Doenjang Jjigae Recipe (Delicious & Healthy Korean Comfort Food)

Doenjang jjigae, also known as Korean fermented soybean paste stew, is a traditional Korean soup that is loved for its rich flavors and comforting qualities. This hearty and nutritious dish is a staple in Korean cuisine and is commonly enjoyed as a home-cooked meal.

With its umami-filled broth, tender meat, and a medley of vibrant vegetables, Doenjang jjigae offers a taste of authentic Korean flavors that will transport you to the bustling streets of Seoul. The star ingredient, Doenjang, is a classic Korean sauce made from fermented soybean paste, giving the stew a distinct and savory taste.

One of the remarkable aspects of Doenjang jjigae is its versatility. Depending on your preference, you can make variations of this traditional Korean stew by adding different types of proteins like beef, pork, or seafood. It’s also easy to make a vegan version by omitting the meat and seafood and adding more vegetables and tofu.

To craft the perfect Doenjang jjigae, it’s crucial to have the right combination of ingredients on hand. Alongside the Korean soybean paste, you’ll need typical ingredients like tofu, Korean white radish, zucchini, onion, and fresh chili peppers. The stew’s depth of flavor can be further enhanced by using rice water or anchovy broth as a base. A touch of vinegar at the end can elevate the taste profile, making it even more irresistible.

But don’t worry if you’re new to Korean cooking. Making Doenjang jjigae is actually quite simple! With our easy-to-follow recipe, you’ll be able to recreate this delicious Korean comfort food in your own kitchen. Get ready to immerse yourself in the delectable world of Doenjang jjigae.

Doenjang Jjigae Recipe

Key Takeaways:

  • Doenjang jjigae is a popular traditional Korean stew made with fermented soybean paste.
  • It is a versatile dish that can be prepared with different proteins and a variety of vegetables.
  • The use of Doenjang, along with other ingredients like tofu and vegetables, adds depth and flavor to the stew.
  • Rice water or anchovy broth can be used as a soup base to enhance the taste.
  • With our easy recipe, you can make this delicious Korean comfort food at home.

What is Doenjang Jjigae

Doenjang jjigae is a popular Korean stew dish made with Korean soybean paste, known as doenjang. This paste is a fermented bean paste made from soybeans and brine. It is a staple ingredient in Korean cuisine and adds a rich, savory flavor to the stew.

The stew typically includes a special soup stock, meat or seafood, tofu, and a variety of vegetables such as zucchini, potatoes, onions, and radishes. The combination of these ingredients creates a hearty and flavorful dish that is loved by many.

While doenjang can be homemade, it is also widely available in Korean grocery stores. This makes it convenient for anyone to enjoy the authentic taste of doenjang jjigae without the need for extensive preparation.

Variations of doenjang jjigae exist depending on individual household preferences and ingredient availability. This allows for creativity and customization in this traditional Korean stew.

Doenjang jjigae is often served with steamed rice and other side dishes to create a satisfying and well-rounded meal.

Key Features:

  • Popular Korean stew dish made with fermented soybean paste
  • Includes a special soup stock, meat or seafood, tofu, and vegetables
  • Doenjang paste can be homemade or purchased from Korean grocery stores
  • Customizable depending on personal preferences and ingredient availability
  • Served with rice and other side dishes

Doenjang Jjigae Ingredients

Ingredients Quantity
Doenjang (Korean soybean paste) 2 tablespoons
Meat or seafood (such as beef, pork, or shrimp) 1/2 pound
Tofu (firm or soft) 1/2 cup
Vegetables (such as zucchini, potatoes, onions, and radishes) 1 cup
Special soup stock or broth 4 cups
Minced garlic 1 tablespoon
Gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) 1 tablespoon (optional for spice)
Green onions (chopped) 2 tablespoons

Key Features & Tips for Doenjang Jjigae

Doenjang jjigae, a delicious Korean stew, has several key features and tips that can help you make it exceptional. Here are some pointers to ensure your Doenjang Jjigae turns out flavorful and satisfying:

1. Use Suitable Cuts of Beef

If you want to enhance the flavor and protein content of your Doenjang Jjigae, consider using suitable cuts of beef, such as brisket. The rich flavor of the beef complements the other ingredients and adds a hearty touch to the stew.

2. Try Using Rice Water

Instead of using traditional anchovy broth, you can opt to use rice water as a soup base for your Doenjang Jjigae. Rice water, obtained from rinsing rice, adds a subtle starchiness and enhances the overall flavor of the stew.

3. Add Ssamjang for Extra Flavor

For an additional burst of flavor, consider adding ssamjang, a Korean spicy dipping sauce made from fermented bean paste, to your Doenjang Jjigae. This will help to intensify the taste of the stew and give it a unique kick.

4. Adjust the Spice Level

If you prefer a milder version of Doenjang Jjigae, you can omit gochugaru, which is Korean chili flakes that add heat to the stew. However, if you enjoy a bit of spice, feel free to include gochugaru and adjust the quantity to suit your taste.

5. Experiment with Ingredients

Doenjang Jjigae is versatile and allows for various ingredient combinations. Besides the traditional ingredients like potatoes, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, tofu, and green onions, feel free to experiment with other vegetables and proteins that you enjoy.

6. Thinly Slice Ingredients

To ensure even cooking and optimal texture, make sure to slice the ingredients for your Doenjang Jjigae thinly. This will help them cook more evenly and ensure that each bite is flavorful and delightful.

Remember, Doenjang Jjigae is best enjoyed with steamed rice and other Korean side dishes. Now that you have the key features and tips, it’s time to get cooking and savor the deliciousness of this classic Korean stew.

