Vegetarian Soondubu Jjigae (Korean Tofu Stew)

Mmm! Soondubu jjigae, Korean tofu stew, is the most satisfying new dish I’ve tried making in a long time! Maybe it is because this June has seemed so cold and I have been freezing all morning in my office, but I am sitting here eating leftover stew for lunch at my desk and suddenly I am so warm and cozy. The gochujan, Korean hot pepper paste, kombu seaweed, and egg really make this dish so umami-ish. I adapted my vegetarian version from meemalee’s recipe, using mushroom base (like this one but mushroom) I found at Whole Foods instead of anchovies. I thought it worked very well. This made about 3 portions.

1 tablespoon sesame oil
5 garlic cloves smashed up with a mortar and pestle
1 teaspoon chili powder (I used Indian chili powder since I didn’t have Korean)
1 zucchini cut into small pieces
A few slices of kombu seaweed (I found this at Whole Foods too)
2 tablespoons Better than Bouillon Mushroom Base
5 cups water (or stock if you are not using mushroom base)
2-3 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
8 oz sliced white mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped kimchi (Whole Foods has vegetarian)
1 package silken tofu (or if you have it, extra soft tofu that comes in a tube)
1 baby bok choy leaves/stems cut in half lengthwise (or other greens)
Salt
2-3 green onions sliced
3-4 eggs
Additional sesame oil (optional)

  1. Heat sesame oil in a medium stockpan (we don’t have Korean bowls…yet).
  2. Add garlic and cook until it gets soft.
  3. Add chili powder and cook for a few seconds.
  4. Throw in the zucchini, stir and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add kombu, mushroom base and water (or stock), gochujang, soy sauce, mushrooms, and kimchi and cook until the mushrooms soften.
  6. Add spoonfuls of tofu and cook for a few minutes.
  7. Add bok choy and cook until soft.
  8. Right before serving, make sure the stew is bowling.
  9. Heat up your bowls (I put bowls with wet paper towels in the microwave for a minute or two).
  10. Pour the stew into the hot bowls, add one raw egg each, and top with green onions. I like a little drizzle of sesame oil as well. When you stir the stew, the egg cooks and makes the stew all creamy!

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