Spicy soft tofu stew with seafood

Haemul-sundubu-jjigae 해물순두부찌개

Ingredients (serves 2-3)


Prepare stock to make tasty sundubu:

  1. Pour 5 cups of water into a pot and add 12 dried anchovies after removing intestine part.
  2. Add half onion, some dried kelp (about ⅓ cup), 3 dried shiitake mushrooms, 5 cloves of garlic and boil it over high heat.
  3. Approximately 10 minutes later, lower the heat to low medium heat and boil it for another 20 minutes.
  4. Set aside the stock and take out the mushrooms and chop them into small pieces.
  5. Heat your earthen ware (or ceramic pot) on the stove and put 2 ts of olive oil.
  6. Chop 100 grams of beef and put it into the pot and stir it.
  7. Add the chopped shiitake mushroom and stir it.
  8. Add 2 tbs – 5 tbs (¼ cup) of hot pepper flakes and keep stirring for 1 minute.
    2 tbs—mild
    3 tbs—medium
    4 tbs—hot
    5 tbs (¼ cup)—suicidal hot ! : )
  9. Pour 2 cups of the stock you made. It will be sizzling. Don’t be afraid! It’s just TOFU stew! : )
  10. Add 1 cup of mixed seafood and 3 shirimp.
  11. Add 2 tbs of fish sauce.
  12. Cut the 2 tubes of Soon du bu (soft Tofu) in half and squeeze it out into the pot and break the tofu with a spoon several times in the pot.
  13. When it boils, add 2 chopped green onions and 1 green chili pepper.
  14. Crack eggs and drizzle some sesame oil before serving.



Enjoy it!



  1. Filipinoloveskoreanspicyfood Ohio joined 8/16
    Posted August 26th, 2016 at 9:28 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi, I was wondering if what is another substitute for making your broth? I have a regular dried fish but not anchovies though, and also the kelp? Our Asian store here has a very limited stuff which is not fun for me, I am from the Philippines and I can eat stuff that will smoke my ear out hehe well, I would love to try this but I dont think I can make this with just a dried shiitake mushroom on hand. ( Dried fish will do? ) Thank you.

  2. charlietuna joined 6/15
    Posted May 31st, 2015 at 10:03 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    This may be an unusual request, but do you have a suggestion to make your dish not spicy? I would like to make this dish for my young children, but they cannot take spicy ingredients. Thank you!

    • sanne Munich joined 8/14
      Posted June 1st, 2015 at 1:50 am | # |

      Hi charlietuna,

      Funny: We had soondubu-jjigae last night! Great as always! ;-D

      Just use green bell-pepper and mild red bell-pepper powder (or paste or fresh ones if the powder is not available). That way, you will have the good taste without the hotness.
      Don’t forget to fry them! Readily grilled ones (available canned in jars) should work perfectly, too.

      Bye, Sanne.

  3. Mwcho123 Houston joined 1/17
    Posted January 21st, 2017 at 11:11 am | # |

    How many servings does this make? I want to make it for three people. I will have rice, Asian chive side dish, and the bean paste flavored bok choy as sides. Will it be enough or should I increase the recipe?

  4. uk2nyc Milan, Italy joined 3/16
    Posted March 23rd, 2016 at 8:13 am | # |

    Amazing i always make it :)

    Thanks again


  5. kimjessi chicago joined 3/16
    Posted March 9th, 2016 at 9:22 pm | # |

    I tried this recipe for the 1st time, and i am wondering if the gochucaru is suppose to melt.. my soup just looks watery with flakes? what am i doing wrong!? soondubu is my favorite.. so i would love to makethis right!

