Soondubu Jigae recipe (serves 2). Adapted from JinJoo's at Kimchimari.
IngredientsOkay, please don't close the tab in horror at this point :P I promise most of these aren't particularly esoteric -- I only bring 3 things with me (starred) when I plan to make this at friends' homes, as they usually have the other stuff or easy substitutes to hand (admittedly my friends all seem to be
- Sunflower oil
- Mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine -- you can use a sweet sherry or sake + sugar)
- Soy Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
- Fish Sauce (I just use the Thai stuff)
- *Korean Soy Sauce for Soup (guk kanjang -- you can use regular soy sauce)
- *Salted Preserved Shrimp (saeujeot -- try other Asian shrimp pastes)
- Sesame oil
- *Korean red chili flakes (gochugaru -- not the same as the 'normal' chili flakes found in supermarkets + in pizza restaurants etc. I really recommend you track this stuff or the powdered or paste versions down -- many Asian shops sell it, not just Korean ones.)
- Demerara Sugar (I like the extra mellowness this gives vs. white; any mild brown sugar will do.)
Unpictured because my countertop is small: kombu seaweed, random veg (I usually use courgettes, okra, shiitake/oyster mushrooms -- chestnut in a pinch, maybe a tomato if it's looking dodgy), eggs. Fresh clams are also nice to include if you have any.
Serve with: cooked stickyish short grain rice, kimchi and other banchan if you can be arsed.
For the soup base, mix together:
1 Tbsp Korean red chili powder (gochugaru) or powder/paste
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp mirin
1 crushed garlic clove
1/4 tsp brown sugar
good pinches of salt pepper to taste
Heat a mix of sunflower oil and sesame oil (about 1 Tbsp total; I usually do half and half) in a small saucepan and add the sauce mix. Cook over gentle heat (just enough that it sizzles gently), stirring regularly, for about 3 minutes until amalgamated into a thickish sauce.
Set sauce aside to cool a bit, then add:
1/4 tsp preserved shrimp (saeujeot)
1/2 tsp Korean soy sauce for soup (guk kanjang)
1/2 tsp fish sauce
And mix again.
Make the stock:
Pour about 500 ml cold water into your soup pot (earthenware or otherwise), add a piece of dried kombu seaweed (about the size of your palm) and 1/2 tsp salt. Throw in whatever veg you're using (chopped fairly small: mushrooms and okra finely sliced, courgettes diced into smaller than 1cm cubes etc.), bring everything to a gentle simmer for about 10-15 minutes until veg are pretty much cooked through.
Fish out the kombu piece and discard.
Stewing [sorry, no pics for this stage; my lens kept fogging over XD]
Add your sauce to the pot and stir to mix evenly into the stock and give it a quick taste, adjust seasoning if necessary -- it should be quite salty because you have yet to add:
The tofu: break it into a few large pieces by hand (I usually just halve it, quite honestly :P) and lower gently into pot (earthenware or otherwise). If there isn't enough liquid to cover the tofu, add a little more water.
Bring everything to the boil again, then turn the heat to low and simmer gently for about 10 minutes. [If you're using clams, they should probably go in during this period -- you want them to be just cooked by the end.]
Bring the stew back up to the boil and crack in two eggs -- let poach for a few minutes, to taste (I like my yolks very creamy). Chop up a spring onion into fine slivers and throw in at the last minute.
Dish up, trying not to break up your eggs/tofu too much if scooping from a separate pot. Serve while still bubbling in vaguely primordial fashion.
Up to you whether you prefer to dip spoonfuls of rice into the bubbling stew, likely sacrificing a few morsels to the ooze, or if like me, you prefer to use your spoon to fish out meltingly soft pieces of okra and cut into the wobbly tofu, transferring everything, along with boiling spicy gravy, back to the safety of your rice bowl, thence to pick up some grains :)