Soondubu- Korean Tofu Stew Recipe
Soondubu is a traditional Korean tofu stew made from silky tofu, kimchi, and various meats, such as pork belly slices, beef slices, and seafood. It is usually cooked with fresh anchovy stock and Gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes) to bring spiciness to the soup and enhance the flavor.
Korean tofu stew is warm and comfortable to enjoy and is a quick and delicious meal in 30 minutes. Soondubu is also a perfect hangover food that opens your palate with a hit of spicy. It is commonly served alongside a bowl of freshly steamed rice and a few side dishes (banchan) for lunch or dinner.
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Ingredients for Soondubu, Korean Tofu Stew Recipe
The base soup calls for four simple ingredients:
- Dried anchovies
- Dried kelp
To make a delicious Soondubu, you will need the following ingredients:
- Vegetable oil
- Garlic, minced
- Green onion, chopped
- Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
- Pork belly slices
- Soft tofu
How to Make Korean Tofu Stew?
Making a flavorful base soup for Soondubu is worth the time and easy to prepare.
First, clean the dried anchovies by removing the heads and guts. Next, put them in a saucepan with sliced radish and dried kelp. Cook all ingredients with four cups of water in a saucepan until boiling. Simmer the soup for another 20 minutes until more flavored. Turn off the heat. Strain the soup into a bowl. Set aside.
Once you have the base soup ready, you can make a pot of delicious Soondubu in less than 15 minutes.
Heat one tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat; add onion, garlic, Korean hot pepper flakes, and half of the green onion, and stir fry for 1 minute until aromatic.
Add pork belly slices, and keep stirring for 3 minutes until the meat is cooked through. Add kimchi and stir well with a spatula.
Pour the anchovy kelp stock into the aromatics until the pot is 2/3 of the way full, and simmer the soup for 7 minutes. Add salt and sugar and stir well.
Cut tofu into six equal portions and add to the soup. Stir well. Crack an egg on top of the soup and turn off the heat.
Serve the tofu stew immediately with the remaining green onion sprinkled on top.
- Add one tablespoon of the liquid from your kimchi to enhance the taste.
- The base soup I have used in this recipe is homemade anchovy kelp stock. You can also use with water, Dashi, chicken broth, or beef stock.
- You can also make a vegetarian Korean tofu stew with this recipe. Instead of pork belly slices, add more vegetables to the soup as your preference.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Can I Adjust the Spiciness in This Soondubu Recipe?
Yes, you can adjust the spice level of the soup by adding more or less Gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes).
What Should I Use to Cook Soondubu?
The most traditional and ideal way to cook Soondubu is using a sizzling stone hot pot, which helps retain the hot temperature of the soup during the entire meal. However, using a saucepan or cooking pot for making Soondube is perfectly fine.
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is 305 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
Serve this dish with other Korean dishes. For a wholesome Korean meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes:
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Soondubu (Korean Tofu Stew)
Base Soup - Anchovy Kelp Stock
- 8 dried anchovies (heads and guts removed)
- 5 ounces radish (peeled and sliced)
- 1 dried kelp
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 stalk green onion (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons Gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
- 1/2 cup pork belly slices (cut into small pieces)
- 1/2 cup kimchi (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 package soft tofu
- 1 egg
ANCHOVY KELP STOCK
- Remove the heads and guts from the dried anchovies and put them in a saucepan with radish slices and dried kelp.
- Add four cups of water to the saucepan and cook on medium-high heat, covered, until boiling. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for another 20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Remove the solids and strain the broth into a bowl. Set aside.
COOK THE TOFU STEW
- Heat one tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat in a large pot. Add onion, garlic, half the chopped green onion, and Gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes) and stir fry for 1 minute until aromatic.
- Add pork belly slices and keep stirring for 3 minutes until the meat is cooked through.
- Add kimchi and stir well with a spatula. Add the anchovy kelp stock to fill the pot to 2/3 full, and cook the soup for 7 minutes.
- Add salt and sugar and stir well.
- Cut the tofu into six equal portions and add to the soup. Stir well.
- Crack an egg on top of the soup and turn off the heat. Serve Soondubu immediately with remaining green onion sprinkled on top.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
Truly amazing! So quick too! Thank you Bee for being an inspiration, for your delicious recipes and for making Asian food accessible now that I cannot go to a restaurant or travel. I didn’t have anchovies so I used sardines and fried them a bit, I don’t eat pork so I used chicken pieces and shrimp. Worked out wonderfully.
can you substitute ancho chili or anejo pepper flakes or are they to spicy
You can make the Soondubu with different chili; however, it may change the spiciness and flavor in the Soondubu. If you want to use something similar to Korean hot pepper flakes, you may use cayenne instead.