Make this soul-warming Korean Soybean Paste Soup (Doenjang Jiggae) with Mushrooms and Tofu in less than 15 minutes. Perfect for a light meal with a bowl of white rice and Korean side-dishes.
Other than Korean chilli paste (gochujang) which is a-must-have for anyone who loves to cook Korean food, I’d like to add one more ingredient that you can add to your pantry list if you love stew and Korean BBQ. It’s fermented soybean paste (doenjang).
It’s not spicy like gochujang. Instead it has a more salty and umami taste. The texture of this paste is a bit thick and you can find little soybean chunks (similar to how peanut butter looks like) and the taste profile is a bit similar to Japanese miso. Korean soybean paste is used mainly in soup (doenjang jiggae), BBQ condiment and as a marinade for protein.
I keep a pack of doenjang in the fridge and would normally use it to make Korean soybean paste soup (doenjang jiggae) for a fast week-night dinner. It’s very fast and easy to make. You won’t need a lot of ingredients either and the taste will still be pretty delicious. You can put in ingredients that you like, but traditionally Koreans use vegetables such as zucchini, radish, tofu and mushrooms.
To make the soup taste richer, you can put some clams in so that it has a seafood flavour as well. But omit this if you want to keep it vegetarian. Alternatively, you can boil some anchovies and a piece of kelp in a small pot and use the stock for this soup. I just want to keep it simple. After all I want to keep it to below 15 minutes mark for my quick dinner.
For more info around Soybean Paste (Doenjang) about how it was made, types of Korean soybean paste in the market, and its health benefits, definitely check out Kimchimari‘s detailed post.
Additionally, if you’d like to know about other dishes that can be made with soybean paste, CrazyKoreanCooking did a nice summary of recipes using soybean paste.
- 3 tbsp of Korean soybean paste
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- ½ onion, sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 200 gr tofu, cut into small blocks
- 400 gr various Asian mushrooms (mix of shiitake, enoki, king oyster, oyster mushrooms)
- 2 spring onion leaves, chopped finely
- Heat sesame oil in a small pot over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion for 1 minute before adding soybean paste. Add 2 and half glass of water into the pot and add mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes and add tofu. Cook for another 2 minutes and sprinkle chopped spring onion. Serve while warm.