Soondubu Jjigae | 순두부찌개 | Soft Tofu Soup

This soup is one of my comfort foods. It is especially soothing after a long trip. I know of many wearied travelers whose first stop after getting off the airplane is for Soondubu Jjiggae. The combination of the spicy refreshing broth, and the softness of the tofu will soothe your palate any time of the year.



Substitute pork with 1/4 cup of any of the following:

Kimchi Soondubu Jjiggae

Fermented Napa Cabbage Kimchi, rinsed and chopped

Seafood Soondubu Jjiggae

Shrimp, coarsely ground
Clams, mussels, coarsely chopped (if using canned, drained)

Other meat options

Beef, coarsely ground
Pork belly, coarsely ground
Chicken, coarsely ground

Mushroom Soondubu Jjiggae

Dried shintake mushrooms, rehydrated then sliced
If using fresh mushrooms, use about 1/2 cup, sliced


Soft Tofu Soup | Soondubu Jjigae
Makes: 2
  • 1 pkg silken tofu or soondubu tofu
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
  • ¼ cup pork, coarsely ground
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang – Korean chili paste
  • 2 inch clump enoki mushrooms
  • 2 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 1 to 3: shrimp, mussels, clams or frozen sea food, optional
  • 2 cups anchovy broth, additional broth can be added for more soup
  1. Coarsely ground the meat by cutting it into thin strips, gather them together cut, then pound with a knife. Repeat until coarsely ground.
  2. Rinse the shrimp under running water. You can also use clams , mussels or assorted frozen seafood or any combinations of these. Adjust the amount or omit altogether depending on your preference.
  3. Chop the onion.
  4. Mince the garlic.
  5. Cut and discard enoki mushroom roots. Slice the green onions.
  6. Heat a casserole pot on high. Add the sesame seed oil. Add the meat.
  7. Add the onions and cook for a minute. Add the garlic and cook until the meat is almost done, then add the Korean chili paste and continue cooking for another 30 seconds. Keeping the heat on high and stirring continuously.
  8. Add 2 cups of the anchovy broth. Add up to ½ cup more if more broth is desired.
  9. Bring it to a boil. Then skim off the foam. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  10. After 5 minutes, remove the lid, bring to a boil, add the shrimp, clams or mussels. Divide the tofu in half and add to the soup. Using a spoon, gently break into 1 inch chunks.
  11. Continue to boil for 1-2 minutes, then add the enoki mushrooms and green onions, boil for another minute. 7 Taste the soup then season with kosher salt and red pepper powder to your liking. 8 Break an egg on top and turn off the heat. 9 Serve it with steaming hot rice.


Anchovy Broth | Soft Tofu Soup
  • 4 cups water
  • 4-5 large dried anchovies*
  • 5 pieces 3 inch square dashima (kombu)
  • ½ medium onion, peeled
  1. Remove and discard the intestines from the anchovies and put them in a mesh bag.
  2. Cut the kelp to 3 inch squares. With a wet paper towel, wipe the surface to remove salt from the kelp. Peel half an onion.
  3. In a pot, add 4 cups of water, the anchovy bag, kelp and the onion. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, but no more than 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Remove the kelp, bag and onion and discard. Any leftover broth can be frozen for a later use. For a less concentrated broth, add more water.
*Substitute with dried shintake mushrooms for a vegetarian option.