Fermented soybean paste (Doenjang-jjigae) is made with vegetables, tofu, and fermented soybean paste (doenjang). It’s Koreans’ everyday house food. We eat it with other side dishes and rice, but sometimes, especially in the southern part of Korea where I’m from, we eat this stew with barley rice, vegetable salad (Geotjeori), and hot pepper paste all mixed together as bibimbap. This is the style I’m going to teach you to make today.

Ingredients for Fermented soybean paste stew (Doenjang-jjigae)

  • 1 medium size potato (about 1 cup’s worth), peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 cup worth of zucchini or squash, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 cup worth onion, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green chili pepper, chopped
  • 7 dried anchovies, with the heads and intestines removed, chopped
  • 2½ cups water
  • 1 stalk of green onion, chopped
  • 150 grams of tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 5 tbs of fermented soy bean paste (doenjang)
  • 4 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped

Ingredients for Korean style mixed green salad (Geotjeori)


Make doenjang-jjigae

  1. Prepare an earthenware pot. Add potato, onion, garlic, zucchini, green chili pepper, shrimp, and dried anchovies.
  2. Add the water, just enough to cover everything.
  3. When it starts boiling add the fermented bean paste, stir the stew, and keep cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes. In the meantime you can make your geotjeori. If you don’t want the mixed salad, then you can finish the doenjang-jjigae (see below) and serve with rice and side dishes.

Make geotjeori

  1. Add the mixed greens and cucumber to a bowl.
  2. Make the sauce by mixing the soy sauce, hot pepper flakes, sugar, sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil.
  3. Mix the vegetables with the sauce. Transfer the salad to a glass bowl or a big plate to serve.

Finish the doenjang-jjigae

  1. Add tofu and cook another 5 minutes, occasionally stirring the boiling stew with a spoon.
  2. Add green onion over top.
    *tip: to check whether or not the ingredients are cooked, taste the potato.

Put it all together

  1. In a big bowl, place your rice first, then a scoop of doenjang-jjigae, and then some geotjeori. Mix in some hot pepper paste and toasted sesame oil. Wow, it’ll be delicious! : )

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  1. weimerwife11 mandeville la joined 2/12 & has 1 comment

    Hi I’m new to your website, and its great. I don’t have my mom anymore and she never got teach me any recipes before i was on my own so this is very helpful, I would love to make this and i was wondering if i can make it in a regular pot instead of the stone bowl? and can i get the dried anchovies from the Korean store? or can i get them in a regular grocery store?

  2. asiancracker San Antonio, TX joined 1/12 & has 1 comment

    My husband LOVES Doenjang jjigae so I make it for him all the time( my mom taught me how to make it)I’ve never had it with a salad so I had to try this. VERY YUMMY! I will be making this more often.

  3. Leah Boise, ID joined 11/11 & has 4 comments

    Just made this for the first time. So yummy! My mom came over for dinner and said it taste just like grandma’s! Yeah, success!!

  4. clarousel Singapore joined 9/11 & has 1 comment

    I’m thinking of making this for lunch tomorrow but I only have spicy bean paste. Is it okay to use that for this or will it alter the taste too much?

  5. Juyeon USA joined 9/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!

    I am your huge fan since I’ve known your webpage. Although I am also Korean, I haven’t learned how to cook korean food from my mom. Whenever I cook korean food, my first thing is to visit your webpage and follow your video exactly.

    Believe it or not, this recipe is my first successful 된장찌개 ever! My husband and I love your food so much!! Thank you for sharing your insightful recipes!!

