Fermented soybean paste stew

Doenjang-jjigae 된장찌개

Hi everybody!

Today my doenjang (fermented soybean paste) project is done by releasing this video recipe: How to make one of the most popular and representative doenjang dishes: doenjang-jjigae aka fermented soybean paste stew!


Many Koreans say, “I never get tired of eating kimchi, doenjang-jjigae, and rice!”

When a Korean mom chooses the first real meal for her baby, she chooses doenjang-jjigae (or soup made with soybean paste, doenjang-guk) with fluffy white rice. To make it go down easy she mixes the stew with the rice and feeds it to her child. Years later, when the child is grown and living far away, she makes it for them whenever they come home again, because every child has ingrained memories of mom’s doenjang-jjigae. It’s something they know and love and are always comforted with.

When some Korean tourists travel to foreign countries, the first place they want to go is a Korean restaurant and eat doenjang-jjiage with rice. “Oh, airplane food upset my stomach, I need something to feel good!” And it works!

One of my friends who has been living in USA for more than 3 decades stashes a small jar of doenjang into her check-in bag when she travels, because her husband can’t keep eating non-Korean food for an extended period of time. She’ll makes a quick doenjang-jjigae for him in their hotel kitchen.

There are many types and versions of doenjang-jjigae (like the recipe I posted years ago, doenjang-jjigae geotjeori bibimbap), and this recipe I’m showing you today is my standard that I’ve been using for years. It’s one of my favorite styles of doenjang-jjigae and is in my cookbook, too. What makes me more excited about it today is that I made it with my homemade doenjang!

Most of you don’t have homemade doenjang, so you can use store-bought doenjang with the same recipe. It will still be delicious, I promise!

Ingredients (Serves 2-4)

  • 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
  • 7 dried anchovies, guts removed
  • 5 tablespoons fermented soybean paste (doenjang)
  • 6 ounces medium-firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 2 green onions, chopped


homemade doenjang (집된장)


  1. Combine the potato, onion, zucchini, chili pepper, garlic, and shrimp in a 1½-quart (6 cups) earthenware pot or other heavy pot.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. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes until it starts boiling. If you use a stainless steel pot, it will take less than 15 minutes, about 7 to 8 minutes.
    doenjangjjigae ingredientsDoenjangjjigae (Korean fermented soybean paste stew: 된장찌개)
  2. Stir in the soybean paste, mixing well. Cover and cook for 20 minutes longer over medium heat.
  3. Add the tofu and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the anchovy pouch and discard.
  4. 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. Everybody can eat together out of the pot, or portions can be ladled out in individual bowls for each person.

Doenjangjjigae (Korean fermented soybean paste stew: 된장찌개)



  1. WildRose85 Oregon joined 10/13
    Posted January 17th, 2018 at 1:16 am | # |

    I love this stew. My only advice is to push the doenjang through a small sieve/strainer because I don’t like the pieces of beans and shells in my soup. Doenjang does have a natural sweetness so for more balance some gochugaru is a must. Seafood is very popular with this dish such as small clams. You could use canned clams but I prefer it without. Multigrain rice is my favorite with this soup.

  2. KpopFoodie New York joined 1/17
    Posted December 28th, 2017 at 8:08 pm | # |

    I will be making this over the weekend. It is super cold in New York

  3. jscorpio87 Florida joined 12/17
    Posted December 16th, 2017 at 7:46 pm | # |

    This was super delicious with chili pepper kimchi! Thank you Maangchi!

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  4. eeb1009 Chicago, IL joined 10/17
    Posted November 15th, 2017 at 7:00 am | # |

    I’ve made this twice now! I just use anchovy-kelp stock for the liquid, and I add shrimps and scallops at the end. It wasn’t spicy enough for me the first time I made it, so the second time, I added a chopped serrano pepper along with the Korean green chilis. I had assumed that Korean chilis would be really hot…I was surprised to eat a slice of one and find that it was sweet and tasted kind of like a green bell pepper, not spicy! Delicious on its own though. The serrano gave the jjigae and really nice heat, but not too overwhelming.

  5. AidannGreenWolfe Tucson, Arizona USA joined 9/17
    Posted September 11th, 2017 at 9:57 pm | # |

    I made this tonight with what i had on hand. only modifications were 1/2 pound beef instead of anchovies, Okra instead of Zucchini, and vegetable stock instead of water. This was amazing. I love it so much. Thanks Maangchi!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 14th, 2017 at 8:58 am | # |

      I’m interested to see how okra tastes in doenjang-jjigae. Maybe I will try it out! I also sometimes use beef instead of dried anchovies!

  6. Renaendel Seattle, WA joined 6/17
    Posted June 5th, 2017 at 11:10 pm | # |

    Thank you for the recipe! It turned out great!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 9th, 2017 at 12:46 am | # |

      Rice, kimchi, and doenjang-jjigae! It’s better than anything at any fancy restaurant, isn’t it?

  7. Tobyrm New York city joined 4/17
    Posted April 30th, 2017 at 6:11 pm | # |

    Got a wonderful dolsot for my birthday and the first thing I had to make in it was doenjangjjigae. Bibimbap is to follow. Thank you Maangchi for constantly inspiring me to cook.

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    • Tobyrm New York city joined 4/17
      Posted April 30th, 2017 at 6:12 pm | # |

      I actually added egg to mine and it turned out wonderfully.

  8. Brittanytala New Orleans joined 4/17
    Posted April 26th, 2017 at 6:31 pm | # |

    Came out great!

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