Spicy soft tofu stew with seafood

Haemul sundubu-jjigae 해물 순두부찌개

Sundubu-jjigae (sometimes spelled soondubu-jjigae) is a spicy, seasoned stew made with a type of silky soft tofu called sundubu. Served hot at the table in its traditional earthenware bowl, it’s impossible to resist. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like sundubu-jjigae after they tried it. All it takes is one time!

If you go to a Korean sundubu-jjigae restaurant you’ll be surprised at how many varieties they make. This version is my favorite. When I go to the restaurant I always choose the seafood version, and it’s the one I most like to make at home, too. I’ve created a sundubu-jjigae section on my website that includes all the sundubu-jjigae recipes I’ve made so far. If you follow any of those recipes exactly, you will have some really delicious stew!

Usually we Koreans have sundubu-jjigae in a Korean earthenware bowl, but so many of you have told me over the years that you can’t get that bowl, or want to feed more people than you have bowls, so I’m including a serving alternative at the end of this recipe that explains how to serve it in regular bowls.

I have a funny story about Korean earthenware bowls (ttukbaegi). When I was making my first cookbook, my editor Rux and my literary agent came over to my house in New York for lunch. I made them bibimbap in Korean earthenware bowls. Rux was surprised to see me doing this, she said “Oh, where can I buy those bowls?”

I said “At a Korean grocery store! Do you want me to help you buy one?”

She said “Sure!” So we took a taxi down to Koreatown on 32nd street. She bought a lot of them, maybe 7 or 8 bowls! They were so heavy. Rux doesn’t even live in New York, she lives in Vermont. I helped her take all those heavy bowls to her hotel and then she later took them all the way home to Vermont in her car. Ever since we made that cookbook she’s been cooking Korean food all the time and has become better and better at it. Her whole family are big fans of Korean food now, all the way to her granddaughter, and she says she’s the Maangchi of Vermont now.

I chose large shrimp in my recipe but you don’t have to use shrimp that big. Just use smaller shrimp or even cocktail shrimp and the broth will still be delicious.

I wanted to show you a typical sundubu-jjigae table setting in the video. What you need to do is completely set the table with the side dishes and everything so that when the sundubu-jjigae is bubbling on the stove you can bring it right out to serve, directly on to the table. If you keep it boiling on the stove while you set up the table, the seafood will get tough and the sundubu-jjigae will actually boil down, which you really don’t want.

Enjoy the recipe! I hope you become the Maangchi of your area! : )haemul sundubu jjigae

Ingredients (for 2 servings)


  1. Combine the hot pepper flakes, sesame oil, and black pepper in a small bowl. Mix well with a spoon until the hot pepper flakes absorb all the oil. Set aside.mixture of hot pepper flakes
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, the chopped white part of the green onion, and mushroom. Stir with a wooden spoon until the onion and garlic are slightly brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until it’s boiling vigorously.
  3. Add shrimp, oysters, and mussels. Cut the tubes of tofu in half and squeeze them into the boiling stew, and then break up the tofu a bit with a wooden spoon. If using silken tofu, scoop or squeeze from the box into the stew.sundubu
  4. Add the fish sauce (or salt to your taste), half of the hot pepper mixture, and stir a few times.spicy soft tofu stew
  5. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the seafood is fully cooked and the broth is infused with its savory flavor.

2 ways to serve:

Serve in Korean earthenware bowls:

  1. Ladle the stew into 2 earthenware bowls (2½ cup bowls work best) and place them on the stove top. Heat them up over high heat. Add the leftover seasoning mixture on top of the stew in each bowl.seafood sundubujjigaespicy soft tofu stew with seafood
  2. When the stews starts bubbling, crack the eggs into each bowl. Cook for another minute until vigorously boiling. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the green part of the chopped green onion over top. spicy soft tofu stew with seafood
  3. Serve right away while it’s bubbling, with rice, kimchi, and more side dishes on the side.