  6. Elena Australia joined 8/11 & has 3 comments


    Can I substitute anchovies for something else?or can I leave it out?will it change its taste?andd same goes for the shrimp!

    love your recipes!will be trying them a lot:)

  7. Very first time ever I’ve cooked Korean food. And ofcourse I just HAD to try out this recipe, although it’s midsummertime ;)
    And we just loved it, although I wasn’t able to get all the right ingredients: no Korean chilipower, (but I made a mix of normal chilipowder, cayenne and hot paprika)(maybe you have better suggestions?)and Thai soybean paste (which looked more ‘beany’ to me. Maybe japanese miso is better substitute?). Don’t know if this made a lot of difference, but still taste is very good.
    Longing for wintertime (as we were sweating all over :( ’cause will make this again (and again and …)
    But will first try another of your site, more for this season

  8. charles.im Germany joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

    I signed up for WordPress just so I could leave you this comment. Thank you so very much for sharing your superb Doenjang-chigae recipe! If I was back in Southern California, I could get this anytime. It’s much harder to find good Korean food here in Germany. Sometimes I follow your recipe very closely. Other times I try other ingredients that seem similar. You are awesome!

  9. Mickee joined 5/11 & has 2 comments

    Hey Maangchi^__^

    I love your website. I miss Korea so much and I am so very happy there is you and your recepies^__^ It makes my life so much easier. I hardly eat anything but Korean dishes and now I know how to cook so many of them myself.
    I want to thank you for that! you are amazing. My Korean boyfriend also appreciates it!
    I went to the market today and we’re having 된장찌개 for dinner. It is so domestic. Yummy!!

  10. richardlee Buena Park, CA joined 4/11 & has 1 comment

    아가씨 (ㅋㅋㅋ), what is a good brand of 된장? You’re a great cook!

  11. JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11 & has 120 comments

    This was dinner tonight. It was absolutely amazing! It is not a hot contender for my favorite Korean dish next to soondubu jiggae! I am just constantly astounded at how perfect every recipe is on this site! Maangchi you are the best cook I have ever seen!!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      I’m very happy to hear that you love the recipe.

      Did you make the salad with fresh lettuce?
      In a large bowl, add barley rice, about 1 cup amount stew, and the salad (called geotjori). Mix it all together. You could add a little bit of hot pepper paste and more sesame oil if you want. yummy yummy bibimbap!

      • JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11 & has 120 comments

        I did – I used a variety of small leaf lettuces – I also used the barley rice and stew. I did also add hot pepper paste – it is my new addiction :) I think I am keeping the local Korean market in business with all the hot pepper paste I buy there :) Tonight is soondubu jjigae – my other favorite.

        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

          Yes, I sometimes add hot pepper paste, too. When doenjang jjigae made with lots of squash, seafood, green chili pepper, potato, onion.. and cooked until almost mushy is mixed with barley rice, it’s heaven! I’m getting hungry now!

  12. Shalmali tennessee joined 3/11 & has 1 comment

    i dont have the red pepper paste is there any substitute to it

  13. I just dwenjang jjigae for dinner tonight. Oh how my family loves it! ;) i added a bit of kuchujang to make a little spicy. Love it! Thanks for your recipes!

  14. Dan Seattle, Washington, US joined 2/11 & has 10 comments

    Maangchi, is the bean paste the same as Japanese miso paste? Can you use miso instead? (I happen to have miso in the fridge.) Thanks!!

  15. Surprisingly, the dorm dining hall at the university I go to served this today! I didn’t know what it was at first because they spelled it “dweng jang chi”. It was okay, good for a cold day but I’m sure if I make your recipe it will taste a thousand times more delicious :)

  16. cy24 CA joined 7/10 & has 4 comments

    Looking forward to try and make this. I’ve been wanting to do something with my left over soy bean paste. It has been in my fridge for a while. Thanks for this recipe.

  17. Maangchi,
    This recipe is fabulous. Maybe my favorite yet, (well, maybe second after kimchi jigae). Thanks (감사합니다) for making korean food so accessible to try and make. After visiting Korea I really missed the food and your website has brought back good memories.

  18. Kayla Baltimore, Maryland joined 11/10 & has 21 comments

    I’ve made this before, but a different recipe (veganized). It’s very hearty and my fiance and I had a hard time finishing off a whole batch. I think cutting it with the salad is a good idea. I’ll have to try this Maangchi-style!

