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Closeup of soondubo jjigae served with an egg
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4.94 from 15 votes

Kimchi Soondubu (Spicy Korean Soft Tofu Stew)

An easy Korean spicy soft tofu stew (soondubu jjigae) made with an anchovy broth and loaded with pork and shrimp. The best kind of comfort food out there.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main, Soup, Stew
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 2 Servings
Calories: 505kcal
Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks


Broth (makes about 2 cups of broth, see notes for variations)

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 inch korean radish (Optional, cut into ½ inch slices)
  • 1 slice ginger
  • ½ onion
  • 6 dried anchovies (heads removed)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms (washed, if you're using the dried ones - soak in water for 10-15 minutes)
  • 4 inch kelp (aka kombu)

Soondubu Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 2 tablespoons korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cooking sake (or sake, Chinese cooking rice wine)

Stew Ingredients

  • ½ onion (chopped)
  • ½ lb pork shoulder (sliced or cut into small chunks)
  • 10 shrimp (Optional)
  • 1 cup kimchi (chopped)
  • 1 package silken soft tofu (sundubu, 350g)
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms (reserved from broth)
  • ½ zucchini (cut into slivers)
  • ½ package enoki mushrooms (cut and remove the root bottoms)


  • 1 eggs
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 stalks green onions (finely chopped)


Making the Broth

  • Remove the heads from 6 anchovies and set them aside.
  • Cut 1 inch of Korean radish, slice them into ½ inch pieces and set aside.
  • Rinse and soak 5 shiitake mushrooms in warm water for 10-15 minutes.
  • Cut 1 slice of ginger and set it aside
  • Peel 3 cloves of garlic, keep it whole and set it aside
  • Peel and cut ½ an onion and set it aside.
  • Cut a 4 inch piece of kelp and set it aside.
  • In a pot, combine 3 cups of water, Korean radish, ginger, onion, dried anchovies, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, and kelp into a pot and boil for approximately 20-30 mins on medium heat with a lid on.
  • When the broth is done, strain out the ingredients but keep the shiitake mushrooms and cut them into smaller pieces for the stew. Set the broth and shiitake aside.
  • [Optional Shortcut] Instead of making the broth, you can also use pre-made broth.


  • Slice ½ lb pork belly into small bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  • Slice ½ onion and ½ zucchini and set them aside
  • (Optional) Chop 1 cup of kimchi into smaller pieces and set them aside.

Make the Sauce

  • Finely mince the 2 cloves of garlic and add it to a small bowl.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of fish sauce (or soy sauce), 2 tablespoons of Korean pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, ½ tablespoon of sugar, ½ tablespoon of sesame seeds, and 1 tablespoon of cooking sake (or Chinese cooking rice wine) to a small bowl and mix it with the garlic. Set it aside.

Making the Soondubu Jjigae

  • Set the stove to medium heat and place the earthenware bowl or a pot on the stove.
  • Once the pot is hot, add in oil, and cook the onion and pork belly for about 5 minutes or until the pork is no longer pink.
  • Add in the 1-1½ cups of broth, sauce, kimchi, zucchini, and shiitake mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes
  • Once the broth is at a low rolling boil, add in the tofu, enoki mushrooms, and shrimp. Gently break the tofu into large chunks and cook for 2 minutes
  • Gently add the raw egg on top and simmer it for 1-2 minutes and turn off the heat.
  • Remove the bowl (be very careful it's very hot! Wear oven mitts!) from the stove and garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy with some rice!


  • Anchovy Broth Variations: If you don't want to make the broth from scratch, you can use these instead to make this tofu stew more quickly:
    • make a dashi stock by mixing 1 ½ cups of hot water with 1 ½ teaspoon of dashi powder (I highly recommend this method)
    • use pre-made broth (any kind, seafood, vegetable, chicken, or beef)
    • use plain water
    • boil 2 cups of water with pre-packaged anchovy packets for 10 minutes.
  • If you are not a fan of the raw egg, you can fry a sunny-sided egg and add that on top instead! Just as tasty!
  • If you are using the tube soft tofu, don't use the spout to remove the tofu from the packaging. Cut the tube in half down the middle and gently squeeze the tofu out that way.
  • If you can't find the Korean Stone Bowls locally, you can pick them up here.


Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 179mg | Sodium: 1570mg | Potassium: 1064mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 512IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 4mg