Spicy soft tofu stew with kimchi and pork belly

Kimchi-sundubu-jjigae 김치순두부찌개

It’s about time for some sizzling, comforting stew, isn’t it? How about sundubu-jjigae? It’s hot, spicy, filling, comforting, delicious, soft tofu stew and has many reasons to be one of the most popular items in Korean restaurants.

I made a video and recipe for sundubu-jjigae seven years ago (!) and it’s been watched over a million times on YouTube (!!). So it was about time for an HD remake and a variation on the recipe, too. That recipe was for seafood sundubu-jjigae, which is my favorite, but since then I’ve learned that kimchi-sundubu-jjigae is more popular. This recipe is is for that version, it’s sundubu-jjigae made with kimchi and pork belly, really hard to go wrong with this dish. Whichever one you choose, you won’t be disappointed. Both are delicious, spicy, and savory, much better than anything you can order at a restaurant.

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This recipe serves 1 or two people, but you can double or triple the recipe for more people, and use a large stainless steel or cast iron pot for the cooking. If you want to serve everyone in a ttukbaegi then you’ll need to cook them on multiple burners, just like a restaurant!

Enjoy my recipe, and let me know if you make this! Take a photo and send it to me!

Ingredients (Serves 1 or 2)

  • 8 large dried anchovies, heads and guts removed
  • 5 ounces of radish, peeled, washed, and sliced thinly
  • dried kelp (6 x 4 inch piece)
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ½ cup pork belly (or any cut of pork: 2.5 ounces), cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • ½ cup well-fermented kimchi (4 ounces), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tube of soft tofu (sundubu)
  • 1 egg

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Directions

Make anchovy kelp stock (myeolchi dasima yuksu):

  1. Put dried anchovies, radish, dried kelp, and 4 cups of water in a pot. Cover and boil over medium high heat for 10 minutes until it starts boiling.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and boil another 20 minutes
  3. Remove from the heat and strain. It will make about 2 cups of stock.
    sundubu jjigae -anchovy stocksundubu jjigae-stock

Make the spicy paste:

  1. Combine the hot pepper flakes and the sesame oil in a small bowl and mix well.

ingredients-tofu-stew
Put it all together:

  1. Heat up a 3 cup earthenware pot (ttukbaegi) on the stove over medium high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes. If you use a small heavy pan or pot, it will take less.
  2. Add the vegetable oil, onion, and garlic. Stir it with a wooden spoon for 1 minute.
    sundubu jjigae (순두부찌개)
  3. Add the pork. Stir for 3 minutes until the pork is no longer pink.
    sundubu-jjigae (spicy soft tofu stew: 순두부찌개)
  4. Add kimchi and keep stirring for a minute. Add ½ cup anchovy stock. Cover and cook for 7 minutes over medium heat.
  5. Add the salt and the sugar and mix well.
  6. Cut the tube of soft tofu into half and squeeze it out into the pot. Gently break up the tofu with a wooden spoon. If you want, add a few tablespoons of stock.
  7. Put the hot pepper mixture on top and spread it with the spoon.
    sundubu-jjigae (순두부찌개: Korean spicy soft tofu stew)sundubu jjigae (순두부찌개)
  8. Crack the egg and put it on top, in the center of the stew. Let it bubble and sizzle for 1 minute.

Serve:

  1. Sprinkle with the chopped green onion and serve with rice and a few more side dishes.

sundubu-jjigae (순두부찌개: Korean spicy soft tofu stew)

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97 Comments:

  1. piperjohn3 NYC joined 12/11 & has 8 comments

    I bought a big bucket of kimchi at the new Hmart that opened down the block (yay!) and it was unexpectedly super sour and fizzy tasting. I guess they didn’t refrigerate it enough and it fermented early. It’s too strong for kimchi pancakes, but it’s just perfect for this recipe with just a little extra sugar! Seafood sundubu-jiggae has been my favorite, but this one is really magical too. I think these two dishes are the peak of Korean cuisine for me so far and I don’t know which I like better..

