Ground soybean stew

Kongbiji-jjigae 콩비지찌개

I’m very happy to introduce this kongbiji-jjigae recipe to you today. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this ground soybean stew is the sight and sound of it sizzling and bubbling in an earthenware pot in the cold winter, just like I used to have it growing up. Warm, creamy, nutty, and healthy, it’s the perfect stew for colder weather.

Kongbiji is soy pulp, which is leftover from the process of making tofu. In that process the soaked soybeans are pureed and then filtered through a sack. What’s filtered is used for tofu and the the soy pulp left in the sack is kongbiji. In this recipe, we won’t make soy pulp that way, we’ll puree soybeans in a blender.

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If anyone ever asked me which of my grandmother’s dishes was her most delicious, I will definitely say, “kongbiji-jjigae!”.  I was fascinated with her kongbiji-jjigae ever since I first saw and tasted it. I used to follow her when she went shopping and she would buy a lump of kongbiji at a local tofu factory. When she brought it home and made this stew for breakfast on a freezing cold day in the winter, it was always in the center of the table, sizzling and bubbling and making us all feel warm even before we tasted it!

Whenever  she was ready to serve a meal, she said, “Open the table!” She had several different sizes of tables, stored between the rice chest and the wall. My uncles took out a large circular wooden table. The table legs were folded, so several tables could be placed in the gap.

One of my uncles unfolded the legs of the table, another cleaned the table with a wet cloth. My uncles set spoons, chopsticks, and side dishes on the table. Then my grandmother scooped rice from her huge cast iron pot into small individual bowls and my uncles and I helped her put the bowls on the table. Then the last dish to the table was this kind of sizzling stew! She always brought it at the last minute, so all family members could enjoy it hot, as long as possible.

When I tasted her kongbiji-jjigae for the first time, I could not believe  such a delicious dish existed in the world! : )

The important tip in this recipe is not to vigorously mix the ground beans in to the stew. Do it gently, like I do it in the video, because if the beans get too mixed in, they will sink to the bottom of the pot. Slip your spoon into the bottom of the pot and then bring it up gradually, and shake the beans softly from underneath. That will keep them creamy.

I hope you enjoy this recipe with your friends and family. Serve it bubbling and make everyone warm!Kongbiji-jjigae (Ground soybean stew) 콩비지찌개

Ingredients

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For stock (make about 2½ cups)

Directions

Make anchovy kelp stock (You can substitute with 1½ cup vegetable stock or chicken broth)

  1. Put the anchovies and dried kelp in a sauce pan.
  2. Add the water and boil for 20 minutes over medium high heat.
  3. Strain and set aside. Kongbiji-jjigae (Ground soybean stew) 콩비지찌개

Make kongbiji-jjigae:

  1. Rinse the beans and drain. They will expand to a little more than 1 cup. Blend the beans with 1 cup water until creamy. You will get about 2 cups ground beans.Kongbiji-jjigae (Ground soybean stew) 콩비지찌개
  2. Heat a heavy, 2 quart pot (or Korean earthenware or stone pot) over medium high heat. Add the sesame oil, garlic and onion and stir for 30 seconds with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the pork, soy sauce, and ground black pepper and stir for 2 to 3 minutes until the pork is no longer pink. Add the kimchi and stir for 5 minutes until the kimchi turns a little soft.Kongbiji-jjigae (Ground soybean stew) 콩비지찌개
  4. Add 1½ cup anchovy kelp stock (or chicken or vegetable stock). Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the ground beans over the stew. Gently stir and turn the stew over with a wooden spoon. Cook for another 5 to 6 minutes with the lid open until the beans are fully cooked and bubbling. Taste it to test if the beans are fully cooked. It should taste nutty.Kongbiji-jjigae (Ground soybean stew) 콩비지찌개
  6. Add the salted fermented shrimp (or fish sauce or 1-2 teaspoons salt to your taste) and stir. You can add the leftover stock if the stew is too thick and you want to thin it out a bit.
  7. Add most of the green onion, green and red chili pepper, leaving some back for a garnish. Stir a few times and cook for 1 minute.Kongbiji-jjigae (Ground soybean stew) 콩비지찌개
  8. Add the rest of the green onion, green and red chili pepper as a garnish.
  9. Remove from the heat and serve right away with rice and more side dishes.Kongbiji-jjigae (Ground soybean stew) 콩비지찌개

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54 Comments:

  1. koreanfoodfan32 joined 5/10 & has 9 comments

    Can i use chicken instead of beef or pork? Thanks! This recipe looks great for wintertime.

  2. Stefanie Amsterdam joined 4/10 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi!
    If I use pulp for this recipe, how much would I need?
    ^_________^

  3. afropuffn Columbia, SC joined 3/10 & has 1 comment

    Maanchi Ahjumah you are my saving grace!