Serve in regular soup bowls:

  1. Add the second half of the seasoning mixture to the boiling stew in the pot and mix it in a bit. Carefully crack the eggs into the bubbling stew, and cook for 1 or 2 minutes until the eggs are slightly (or half) cooked. Remove from the heat.
  2. Gently ladle the stew into two soup bowls without disturbing the eggs. Scoop up each egg and place one in each bowl.
  3. Sprinkle the green part of the chopped green onion over top and serve right away with rice, kimchi, and more side dishes.

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  1. o0oFLORAo0o Los Angeles joined 1/14 & has 1 comment


    I’m going to try this recipe tonight (4 servings) with dungeness crab instead of the seafood mix. Do you suggest I add additional ingredients like meat, seafood or other sauces? It’ll be my first time attempting soondubu so I’m a little nervous. Hope to hear back from you today. Thanks!

  2. KrynauwOtto2 Pretoria, South Africa joined 9/13 & has 54 comments

    This looks very good!!
    So gonna try it!

  3. Misodare Canada joined 8/13 & has 1 comment

    If you know what “Shichimi” is, (a Japanese hot pepper powder, with six other spices) can I use that instead of the hot pepper flake?
    If not, then does gochujeang (idk how it’s spelt) work?

  4. AA1996 Sacramento joined 5/13 & has 1 comment

    Hi, I just have a question
    Is it necessary to add the dried anchovies?

  5. Uyenlai Usa joined 5/13 & has 1 comment

    Hi im very exciting to make this soup ( my 1st time )
    So i have a question can i use hot pepper paste instead of hot pepper flake???

  6. eversoangus San Diego joined 4/13 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    I love all of your videos and make myself hungry late at night watching them. I just made this jjigae for dinner tonight and it was so flavorful and delicious. Thank you so much and it’s seriously so much better than what I normally get at a restaurant.

  7. PMMitchell United States joined 3/13 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi:

    I know this is an old post – but it’s relatively new to me!

    My partner and I really enjoy soondubu jjigae, but our favorite restaurant is over 45 miles away! So, I decided to try this recipe. I followed it exactly and it is TERRIFIC! We both agree that it is better than the version at Tofu House in Palo Alto, CA (our favorite place). Thanks so much!

    I had no idea how easy it is to make…

  8. ang gelo Philippines joined 2/13 & has 6 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    Can I use claypot for cooking soondubu jiggae? I have a medium sized claypot with round bottom. Also my claypot does not have a glaze in it. :-)

  9. Kenisha Jakarta, Indonesia joined 2/13 & has 1 comment


    how many servings that can be cooked from all the above ingredients?

    if I want to cook for one serving per one person, how many of the ingredients used for it?

    P.S. If I can not find dried Korean anchovies, can I use another type of dried anchovies?

  10. kimjanej Durham joined 2/13 & has 1 comment

    I just made this the other night and it was delicious! I made it just in my pot but it was still good. I was wondering if I could make it in a dolsot – I don’t have the ddubbaegi, but I have two dolsots I use for bibimbap.

  11. xelloss1989 United States joined 1/13 & has 15 comments

    Somehow the flakes i bought is not very spicy, so in another pot i cooked up some more mushrooms with hot pepper paste and the soup that i was boiling, and then I poured the whole thing into the tofu soup. Taste good!

  12. ladyluxuryrn Nj joined 3/12 & has 2 comments

    Just made my 1st Soon du bu Maangchi! I couldn’t find any pepper flakes and just chopped dried pepper instead. Are hot pepper flakes and pepper powder the same?
    It was delicious none the less…Thanks!

  13. Lixin Singapore joined 3/12 & has 3 comments

    hello! how many people does this recipe serve? thanks!

  14. AZ_ABC Chandler, Arizona joined 6/11 & has 5 comments

    Maangchi ssi,

    I watched a KD where the main star made Pumpkin Soup. Would you be so kind as to posting a video making this soup? It was so beautiful – It just had to be delicious!

  15. chomie3 San Jose, California joined 10/12 & has 1 comment

    Second time making this! Thanks so much Maangchi!

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