Recipe+Poem – Soondubu Jjigae

Soon Dubu is an amazing hearty Soft Tofu Stew from Korea. It has become one of my go to dishes, if I’m lazy and want something warm and cozy! You can add any kind of vegetable, meat, or seafood to it, and it is extremely versatile!

June 19th, 2020 (Update): Traditionally Soon Dubu doesn’t have any Fennel Seeds or Ginger in it as far as I know. But I recently found out that when I’m love sauteeing some Ginger and Fennel seeds in some ghee (if I’m not using meat) before proceeding with the rest of the steps. It’s just so yum!


Leave it over days,
To develop what your tongue
Seeks, and stick ’em in a stew,
Stir it up with rice,
Eat it as such –
The heavenly kimchi
Is a fermenting lullaby.

Recipe: Kimchi Soondubu

Note: This is by no means authentic as I am not Korean. I just followed my tongue and went with it after trying out a few online recipes, because, yay – quarantine. It was delicious to me, but feel free to make your own mods. Please do let me know if you do because I’d love to try it out.

The ingredients are all for one serving because of #sololife!

In the picture :

  1. Short grain rice as you like it
  2. Salad – Red Radish (sliced), Carrots (julienned), lettuce and onions
  3. Kimchi Soondubu (my style)

Ingredients required for Soondubu (you can find all these ingredients at your local Asian store. I usually shop at Hmart for these):

  • 20 grams of your choice of meat. I prefer pork belly or ribeye, thinly sliced (3 mm or 1/8″ thick) – Check some tips below, if you’re Pescatarian or Vegetarian.
  • 50 grams of your favorite kimchi (optional, if you want it a bit tangy)
  • 20 grams of cubed Zucchini (or really, any of your favorite water vegetable)
  • 30 grams of mushrooms (optional) – I prefer Enoki for this
  • 5 to 11 Oz of Soon Tofu, depending on how much protein you’d like
  • 5 mL of Fish Sauce (this replaces the Anchovy Broth for me. If you prefer fish broth, go ahead and use that)
  • 5 mL of Soy Sauce (I like this one for this particular recipe. Use a mild, less salty soy sauce)
  • 5 mL or 1/2 tsp of Sesame Oil
  • 7 grams or 1/2 tbsp of Gochugaru (adjust according to your spice tolerance)
  • 1 tbsp of minced Garlic (I like the garlicky taste, so feel free to reduce this)
  • 150 – 250 mL of Water/Anchovy Broth. You can use these packets if you prefer the Anchovy Broth
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced (optional, for garnishing)
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 10 grams of Ginger (optional)
  • 3-4 pods of Fennel seeds (optional)


  1. Replace Sesame oil with Ghee and in step 2 sautee ginger and ghee with the other ingredients. It’s especially good if you’re making vegetarian Soon Dubu!
  2. Optional cooking vessel: I like this Dolsot bowl because it is a perfect size for a thick stew. I have a glass top electric stove, and the bowl works with it. I prefer bowls like these, because I can just eat right out of it. One less dish to wash 😛


  1. Add Sesame Oil and Gochugaru in a heavy-bottomed pan and make a paste; turn on the stove on medium to low flame (between 2 and 3, if you have a glass top stove like mine)
  2. Stir fry for about 1 minute, and then add Garlic and your choice of meat (see tip)
  3. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes or until you can no longer smell the rawness of the Garlic
  4. Add the Mushrooms and Kimchi and stir fry for 1 minute
  5. Add your liquids – Water/Anchovy Broth, Soy Sauce, and Fish Sauce; if you are using the Anchovy broth, either reduce the amount of fish sauce or chuck it altogether
  6. Stir and wait until the mix just starts boiling. Now add the Tofu and Zucchini; if you’re using the tube of Tofu, add them in about 1.5 – 2 cms chunks (just eyeball it and press down)
  7. (Optional) Crack an egg in now
  8. Boil for about 2-4 minutes. Garnish with spring onions and serve

Let me know if you guys want pictures. I can post some if you are unable to visualize some of the sizes. Happy Cooking!

Note to replace meat:

  • If you are vegetarian, replace this with 5-10 grams of Ghee/Clarified Butter, and it will still taste good. Add more veggies and use Kelp stock instead of Fish Sauce and Anchovy Broth, if you can. If you’re Pescatarian, include about 20 grams of prawns or a tasty white fish like Mackerel or Cod.
  • Kelp Stock recipe
    • Get some Dashi Kombu
    • Take One Kombu, and wipe it off with a wet paper towel
    • Add about 500 mL of cold water and let it soap for at least 30 minutes or preferably overnight
    • Boil the Konbu and the water for a low flame for about 5 -10 minutes
    • Turn off and use as you like it
    • You can also include dried Shiitake Mushrooms (3 or 4 pieces), if you prefer to have more flavor

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