Doenjang Jjigae (Soybean Paste Stew)

by MJ

A classic Korean stew made with fermented soybean paste (doenjang), tofu and vegetables. This stew is considered one of the most popular comfort foods in Korea. 

Vegetables include potatoes, zucchini, onions or daikon radish. Meat is typically added to this stew, but I decided to add vegetables only for this version. 

I made anchovy broth but feel free to use chicken or vegetable broth if you don’t have dried anchovies available.  Rice water was used to make the broth which provides the starch to bind the soybean paste with the broth. 

Korean Soybean Paste Stew

Serves: 2
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


Anchovy Broth

  • 3 cups rice water or water
  • 6-7 dried anchovies, guts removed
  • 1-2 pieces dried kelp (dashi) ( Or use 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth instead)


  • 2-3 Tablespoons Korean soybean paste (doenjang)
  • 1 Tablespoon ssamjang (Korean spicy dipping sauce)
  • optional 1 teaspoon Korean chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • optional 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small potato, cubed
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • half package or about 1 cup of tofu, cut into cubes or rectangle
  • 1 red or green chili pepper, sliced
  • Black pepper to taste
  • optional 1 green onion, sliced


To make the anchovy broth: combine rice water ( or water)  dried anchovies, and kelp in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, prep the vegetables and set aside .

Discard the kelp and anchovies.  Add in the soybean paste and bring to a boil, stirring well to dissolve the paste. Add the onion, garlic and potatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Stir in optional ssamjang. 

Add zucchini, tofu and optional Korean red chili pepper flakes  and  simmer for 1- 2 minutes. Taste and add black pepper or more of any seasonings to your taste. Add in optional chili and green onions and simmer for about a minute. 

Serve with rice.

Did You Make This Recipe?
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