Can't Be Korean Soon to Be Soup (A Play on Sundubu Soup)

Total Time
Prep 0 mins
Cook 20 mins

I love Korean sundubu jjigae or suundubu chigae soup. I love it so much that I can eat it practically everyday with different combination of ingredients I have on hand as long as there is some silken or regular tofu (can't use firm Chinese style tofu for this). It is normally made with sliced pork and clams along with soft tofu, garlic, kimchi, green onion, kochugaru or kochukaru (Korean style crushed red pepper powder). This is not an authentic version - it is a very mild tasting without the added sliced pork or clams. You can certainly make this vegetarian and not add meatballs or egg on top, but I like to add whatever I have available in my refrigerator or freezer, such as meat balls, spinach, zucchini, etc to the soup. This soup really needs the Korean crushed red chili pepper powder known as kochugaru/kochukaru, but if you cannot locate it, you can certainly crush either Korean, Japanese or Thai red chili peppers in a pinch. I have added a picture of the bag of Korean kochugaru/kochukaru I use for making this soup in one of my photos. This is such a mild version of sundubu that almost anyone can eat it and you don't have to be a Korean to enjoy. I normally use some Japanese dashi or dashida (Korean beef version) to this, but to make it more compatible for vegetarians, I omitted. Normally jjigae and Japanese nabe soups are cooked in earthen pots on top of the burner. But, you can certainly use a small pot large enough to hold the ingredients with a lid.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat a earthen bowl, nabe or small pot over medium heat.
  2. Add sesame oil, garlic, kimchi, and kochugaru to the bowl and stir for about a minute. Add sliced shiitake mushrooms and stir for additional minute.
  3. Add sugar, salt, black pepper, green onion, water, tofu, meatballs, and spinach. Cook until boiling. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook for 15-18 minutes.
  4. Drop an egg on top and cover the bowl with a lid. Continue to cook until egg is done to your liking.
  5. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and serve.
Most Helpful

I've had a cold for a couple weeks and I'm feeling hungover after a fun night out. This soup was perfect. I upped the spice, didn't have shitakes on hand so left those out, replaced the spinach with bok choy and put raw enoki mushrooms on top of the soup before serving. Loved the heat, I'll make this again!

LittleNico March 14, 2010

This was really good. I used thin sliced pork instead of meatballs. We don't have the kochugaru so I used some hot pepper powder instead. . One of our favorite restaurants is Tofu House 88 in Atlanta where they specialize in the Sundubu Soup. There's beats this version and any other we have tried, but this recipe is very good.

Hilltop Farm Guy June 15, 2009