Doenjang Jjigae (Korean Soy Bean Paste Stew)

I love Hyosun Ro’s Korean food blog and her easy-to-follow recipes. I’ve slightly adapted her Doenjang Jjigae (Korean Soy Bean Paste Stew) to exclude pork and a chili pepper, which actually decreases the cooking time, making the recipe even easier.  The soup is still slightly spicy without the chili pepper but not as spicy as the red color would indicate.  Since it is a Korean soup, it does contain unique Korean ingredients that are not typically found in the grocery store.  I bought my Korean soy bean paste and chili pepper flakes at an Asian food market in Minneapolis, MN called United Noodle.  The soy bean paste is red in color and comes in little tupperware-like tubs.  The chili pepper flakes come in a metallic pouch that’s about the size of a freezer ziploc bag.  Think of these items as investment ingredients, once you buy them, you’ll be able to use them in a variety of dishes- soups, marinades, stews, stir frys, kimchi and so on.  David uses Korean chili pepper flakes in his southern boiled peanuts!  This is a great starter Korean dish, no strange flavors or textures, just lots of great flavor- so everyone should love it! 

Doenjang Jjigae (Korean Soy Bean Paste Stew)
Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes 1 serving

• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 2 tablespoons Korean soy bean paste (doenjang)
• 1 teaspoon Korean chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
• 2 cups of chicken broth (sub light vegetable broth for vegans)
• 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
• 7 oz tofu, cut into small bite-sized cubes
• 1 small zucchini, cut into small bite-sized cubes
• 1 cup of mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, sliced
• 1 scallion, thinly sliced
• 1 cup cooked rice (optional)

Preheat the oil in a small pot over medium heat. Sauté the garlic with soy bean paste and chili pepper flakes for 1 minute. Add the broth and stir well to dissolve the soy bean paste. Add the onion, tofu, zucchini, and mushrooms. Boil for an additional 8 minutes. Throw in the scallion with 2 minutes remaining. Serve with rice while it is still hot, if desired.

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