    I’m going to have quit being lazy and make my own Maangchi kimchi again, it’s so much better than store bought.

  2. Amykk Japan joined 7/19 & has 1 comment

    Hello,
    I made authentic soon dobu for the first time and it turned out really great! I have made kinda soon dubu many times before without knowing how korean people actually made it and I have to admit, comparing to yours, my recipe wasn’t that good at all! It’s a bit different from your original recipe as I added many tiny clams, more green onion leaves and mushrooms, but I can see your recipe is just amazing.
    I thought I should save the half of it for tomorrow, having a spoon of the soup, and I ended up to finish all of the big potful… I will definitely make soon dubu tomorrow, again.
    Now I realise that I need to make my own kimchee for soon dobu near future.
    Thank you so much for the great recipe!


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  3. vvericliu Singapore joined 5/19 & has 1 comment

    I love sundubu-jjigae and have always thought that it is difficult to make until I found your video. It flopped once based on a recipe from a random cookbook. However, I am successful this time! Thanks for the demo and tips, Maangchi!


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  4. maloudelim Manila joined 1/19 & has 4 comments

    My version


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  5. mdjohnmd North Carolina joined 2/19 & has 1 comment

    I have been meaning to post a picture for quite a while now. I started making this recipe about 2 and a half ago. It was one of the first recipes I made of Korean food and now I am in love with Korean food and cook it all the time. Thank you for being such a great Korean cook and Korean cooking teacher. I watch all your videos and have all your books. I would love to meet you one day. Do you ever do appearances or book signings at New York bookstores?


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  6. Jeanah7 Chicago joined 1/19 & has 1 comment

    This was absolutely the best soon dubu I have ever had. It is -21 degrees – that’s air temp – and -55 windchill here in Chicago right now and I decided that the only acceptable meal to eat on a day like this is Maangchi’s soon dubu jigae. Can you see the steam? I subbed mushrooms for the pork belly and it was delightful. I actually almost sweat a little! Thank you Maangchi!


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  7. Nayko france joined 10/18 & has 18 comments

    I made this recipe last night and i know that it won’t be long untill i do it again!! The taste is amazingly complex and addictive. Sour, sweet, spicy, hot hot hot. I love it


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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,773 comments

      Yes, it looks so good! I haven’t made my sundubu-jjigae for a while, and your picture makes my mouth water! I’m encouraged by my readers like you. : ) Happy cooking!

  8. loraein Singapore joined 9/12 & has 5 comments

    Tried this today. Used lean pork leg instead of pork belly. I like it!


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  9. nikkiborahim Chicago, Illinois joined 1/16 & has 1 comment

    So yummy!!!!!! Definitely will make again.

  10. anu_srilanka Sri Lanka joined 7/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    I’m in love with this dish. Last time when I went to Seoul my friend’s mother made this dish. I wanted to cook this dish here in Sri Lanka. And I found your blog when I was searching the recipe. couldn’t find the Kimchi and Soft Tofu though here in Sri Lanka. Yet I have tried with the Tofu available in the local market. It’s delicious.
    Thank you for this recipe.
    Anusha from Sri Lanka

  11. superstarcat California joined 5/18 & has 2 comments

    WOW !! Awesome recipe!!
    I even bought a Korean pot for it!:


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  12. WildRose85 Oregon joined 10/13 & has 6 comments

    My favorite Korean dish. Pork belly tends to be tough and chewy so I use ground pork instead. Anchovy stock is a must. I don’t like to add shitake because I don’t like the texture of boiled mushrooms. And I can’t imagine this dish without very sour kimchi. Can’t find tofu in a tube but I have learned that soft tofu works best (not silken).

  13. eeb1009 Chicago, IL joined 10/17 & has 3 comments

    I can’t stop making sundubujjigae! It’s so addictive and delicious and comforting. I use not only pork belly, but I also add some shrimps at the end, really deepens the flavor. I crave it all the time…


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