Kimchi Tofu SoupJump to Recipe
Korean cuisine is recognized for its amazing soup dishes. Also known as Kimchi Soondubu Jjigae, this Kimchi Tofu Soup recipe is a great way to change up your regular meal plan. The best part is that it takes only 30 minutes to make it!
Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine, but what happens when you have too much? The longer you keep kimchi, the more it ferments meaning the taste becomes sourer. The level of fermentation varies from person to person. Over-ripe kimchi is the best for kimchi tofu soup, especially for people who enjoy extra sour kimchi!
Super fermented or leftover kimchi is perfect for making stews. The extra sauce or kimchi juice at the bottom of the container and kimchi add an extra tang to any stew. If you use fresh kimchi or kimchi that isn’t ripe enough, the taste will not be the same so it’s important to wait!
The jjigae part of the Korean name means “soup or stew”. The traditional way to make kimchi soondubu jjigae dish is to cook everything in the serving vessel. This is usually a thick, robust porcelain bowl or one made of stone. The dish also usually includes vegetables like mushroom, onion and zucchini and a choice of seafood (oysters, mussels, clams and shrimp) or meat (beef or pork). The main seasonings of any kimchi tofu soup recipe are gochijang (chilli paste) and gochugaru (chilli powder).
More about this Kimchi Tofu Soup Recipe
What sets this kimchi soup apart from other types of kimchi stews is the tofu. The dish uses extra soft or silk tofu which has not been pressed. The name of this type of tofu is soondubu. There are other kinds of stews that use it as an ingredient. You can find it at your local Asian grocery store and it’s usually sold in tubes instead of containers.
The original and authentic kimchi tofu recipe uses anchovy or kelp broth but you can substitute for chicken or vegetable broth. Note that the taste will change depending on the type of stock you use. You can also opt-out of adding in the chilli powder if you are can’t spice.
Kimchi tofu stew usually comes with a bowl of steamed rice on the side. An optional egg is also cracked into the pot right before serving and the remaining heat from the dish will cook it.
Now let’s start this kimchi tofu stew recipe! You can also try making your own kimchi at home with Dumpling Connection’s Homemade Kimchi recipe.
Kimchi Tofu Soup Recipe
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- ½ medium yellow onion
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 ounces pork belly or mixed seafood
- 1 cup kimchi
- 2-3 tbsp leftover kimchi juice
- 2 cups anchovy or chicken broth
- 2 tsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
- 1-3 tsp gochugaru (red chilli flakes), add more to make stew spicier
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 package silken or soft tofu, ~14-16 ounces
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 stalks scallions
- 3 eggs, optional
- steamed white rice, for serving
- Make sure to get your rice started before you begin making the soup! Then start by peeling the garlic and onion. Mince the garlic finely and dice the onion into medium-sized pieces. Rinse and dry the scallions before thinly slicing them. Set everything aside.
- Open the package of tofu and drain any liquid from it. Gently slice into cubes or bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Slice the pork belly into strips and coarsely chop the kimchi as well. Try to preserve as much of the kimchi juice as possible.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat and saute the garlic and onions. Once the onions become translucent, add in your pork belly or seafood and kimchi and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add in the broth and leftover kimchi juice. If you do not have any kimchi juice, it is fine. Bring the entire pot to a boil and stir occasionally. As it boils, skim off any of the foamy scum that appears. Continue to let it boil for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add in the gochujang, gochugaru, soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir and then gently add in your tofu. Using the back of a spoon or scoop, press down on the tofu lightly to submerge them. Simmer for another 3 minutes or until the tofu is heated.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and then crack in the eggs in if desired while it’s still boiling hot. Cover the pot and wait 2 minutes before serving to allow the eggs to cook.
- Add the soft tofu in big chunks. Stir in the salted shrimp or salt to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon) and black pepper. Cook for 4 -5 minutes. Add the chopped scallion just before removing the pot from the heat. If desired, crack an egg into the stew to serve while it’s still boiling hot.
- Divide the soup and eggs among 3 bowls, being careful not to break up the tofu too much or the egg yolks. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately with rice on the side. Enjoy!