Doenjang Jjigae (Korean soybean paste stew)

The most uniquely delicious Korean stew made with fermented soybean paste (Doenjang). Fabulous with Korean BBQ and Jeon!
Course Soup
Cuisine Korean
Keyword boiling, classic, ddubaegi, hot pot, traditional
KoreanCategory Jjigae (찌게)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 111kcal
Author JinJoo Lee


  • 2 T + 1 tsp Doenjang (adjust to taste)
  • 3 cups rice water or water (쌀뜨물 Ssal Tteu Mul)
  • 1 handful dried anchovies (국멸치 Guk Myeolchi) for stock (see my K Ingredients page)
  • 1 piece (2 in square) dried kelp (다시마 Dashima) for broth
  • 1 small grey squash or zucchini
  • 1/2 pack of 14 oz extra firm tofu (firm or even soft is OK)
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red chili pepper (gochukaru)
  • 1 green onions , sliced
  • 1 green chili pepper (optional)


  • Start by saving 3 cups rice water when rinsing rice.
  • Cut tofu and squash into squares, slice green onions and chop garlic. Also slice green onions.
  • Add dried soup anchovies and kelp to rice water. Simmer on medium heat for 10 min.
  • Discard anchovies and kelp.
  • Turn off heat and mix in doenjang. Easy way to mix doenjang is to smoosh it against the wall of your pot.
  • Turn heat to medium high and bring to boil.
  • Add squash or zucchini squares. Boil for 5 min.
  • Add tofu squares and boil for another 5 min.
  • Add green onions and chopped garlic. Boil for 3 more minutes.
  • Sprinkle with red chili pepper. And SERVE!


Do NOT add garlic too early, that will make the doenjang jjigae taste bitter.
The uses for this rice water is many in Korean culture including washing dishes and washing your face.
Serve with rice and kimchi. Goes perfectly well with Korean BBQs, Pajeon or any kind of Jeon like Zucchini fritters.


Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 533mg | Potassium: 408mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1.8mg