    I married a Korean man in Korea and we moved back to the US. Your website has saved my husband from starvation.

    This kongbiji stew has sent me and my husband over the moon! Its so fabulously healthy and savory.

    I look forward to trying each and everyone of your dishes eventually:)

    I saw your naengmyun receipe and wondered if you had a beef stock recommendation rather than the fish stock?

  4. rXcanadensis Ottawa, ON joined 3/09 & has 4 comments

    I tried to make it, but I made a few mistakes! :( I added too much stock and kimchi so it was too liquid and orange instead of beige. It tastes awesome though!

  5. leeemur SF Bay Area joined 7/09 & has 9 comments

    Can I use the pulp from making tofu for this stew? I need to find other uses for it since I make tofu often. haha.
    I can’t wait to try this out. Looks so yummy!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,684 comments

      hi, of course you can use soy bean pulp which is more traditional way of making this stew. When you use the pulp, you will have to use more stock than indicated in the recipe. Otherwise the stew will be too thick.

      You make your own tofu? Some of my readers will be interested in learning how to make tofu. I would appreciate it if you leave the recipe here: https://www.maangchi.com/talk/forum/reader-recipes

  6. Sylvia joined 9/08 & has 78 comments

    I just made my first pot of kongbiji jjigae. It’s snowing here in NY.
    Delicious!!
    I love it.
    As usual being able to see you prepare the recipe in the video helps me make it exactly the same. I even had soybean volcanos!

  7. hyena319 NYC joined 6/09 & has 4 comments

    How do I know if my soybeans are spoiled or dead?

  8. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands joined 2/09 & has 102 comments

    This looks great, i will give it a try soon.
    If there is no dried kelp available, is there a good substitute?

  9. arschaaf Vancouver, Canada joined 7/09 & has 4 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    I just made this for the first time tonight and it was fantastic! For those people who like Kimchi Jiggae and Sundubu, you will love this recipe. I love those two stews so I decided to give it a try. Big success! I will definitely add this to my regular repertoire of Korean recipes. Thank you! :)

  10. orionflux joined 8/09 & has 16 comments

    Hi Maangchi! :) Do you have to use pork? I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat pork, so I was just curious if there’s another type of meat you can use. Alrighty, thank you!

  11. Mikura New Haven, CT joined 6/09 & has 8 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    This was my all time favorite stew while I was growing up. Whenever my family went grocery shopping and passed the prepared food section, I’d always beg my mom to buy a container of biji jjigae. Normally, she would say yes….just looking at your video takes me back!

    For the kimchi, do you recommend a less fermented or very sour kimchi?

    Thank you!

  12. annabanana Vancouver, Canada joined 2/09 & has 68 comments

    Ooh, another idea for soup: anchovy, dashima, and shiitake mushroom. You know, I like to consume stocks made from your recipes just on their own, nothing else added. They really are delicious. That being said, kongbiji tastes good and is quite filling. I’m sure your recipe is another hit.

  13. Tuty joined 5/09 & has 14 comments

    What a lovely soup. I’d love to taste it…

  14. MindyGirl Orange County, CA joined 8/09 & has 10 comments

    Hi 언니!
    I remember eating this as a child and loving it! Thanks so much for the recipe. My fiance (who loves Korean food) thanks you too. BTW, when will you be in the L.A. area again? I would love to share a meal with you and your fans.

    Hope you are having a wonderful new year. 새해 복 많이 받으세요!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,684 comments

      yes, I will visit California hopefully someday soon. Thank you very much for your offer. I am already excited about tasting your food!
      : ) When I plan another meetup in LA, I will let you know through my blog in advance. Stay tuned! ; )

  15. Kutin NYC joined 2/10 & has 6 comments

    Hey Maangchi,

    This looks like something I would tried too, seems very healthy. I was wondering, what kind of rice were you eating with the stew at the end of the video? Looks pretty good too. Would you please tell me where to get that kind of rice? Looks different from what I usually eat. Thank you

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,684 comments

      yes, it’s multi-grain rice that I usually eat.
      This is the recipe:
      How to make rice using a pot:
      1. Combine 1 cup of short grain rice, 1/2 cup of sweet brown rice, 1/2 cup of barley rice, and 2 tbs of black sweet rice
      2. Wash and drain a couple of times and put it in a pot with a thick bottom
      3. Pour 2.5 cups of water into the pot and soak it at least for 30 minutes.
      4. Bring the pot to a boil over medium heat for 10 minutes.
      5. Open the lid and turn the rice over with a rice scoop or spoon.
      6. Simmer it over low heat for another 10 minutes!

      The purple color comes from black sweet rice.

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