Korean Tofu Soup Recipe

A warm and slightly spicy stew that’s just perfect to wake you up on a cold day at the end of winter. This vegetarian version of comfort food is of one of my favorite Korean Stews

Traditionally called SUNDUBU JJIGAE in Korean which translates (Spicy) Soft Tofu Stew. This Tofu Soup Recipe has 13 simple ingredients, and comes together in about 20 minutes. Unlike some soups, this does not really get that much better the longer it sits in the fridge. I like to eat it the same day I make it.

The best Korean Tofu Soup homemade recipe
The best Korean Tofu Soup homemade recipe

The Inspiration

The traditional versions can have seafood , minced pork, and kimchi and an anchovy broth base, but this is a vegan version, so no animal products in this one. Instead I use a vegetable broth that has more mushroom flavor

It lets the flavors of the fresh seasonal veggies come through as well as the delicate taste of soft tofu, and of course the spices, which just turn everything up to an 11.

If you have ever been to a Korean restaurant, this is a staple. Each person gets their own earthen pot of spicy Korean tofu stew and white rice placed in front of them.

Korean Tofu Soup ready to eat
Korean Tofu Soup ready to eat

What I love about this dish

The bright color which comes from the Korean chili Powder.

Also depending on the region made, it can contain zucchini, napa cabbage, bok choy or onions too.

Sometimes I garnish with toasted sesame seeds too.

Traditionally an earthenware pot is used to cook the soup, but you can also use a large dutch oven if needed.

Traditional Bowl for  Korean Tofu Soup
Traditional Bowl for Korean Tofu Soup

The Special Details

Homemade Korean Chili Oil. Add more to turn up the heat, or reduce, if needed. Personally I add just enough to cause some discomfort when eating.

If you don’t have Chili Oil on hand you can also use red pepper powder or

The original recipe calls for anchovy broth as a main ingredient, but for me I use a vegetable broth that has more mushroom flavor.

Crack the egg into the boiling soup just before serving. The heat will cook the raw egg perfectly!

Also, the type of tofu maters in this one. Look for Korean Soft Tofu which can be found in Asian Grocery stores near the regular tofu section. Unlike a regular grocery store which may have 1 or 2 kinds of tofu an Asian Grocery, will have dozens.

Ideally you want the Korean uncurled tofu also called soon-tofu, It is even softer than silken tofu and can be broken into large chunks right in the soup. If you can’t find it don’t worry, just use silken or extra soft tofu instead it will work

It may be hard to find all the ingredients in a regular grocery store. Instead and look for an Asian Market in your town. Even better is a dedicated Korean grocery store.

Ingredients for Korean Tofu Soup
Ingredients for Korean Tofu Soup

Substitutions and alterations

Gluten Free option -This is 100% gluten free.

Vegan Option -Leave out the Egg to make a vegan soondubu jjigae

Omnivore Option – Use an anchovy stock & add in the seafood, or pork belly

Extra ingredients for  Korean Tofu Soup
Extra ingredients for Korean Tofu Soup

Korean spicy soft tofu stew Goes best with

Rice

Banchan – (small side dishes like Kimchi, vegetables in brine, stuffed cucumbers, summer reddish, hot and spicy scallion kimchi)

Traditional Korean garnishes for  Korean Tofu Soup
Traditional Korean garnishes for Korean Tofu Soup
Korean Tofu Soup

Korean Tofu Soup Recipe

A warm and slightly spicy stew that’s just perfect to wake you up on a cold day at the end of winter. This vegetarian version of comfort food is of one of my favorite Korean Stews
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 1 person
Calories 500 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Korean Cooking Korean Stone Bowl (Dolsot)

Ingredients
  

  • 350 g Tofu Korean soft Tofu is best
  • 100 g Enoki Mushrooms
  • 20 g Shitake Mushrooms
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Green Onion sliced
  • 400 ml Vegetable Broth
  • 1 sheet Dried Kelp
  • ½ cup Kimchi
  • 1 tbsp gochugaru Korean Chili Oil (more or less to taste)
  • 1 clove Garlic Minced
  • tbsp Vegetarian Fish Sauce
  • ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 1 tsp Sesame Seeds Optional

Instructions
 

  • Turn heat to medium and add the chili oil, and garlic. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Takes about 1 minute
    Adding Chili Garlic Oil
  • Add in vegetarian fish sauce, and soy
    Adding 1 tsp of light soy sauce
  • Turn to medium-high heat and add in dried kelp and vegetable stock. Wait until it comes to a boil
    Adding Dried Seaweed
  • Squeeze the tofu into small pieces or chunks and add in mushrooms and kimchi Cook for 2-3 minutes.
    Adding Korean Soft Tofu
  • Taste and season with salt.
    cooking Korean Tofu Soup
  • Remove from heat and transfer to serving bowl
  • crack in egg (don't mix, just drop it in, the hot soup will cook it)
    Cracking an egg into Korean Tofu Soup
  • Remove from heat and garnish with sliced green onion, fresh cracked black pepper and drizzle sesame oil over top. 
    How to make Korean Tofu Soup

Notes

This soup can be made more or less spicy with the adjustment of the chili oil.  I really like this on cold days.  
Keyword Soup, Vegan

Let me know if you have made this Korean soft tofu stew. Did you have all the traditional ingredients or did you make a substitution, and how did it turn out?

Tag #bohemianVegetarian on Instagram, and be sure to give us a star rating and comment on this post!

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