaving golden broth.

Soondubu with beef:

  • Marinate 10 oz thinly sliced steak in 2 tbsp gochugaru (pepper powder), 1/2 tbsp minced garlic, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp soju (or cooking wine), 1.5 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp salt, pinch pepper.
  • In pot, saute 1/2 onion. Add beef and ladle of stock, and cook beef.
  • Add enough (how much?) broth. Adjust seasoning.
  • Add 11-oz tube of soondubu (silken tofu) and 1/2 zucchini, and simmer for at most 3-5 more minutes, or else will draw water from tofu.
  • Serve with room-temp egg, scallions, and steamed rice.