Soondubu jjigae (순두부찌개) is a spicy Korean tofu stew made with freshly curdled soft tofu called soondubu. Add vegetables, your protein of choice, and egg to this Korean tofu soup for a satisfying, delicious meal!
What is soondubu jiggae?
Soondubu jjigae is a popular spicy Korean stew made with soft Korean tofu, called soondubu, soon tofu, or silken tofu. It's commonly formed in a cylindrical tube.
In Korean, soondubu jjigae (순두부찌개) translates to soft tofu stew - soondubu (순두부) meaning soft tofu and jjigae (찌개) meaning stew.
You can add many vegetables and protein in this Korean tofu soup such as mushrooms, onions, zucchini, seafood, chicken, pork, beef, and shrimp.
It's tradition cook Korean tofu soup in an earthenware pot and to add a fresh cracked egg right before serving. The heat from the earthenware pot should keep the soondubu jjigae hot and bubbling, thus cooking the egg into a perfectly poached egg.
Going by many names, soondubu jjigae is also known as Korean tofu soup, sundubu jjigae, soondooboo, spicy Korean tofu stew, soft tofu stew or soup, and spicy Korean tofu soup.
- Soon tofu (Korean soft tofu) - Find this in Korean or Asian grocery stores next to regular tofu. It's commonly packaged in a cylindrical tube but can also be found in rectangular containers.
- Stock - Use any stock you prefer but it's commonly made with anchovy stock or dashi.
- Kimchi - I recommend using ripe or well fermented kimchi for the best flavor.
- Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) - This gives the tofu soup its spicy flavor and deep red hue.
- Egg - This is added last to create a perfectly poached egg that continues to cook when served in an earthenware pot.
How to make soondubu jjigae (Korean tofu soup)
- Stir fry the kimchi, onions, Korean red pepper flakes, garlic, and protein of choice for 3 minutes. Then add the soft tofu and gently break apart.
- Add the stock and bring to a boil. Taste and season with salt and sugar depending on how salty and fermented the kimchi is. Sugar helps balance sour kimchi.
- Add the egg and mushrooms and boil for 3 minutes. Add toasted sesame oil and garnish with green onions. Serve with rice and enjoy!
- Use well fermented or ripe kimchi for the best flavor. Make sure to add some kimchi juice as well.
- Use anchovy stock or dashi for a more traditional soondubu flavor similar to Korean restaurants.
- Add an egg 3 to 4 minutes before serving for a perfectly poached egg. Cooking in an earthenware pot (ttukbaegi) continues to cook the egg for a beautiful soft boiled egg.
Soondubu jjigae can be made with any vegetables you'd like! I recommend mushrooms, onions, zucchini, and chili peppers.
To make vegan or vegetarian soondubu jjigae, use a vegetarian broth as the base and use vegan kimchi. Skip the egg and add extra vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, peppers, and zucchini.
Leftovers can be store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please share, rate, or comment below. I'd love to hear from you!
Thanks so much for stopping by! 🧡 -Jamie
Want more Korean recipes?
Soondubu Jjigae | Spicy Korean Soft Tofu Soup
- 1 package soft tofu - 11oz; see Note 1
- ½ cup mushrooms - enoki or sliced shiitake
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt - or to taste
- ⅓ teaspoon sugar - or to taste
- ½ cup protein of choice - shrimp, chicken, beef, pork - (optional) cut into bite sized pieces
- scallions - (optional) chopped for garnish
Soondubu soup base
- ½ cup water or stock - see Note 2
- ⅓ cup kimchi - chopped with juice
- ¼ cup onions - diced
- 2 Tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Make Soup Base
- Heat a medium pot or earthenware pot (ttukbaegi) over medium high heat. See Note 3. Add the vegetable oil, kimchi, onions, Korean red pepper flakes, and garlic. Add your choice of protein if using. Stir fry until protein is almost cooked and onions softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.⅓ cup kimchi, ¼ cup onions, 2 Tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes, 3 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, ½ cup protein of choice - shrimp, chicken, beef, pork
Add Soondubu and stock
- Add the soft tofu and gently break it apart. Next pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Taste and season with salt and sugar depending on how salty and fermented your kimchi is. Sugar will balance out sour kimchi.1 package soft tofu, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ cup water or stock, ⅓ teaspoon sugar
- Once boiling, add the mushrooms and crack an egg on top and boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Finish with a drizzle of sesame oil and garnish with green onions. Enjoy!½ cup mushrooms, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
✎ Recipe Notes
- Soft tofu - This can be called soon tofu, extra soft tofu, silken tofu, sundubu, or soondubu. Find it in the refrigerated section in Korean or Asian grocery stores next to the regular tofu. It may be packaged in a cylindrical tube or a rectangular container.
- Stock - Use any flavor of stock you prefer - vegetable stock, chicken stock, or beef stock, but traditionally anchovy stock is used. To make anchovy stock, boil 2 cups of water with this anchovy flavoring packet. Dashi is another great option.
- Earthenware pot - Traditionally, soondubu is cooked in an earthenware pot and served while still boiling as it holds its heat. I used one that holds 20 fluid oz or 2½ cups.
Vegetarian Soondubu Option:To make vegan or vegetarian soondubu jjigae, use vegetarian broth as the base and use vegan or vegetarian kimchi. Skip the egg and add extra vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, peppers, and zucchini.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.