05/23/2024

This veganized recipe for Sundubu Jjigae (비건 순두부 찌개), also known as Korean Soft Tofu Stew, is a delicious and easy-to-make dish. Traditionally, Sundubu Jjigae is made with meat-based broth, but this vegan version uses vegetable broth to create a flavorful and satisfying Korean soft tofu stew.

Discover the wonderful flavors of my mom’s veganized Sundubu Jjigae recipe, and prepare to be amazed!

Step-by-Step Guide: Vegan Sundubu Jjigae Recipe

To prepare sundubu jjigae (also known as vegan soft tofu stew), gather vegan broth of your choice, soft tofu, vegetables, and toasted sesame oil. This recipe captures the essence of the traditional Korean dish and can be cooked in just 10-20 minutes, depending on the broth you use.

Sundubu jjigae offers a delightful blend of spicy Korean flavors combined with the creamy texture of soft tofu. Enjoy this vegan stew by pairing it with a generous serving of rice.

Fun fact: The term “sundubu” in Korean refers to soft tofu!

Ingredients:

  • Soft tofu (or extra soft tofu)
  • Vegetable broth or water
  • Kelp powder or dry kelp pieces (optional, can be omitted if not available)
  • Shiitake mushrooms (available in dried or fresh form)
  • King oyster mushrooms (or any other mushroom of choice)
  • Zucchini
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Oil (for frying)
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder / Korean red chili flakes)

Vegan Recipe for Sundubu Jjigae

To begin preparing your vegan sundubu jjigae, select the mushrooms and vegetables you would like to include in your stew. We recommend a combination of king oyster mushrooms, dried shiitake mushrooms, zucchini, onion, garlic, and green onions.

Next, prepare your vegan broth for the Korean soft tofu stew. The quickest method is to use vegetable broth or water with kelp powder, if available. For a flavorful broth, we suggest creating a kelp broth by adding 1 teaspoon of kelp powder or 4-5 dry kelp pieces to vegetable broth or water. If you don’t have kelp or prefer not to use it, simply stick to vegetable broth.

To make the broth, place 3 cups of water or vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon of kelp powder (or kelp pieces), and/or dried shiitake mushrooms in a pot and bring it to a boil. If you don’t have dried shiitake mushrooms, you can omit them.

Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes if using water/vegetable broth and kelp powder (without dried shiitake mushrooms). If you include dried shiitake mushrooms and/or kelp pieces, simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.

While your broth is simmering, dice your vegetables.

If your broth only used kelp powder without dried mushrooms, you can skip to the next step. Once your broth is ready, remove any large pieces of kelp and mushrooms. Cut the mushrooms into smaller pieces and set them aside to add back later. If you used kelp pieces, you can also cut them up and add them to the stew, save them for later consumption, or compost them if you prefer. It’s up to you! Set the broth aside.

Next, in a separate large pot or wok over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil (I prefer using toasted sesame oil for this recipe), and sauté 1/2 diced onion, 1 tablespoon of garlic, and 1-2 tablespoons of gochugaru for spice. Mix well, cook for a couple of minutes, and if it becomes too dry, add a few spoonfuls of the broth. If you didn’t use toasted sesame oil for cooking, you can add it later for its amazing flavor.

After a few minutes of sautéing, add the diced zucchini, mushrooms, and the rest of the broth to the pot. If you previously used shiitake mushrooms and/or kelp pieces, this is where you chop them and add them back into the broth. Allow the stew to come to a boil over high heat.

While it’s boiling, add your soft tofu or extra soft tofu to the pot. You can either cut the tofu into chunks and add them or break up the tofu pieces with a spatula directly in the pot. Be careful not to break them up too much.

Finally, season with salt to taste and sprinkle chopped green onions over the stew.

If your vegetables are cooked to your liking, your vegan sundubu jjigae is ready to be served! It’s best enjoyed hot with a side of rice!

Discover the Secrets of Perfect Vegan Sundubu Jjigae

Equipment needed for making Vegan Sundubu Jjigae:

  1. Pot
  2. Wok or Pot (for sautéing)
  3. Knife and cutting board (for dicing vegetables)
  4. Spatula (for stirring and breaking up tofu)

Ingredients

  • 2 packages of Soft tofu or extra soft tofu
  • 3 cups of Water or low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp of Kelp powder or 4-5 Dry Kelp Pieces (optional, can be omitted)
  • 10 g of Shiitake mushrooms (dried, optional)
  • 100 g of King oyster mushrooms or other mushroom of choice, diced
  • 1 Zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp of Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of Toasted Sesame Oil (if not using for frying vegetables, add later for extra flavor)
  • 1 tbsp of Gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder / Korean red chili flakes, adjust to desired spiciness)
  • Green onion (optional)

Instructions

  1. To begin preparing your vegan Sundubu Jjigae, choose the mushrooms and other vegetables that you would like to include in your stew. Our recommended selection includes a combination of king oyster mushrooms and dried shiitake mushrooms, along with zucchini, onion, garlic, and green onions.
  2. Afterward, prepare the vegan broth for your Korean soft tofu stew. The simplest method is to use vegetable broth or water along with kelp powder (if available). I strongly suggest creating a kelp broth by incorporating 1 tsp of kelp powder (or dry kelp pieces) into the vegetable broth (or water) to achieve a flavorful and umami-rich broth. If you don’t have kelp or prefer not to use it, you can solely rely on the vegetable broth.
  3. To prepare the broth, place 3 cups of water or vegetable broth in a pot. Add 1 tsp of kelp powder (or 4-5 dry kelp pieces) and/or dry shiitake mushrooms to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. If you don’t have dry shiitake mushrooms, you can simply omit them from the recipe.
  4. After reaching a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer. If you are using water/vegetable broth and kelp powder (without dried shiitake mushrooms), simmer for 5 minutes. However, if you have added dried shiitake mushrooms and/or kelp pieces, allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.
  5. While your broth is simmering, start by dicing your vegetables.
  6. If your broth only consists of kelp powder without dried mushrooms, you can skip to the next step. Once your broth is ready, remove any large kelp pieces and mushroom pieces from it. Cut up the mushrooms and set them aside to add them back into the stew later. If you used kelp pieces, you can also cut them up and add them to the stew. Alternatively, you can choose to eat them separately to reduce waste, or compost the kelp pieces if you prefer. Set the broth aside for now.
  7. Next, heat 1 tbsp of oil (I prefer using toasted sesame oil for this recipe) in a separate large pot or wok over medium heat. Add half of the diced onion, 1 tbsp of minced garlic, and 1-2 tbsp of gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder) for a spicy kick. Mix everything well and cook for a couple of minutes. If the mixture becomes too dry, you can add a few spoonfuls of the broth. If you’re not using toasted sesame oil for cooking, you can add it later to enhance the amazing flavor it provides.
  8. After sautéing for a few minutes, add the diced zucchini, mushrooms, and the remaining broth to the pot. If you used shiitake mushrooms and/or kelp pieces earlier, chop them up and add them back into the pot with the rest of the broth. Allow the stew to come to a boil over high heat.
  9. While the stew is boiling, add the soft tofu or extra soft tofu to the pot. You can either cut the tofu into chunks and add them in or simply break up the tofu pieces in the pot using a spatula. I recommend cutting the tofu into chunks and being careful not to break it up too much.
  10. Finally, season the stew with salt to taste and sprinkle chopped green onions on top. If all your vegetables are cooked, your vegan sundubu jjigae is ready to be served! It is best enjoyed hot with a side of rice.

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