Soondubu (Korean Tofu Stew) Recipe

Soondubu (Korean Tofu Stew) Recipe
Staff Writer

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This healthy soup is a mainstay of Korean cuisine, perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather. No matter how stuffed up you are, you can still taste kimchi, especially when backed by the power of thick, spicy gochujang, Korea's go-to condiment.

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For the stock:           

  • 10 dried anchovies
  • 4 cups of water
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled
  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms

For the soup:

  • ½ cup kimchi, store bought or homemade
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 1 finely chopped scallion, plus more for garnish
  • 1 box silken tofu, cut into large cubes
  • 1 egg (optional)


For the stock:

Place anchovies in a mesh tea strainer ball or tie in a cheesecloth. Bring water to a boil in a large pot with anchovies, onion, garlic, ginger and mushrooms, boil for 15 minutes, then simmer for 20, skimming the surface occasionally. Remove anchovies and ginger and discard.

For the soup:

Add kimchi, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and chili paste. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add scallions and tofu and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve piping hot garnished with chopped scallions, a drizzle of sesame oil and an egg cracked into the soup (if using) – the heat will cook it just enough.          

Tofu Shopping Tip

Staples of Asian cuisine such as ginger, daikon, rice vinegar, and spicy chile sauces like Sriracha add bright, fresh flavors without lots of fuss.

Tofu Cooking Tip

Sriracha has good heat but also has flavor - its mild sweetness comes from sun-ripened chili peppers as well as sugar and garlic.