    Seeing the anchovies reminded me of the stories my grandma told me about her roommate. She remembers very distinctly that her roommate loved to snack on little dried fish, like chips. I have a hard time when they still have the eyes; I feel like they’re looking at me sadly and begging me not to eat them. ): My fiance has no problem, though, so he can take the heads off for me then I’ll be fine.

  19. I just made this and it came out good but I thought it needed more water because there was only little gukmool and now the flavor is diluted even though I added soy bean paste.

  20. Sky Canada joined 9/10 & has 12 comments

    Hello Maangchi,

    I am Korean, but I had no idea how to cook Korean food until I found your website. Ironically, one of Facebook members named ‘Tammy’ introduced your website on her profile.


    I am so happy to find your website. I followed your recipe for Tofu stew. I cooked this Tofu stew for my Canadian husband last night. He was very impressed on the food I served. I also made my own salad. I hadn’t figured how to make dressing for it until I watch your video. The recipe for a mixed green salad is very helpful, especially on how to make dressing for it.

    There were no such ingredients like zucchini, shrimp, garlic, shrimp and anchovies to make the stew taste better; however, I put some other vegetables I like such as mushroom and cabbage. My husband doesn’t like garlic very much anyhow.

    As for Korean soybean paste, I prefer Japanese soybean paste to Korean one because Japanese one is very neat when you cook, which means that it doesn’t have little pieces of solid parts mixed around that looks like wastes when you cook.

    I will try another dish later on. I don’t know how to thank you enough. Thank you for all the videos you have uploaded. You will save my life from now on. The reason I like your recipes is that it seems not very difficult to cook for me. I had never felt that I could cook Korean food I had always thought it was so difficult that I hardly cook it. What happen to me now? I can do it!! You have a WOW website!!

  21. Hello. I had this with meat and it tasted very good. It was small pieces of meat on a bone and the meat was really tasty too. How can I make the meat that way to use for this recipe? And what kind of meat is it because I have no idea.

  22. LuccaQ Buffalo,NY joined 6/10 & has 30 comments

    A satisfying and versatile dish. I like to use this recipe for when I have leftover vegetables that I want to use up. I think chopping up the anchovies and putting them right in adds lots more flavor. Also, thank you for telling us how you enjoy the dish. I would have never have thought to put gochujang in. It makes it even yummier!!

  23. prettypass Bunker Hill, WV joined 7/10 & has 1 comment

    Thank for Korean recipes! I made this soup tonight. It’s great! All your recipes I have made are delicious. But I use Hondashi powder to make the stock to make it easier for me. The recipes are as delicious as the ones cook by my best Korean friends. :)

  24. yippieyeah joined 7/10 & has 3 comments

    Maangchi, love how simple your recipes are :) I would like to add clams to the doenjang chigae so what would be the best way? I’ve heard of steaming/boiling the clams first and then using the water in the chigae. How would you do it? Thanks!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      If the clams are very fresh, soak them in salty water. Add about 1/4 cup salt to 5 cups water in a large bowl. Wait for 1 hour. The clams will spit out sand from inside their shells. Then rinse them a couple of times and add them to boiling doenjang jjigae.

  25. Hi Maangchi,

    This recipes looks great! However, I like spicy food so when in the cooking process and how much hot pepper paste can I add! Thanks so much!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      how about adding 1 tbs hot pepper paste? If you want more, add more. It’s your doenjangjjigae. : )
      I used to add hot pepper paste to doenjangjjigae, but these days I prefer doenjangjjigae made without hot pepper paste.

