There’s nothing more comforting than hearing the chopping of vegetables with the smell of fragrant broth in the air for a Korean. I know a lot of people will identify with going back home after going to school/academy and stepping into the house with your mother busily preparing a nutritious dinner.
Doenjang jjigae is a soup with a base made from dissolving fermented bean paste into water or a broth, usually kelp and sardines, and is a staple in the Korean diet. Whether at home or outside in restaurants, doenjang jjigae can be found all over the place.
A variety of vegetables, such as zucchini, potato, onion, etc is added and the soup along with other seasonings such as light soy sauce, gochujang (red chili pepper paste) and gochugaru (chili pepper powder).
Basically, every household has their own version of this quintessential Korean comfort food, and I’m going to show you my own.
There are different versions of doenjang jjigae, but i’m a fan of bolder flavors so I add more doenjang (fermented bean paste) than others. This recipe will easily serve up to four people. If you live alone, no worries because Korean doenjang jjigae tastes better the next day anyways. I always make a big batch and eat it continually for a few days with other side-dishes.
The ingredients needed for this endeavor will include
For the broth
6 cups/900ml of water
4 pieces of dashima (konbu kelp)
5 large-ish dried sardines sans heads and guts
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons of doenjang
1 tablespoon of soju
1 tablespoon of hot chili pepper flakes
1/2 onion, chopped
1 small potato, chopped
1/2 small zucchini, chopped
1 hot chili pepper, sliced thinly
Handful of white paengi mushrooms (a.k.a. enokitake mushrooms)
I didn’t have any tofu in the house but usually, doenjang jjigae has tofu in it. I highly recommend adding a pack into the broth.
Top with green onions.
Now, on with the cooking!
(8) Throw in all the rest of the ingredients. Now at this time I realized my pot was much too full and it started to overflow, so I changed to a bigger pot. Please use a nice-sized pot. Don’t make the same mistake. I hate doing extra dishes blech.
(12)Top with fresh green onions, and enjoy it family-style with a variety of other side-dishes and main dishes. On this particular day I also had grilled meat. Doenjang jjigae is a staple menu enjoyed with grilled meat in any Korean BBQ restaurant.
I hope you enjoyed my recipe, good luck in the kitchen!
Until next time 🙂