Kimchi Sundubo Jjigae (Korean Silken Tofu Stew)

A bowl of Kimchi Sundubo Jjigae (Korean Silken Tofu Stew)

Somethin’ Hot On The Side
I love Korean BBQ. I love it because it is interactive and allows for a lot of variety. I also like it because it forces you to actually have a sit-down meal while you wait for the food to be done—people talk and catch up without being in a rush. As much as I like grilling up some pork belly, my favorite part of Korean BBQ would be the items you order on the side.

Kimchi pancakes? Japchae noodles? Korean pickles? Yes, please!

But, hands down, the one dish that I must have no matter who I go with or where, is the Kimchi Sundubu Jjigae (or Korean Silken Tofu Stew). It could be 90 degrees outside, and I would still order this stew. It is spicy, velvety, bubbling hot nirvana. I have been craving it lately probably because it’s been cold.

The problem is, I won’t be able to get to my favorite place anytime soon but I found this recipe that only takes 30 minutes to make. Nothing says happy Wednesday like a fiery bowl of tofu, right?

Kimchi Sundubo Jjigae (Korean Silken Tofu Stew)
Adapted from Korean Babsang
Yields 2 servings

This quick-to-prepare and hearty stew is made with thinly sliced meat and kimchi. If you wish, you can add an egg to the nearly boiling broth at the time of serving.

1 12-ounce package sundubu (extra soft or silken tofu)
1/3 cup kimchi
3 ounces pork
1 to 3 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)
2 teaspoons garlic
1 tablespoon sesame oil (increase the amount by a little more if using more gochugaru)
1 cup water
2 to 3 tablespoons juice from kimchi
1/2 teaspoon saewujeot (salted shrimp) or salt to taste
pinch black pepper
1 scallion
1 egg (optional)

Prep the ingredients
Thinly slice the meat and kimchi into small thin strips. Mince the garlic and finely chop the scallion.

Stir-fry the meat
Add the sliced kimchi, meat, gochugaru, garlic, and sesame oil to a small pot, and place it over medium heat. Stir-fry until the meat is almost cooked (about 3 – 4 minutes).

Add the water
Pour in water and the juice from the kimchi. Bring it to a boil, and continue to boil (about 3 to 4 minutes). Skim off the scum.

Add the tofu
Scoop the silken tofu with a big spoon, adding large chunks to the broth.

Season the broth
Stir in the salt (or salted shrimp) to taste by starting with 1/4 teaspoon. Add the black pepper. Continue to cook (about 4  to 5 minutes).

To serve
Spoon the stew into two large bowls. If desired, crack a raw egg into the stew while it’s still boiling hot. Then garnish with the chopped scallion.

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