  26. sadx1004 New York joined 6/10 & has 1 comment

    Hi, Maangchi! I’m a newlywed korean-american, and my hubbie is a chinese-american. We both love korean food, and i am so happy that i found you site with wonderful korean recipes! All the recipes are so easily written with instructions that is so easy to follow, with the end result of a great authentic korean dish! You are amazing and one of my heroes! I made this doenjang jjigae tonight for hubbie and my mom was a surprise guest. She absolutely loved the jjigae and said that she was amazed how good it was! I know that my mother was proud of me, and she was also thankful that you have this website to help us cook real korean food!! xoxoxo

  27. Could I make a complete vegetarian version of it without any seafood? What should I substitute the shrimps and anchovies with? You said something about mushrooms, but how do I get the stock salty enough, soy sauce?

  28. KKVL Belfast, joined 4/10 & has 15 comments

    hie maangchi!

    i tried making this yesterday, and it turned out awesome! i have never tried deonjang chigae before,so i wasn’t sure if i got it right, but i sure liked what i tasted XD … also i didn’t have a ceramic pot so i used my regular metal pot..and i couldn’t find squash or a zucchini so i replaced with a cucumber haha …

    thanks loads for your wonderful recipes maangchi..my next adventure’s going to be cabbage soup and samgak kimbap..wish me luck =D

  29. Meegs Daejeon, South Korea joined 4/10 & has 5 comments

    Thanks to you, I made my first successful batch of doenjang chigae! Whenever I’ve tried to make it before, there was always something off about it, but this time it tasted like an ajumma made it right here in my kitchen! 진짜 맛있다!

  30. stefanmbrg Donghae, South Korea joined 4/10 & has 1 comment

    Thank you for this wonderful website. My wife and I are living in Korea and I made this for the first time today because she is sick. She doesn’t like fish based stocks though. I know I could add some beef or chicken stock powder to the soup, but was wondering if there is something fresh that could be added for that effect. By the way, it is very delicious. It is my favorite soup in Korea.

  31. angelx12 Netherlands joined 4/10 & has 1 comment

    oh my. you are so cute!! hahah when you say it is so delicious.. i laughed!! haha so cute..

    i was in korea for half a year because of exchange.. and i love the food there… doenjangchigae.. soondubu chigae and samgyeopsal!!! i want to re-create them now that i am in the netherlands…!

    what can i make with hot pepper sauce? i just recently bought the paste!!



  32. Jeniko NZ joined 3/10 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    I attempted your ‘doenjang chigae’ the other day…you’re absolutely right! Just followed your instruction and it turned out brilliantly. My husband – nonkorean – who can eat literally any Korean dish including ‘beef organ soup'(which I myself couldn’t even manage to taste), isn’t so fond of this particular soup, yet loved yours and we had it for three days in a row. I never knew that stock can be made with only anchovy with no dashima, but still can make wonderful flavor. Plus,loved your green salad which tasted just like the one my mom used to make. Thank you so much!

  33. the5jrsinaz phoenix az joined 3/10 & has 1 comment

    My 8 yr old daughter LOVES soft tofu soup, not spicy. Is this the right recipe for her? When we order it in Korean restaurants we have one with mushroom and beef or pork or the seafood one without any spice, so it turns out white.

    If this is not the right recipe, would you please tell me which is the correct Soft Tofu Soup, not spicy version?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      yeah, I guess so! Skip green chili pepper in the recipe if you like to make non spicy doenjangjjigae for your daughter.

      “When we order it in Korean restaurants we have one with mushroom and beef or pork or the seafood one without any spice, so it turns out white. ”
      I think it’s soondubu jjigae (non-spicy version)!
      Check my soondubu jjigae recipe and skip hot pepper flakes in the recipe if you want to make non-spicy soondubujjigae.

  34. I cooked this version for my wife today; she is in bed with a cold. It was very easy to make, and it tasted better than the over-priced 32nd St food. I made it without the suggested shrimp because we don’t eat much meat, but I did add the dried anchovies.

    I used to eat doenjang jigae all the time in Korean prison, but I don’t think they added the anchovies. It was so bland!

  35. I like the recipe, I just think that the taste was a bit too strong for me. If I use less soy bean paste would that make a difference? I used like 4 tbs.

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