  6. journeywithkube Raleigh, NC joined 1/16
    Posted January 21st, 2016 at 10:42 pm | # |

    I used your recipe and made a very tasty Sundabu Jjigae. It was so good that I even decided to buy your book! :)

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 27th, 2016 at 10:22 am | # |

      Thank you for sharing the photo! But I wish I could open the lid of the stew! : )

  7. miggyloo Toronto joined 1/16
    Posted January 21st, 2016 at 9:36 am | # |

    I made this last night to use up some soon-to-expire squid and it was so delicious and perfectly seasoned – just like from the Korean restaurants! I used my cast iron dutch oven as the earthenware substitute, teeny tiny 1/2 inch dried anchovies found in the frozen section at the local Korean supermarket so no need to gut, salted mini shrimp from a jar instead of regular shrimp, one jalapeño instead of the green chile pepper, Pulmone silken tofu instead of the tube tofu, dried shiitake for the stock and fresh local shiitakes for frying with the grass-fed ground beef, and added watercress near the end for extra green. My 4 year old daughter wanted to try the squid and kept coming back for more even though it was spicy! Next time, I’ll make Pulmone’s hand-made style noodles to go with it and we’ll eat like kings! Thank you for your excellent recipe!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 21st, 2016 at 10:41 am | # |

      It sounds very delicious! “My 4 year old daughter wanted to try the squid and kept coming back for more even though it was spicy!”? Isn’t she cute? : )

  8. Emerquoise joined 8/15
    Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 12:45 am | # |

    Hi, can I use pork instead of beef? Thanks.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 2nd, 2015 at 1:05 am | # |

      Yes, pork will work well, too.

  9. Sara Alice joined 7/15
    Posted August 19th, 2015 at 1:05 am | # |

    I made this today and it came out so good. I have made this dish several times since I love seafood. I ended up adjusting the recipe for a serving of one instead, just for a change. Instead of two tablespoons, I did three teaspoons instead. One teaspoon of fish sauce, soup soy sauce, and oyster sauce to make it a little bit sweet. And I added a sprinkle of salt. This is the best I have ever had. Take care!

    See full size image

  10. Jojo77 Ohio US joined 2/15
    Posted February 14th, 2015 at 7:35 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I tried this recipe last Friday and I think it was a success, but somehow I feel it is not salty enough. Is it because the hot pepper flakes I am using is not salty enough?


    • sanne Munich joined 8/14
      Posted February 15th, 2015 at 2:03 am | # |

      Hi Jojo77,

      I wonder; 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of fish-sauce should be salty enough for that amount of stew …

      Gochugaru isn’t salty at all; Pul biber (the Turkish kind) is sometimes (always?).
      Maybe the fishsauce you use isn’t salty enough. You may also season the beef first.

      And really boil the stock you make for it good so that much water evaporates and the ingredients give their flavour (and saltiness) to it!

      Bye, Sanne.

      • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
        Posted February 15th, 2015 at 8:08 am | # |

        Thank you for your nice reply to jojo77!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 15th, 2015 at 8:02 am | # |

      Jojo, if it’s not salty enough for you, add more fish sauce or salt to your taste. Good luck with your making delicious seafood soft tofu stew. Check out my recent kimchi sundubujjigae recipe, too. https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/sundubu-jjigae

  11. AdamB usa joined 12/14
    Posted December 28th, 2014 at 8:55 am | # |

    Thank you Maangchi! I make your Japchae and kimchi and am sure this stew will be another favorite. I don’t have good enough internet to watch your videos unless I can get to a town, but love to watch and learn when the opportunity arises. So, the printed recipes, directions and links are so appreciated!

  12. AdamB usa joined 12/14
    Posted December 27th, 2014 at 9:27 pm | # |

    I am going to make this stew, but what had been holding me back are the anchovies. Quite frankly the thought of taking guts out of the little fish is a bit gross! Obviously I didn’t grow up with them! Do we remove the anchovies before serving? I don’t mean to insult. I’m sure they are the base for a great flavor, but like I said, they will be a hurdle for me!

    I have to tell you that I so appreciate how you link the ingredients to an info page. I take my cell phone to the Korean market and find the “right” ingredients by matching up your pictures to what is on the shelf!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted December 27th, 2014 at 10:59 pm | # |

      Yes, I always take out the guts and heads from dried anchovies. If you can’t clean the anchovies, I recommend getting anchovy powder in small package. And yes, remove the cooked anchovies from the stew before serving. Not many people will be interested in seeing floating anchovies in the stew. Some people eat the cooked anchovies though.

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