Ingredients for Doenjang Jjigae

When it comes to making a delicious and authentic Doenjang Jjigae, the right ingredients are essential. Here are the key components you’ll need to create this flavorful Korean soybean paste stew:

Main Ingredients:

  • Beef brisket (or other suitable cuts for soup and stew)
  • Rice wine
  • Black pepper
  • Rice water
  • Doenjang (Korean soybean paste)
  • Ssamjang (Korean spicy dipping sauce)
  • Gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
  • Minced garlic
  • Potatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Onions
  • Enoki mushrooms
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Tofu
  • Green onions

Optional Ingredients:

  • Fresh chilies (for added heat)

These ingredients can be easily found in Korean grocery stores or purchased online. Now that you have a list of the essential components, you’re ready to start cooking this delicious and comforting Korean stew!

“The right ingredients are essential. Use high-quality ingredients to ensure the best taste and flavor in your Doenjang Jjigae.”

How to Make Doenjang Jjigae

To make Doenjang Jjigae, follow these simple steps:

  1. Combine the sliced beef with rice wine and black pepper in a preheated pot.
  2. Brown the beef in the pot, then add potatoes and stir for a few minutes.
  3. Pour in the rice water and bring it to a boil.
  4. Dissolve Doenjang and Ssamjang into the boiling water and add gochugaru and minced garlic.
  5. Add zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and tofu to the pot and boil for a few minutes.
  6. Finally, add green onions and chilies (optional) and boil for another minute.
  7. Remove the pot from the heat and serve the Doenjang Jjigae with steamed rice and other Korean side dishes.

“Doenjang Jjigae is comforting and delicious, and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home. The combination of the fermented soybean paste and various vegetables creates a flavorful and hearty stew that will warm you up on any occasion. Don’t forget to serve it with a side of steamed rice and enjoy this traditional Korean dish!”

Serving Suggestions for Doenjang Jjigae

Doenjang jjigae, the flavorful Korean stew, is best enjoyed with a variety of accompaniments that complement its rich flavors. Here are some serving suggestions for a complete and satisfying Doenjang Jjigae meal:

  • Korean egg rolls: These savory and protein-packed egg rolls make a delicious side dish for Doenjang Jjigae. Their crispy exterior and soft, flavorful filling perfectly complement the stew.
  • Seasoned seaweed: Enjoy the umami flavors of seasoned seaweed alongside your Doenjang Jjigae. This salty and nutritious side dish adds an extra layer of texture and taste to your meal.
  • Radish kimchi: Add a burst of tangy and spicy flavors to your Doenjang Jjigae meal with radish kimchi. This fermented vegetable side dish complements the rich and savory flavors of the stew.

When serving the stew, you have the option to keep it in the pot or transfer it to a serving bowl. Both methods are suitable, so choose whichever presentation style you prefer. If serving directly from the pot, place it on a heat-resistant trivet or protective surface to avoid overheating your table or countertop.

For a more communal dining experience, portion out the stew into individual bowls. This allows everyone to enjoy their own serving of Doenjang Jjigae, making it a cozy and comforting meal shared among family and friends.

The hearty and nutritious nature of Doenjang Jjigae makes it a perfect choice for a satisfying and wholesome meal. The combination of the stew with these side dishes creates a well-balanced and delightful culinary experience.

Variations of Doenjang Jjigae

Doenjang jjigae, the beloved Korean soybean paste stew, offers endless possibilities for customization. While the traditional version includes beef with vegetables like zucchini, potatoes, onions, and radishes, there are numerous variations of this comforting dish. Let’s explore some popular variations:

Variation 1: Pork Doenjang Jjigae

This variation replaces beef with succulent pork, resulting in a rich and flavorful stew. Pork belly or shoulder can be used, thinly sliced and added to the stew along with the other ingredients.

Variation 2: Seafood Doenjang Jjigae

For seafood lovers, this variation incorporates fresh seafood such as shrimp, clams, or squid. The seafood is added towards the end of the cooking process to prevent overcooking and ensure a delicate texture.

Variation 3: Mushroom Doenjang Jjigae

Vegetarians or those seeking a lighter option can enjoy this mushroom variation. Use a mix of mushrooms like shiitake, oyster, or enoki to add depth and earthy flavors to the stew.

Variation 4: Spinach Doenjang Jjigae

For a vibrant and nutritious twist, add fresh spinach to the stew. The spinach wilts quickly during cooking, adding a vibrant green color and a burst of freshness to the dish.

Variation Main Ingredient Additional Ingredients
Variation 1 Pork Potatoes, zucchini, onions, radishes
Variation 2 Seafood Tofu, mushrooms, zucchini, onions
Variation 3 Mushroom Zucchini, onions, tofu
Variation 4 Spinach Zucchini, potatoes, green onions

These variations allow you to personalize your Doenjang jjigae based on your preferences and ingredient availability. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations of meat, seafood, and vegetables to create your own unique and delicious version of this classic Korean stew.

Health Benefits of Doenjang Jjigae

Doenjang jjigae, a traditional Korean soybean paste stew, offers a range of health benefits due to its nutritious ingredients. This comforting and flavorful stew is not just a delicious dish, but also a wholesome choice for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.

1. Good Source of Protein and Vitamins

Doenjang jjigae provides a good amount of protein, thanks to the inclusion of meat and tofu. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting muscle growth, and maintaining overall health.

The stew also contains a variety of vegetables, such as zucchini, onions, and mushrooms, which add essential vitamins and minerals to the dish. These nutrients are crucial for maintaining healthy bodily functions and boosting the immune system.

2. Rich in Probiotics and Antioxidants

The fermented soybean paste, or doenjang, used in the stew is a rich source of probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy balance of gut flora, aiding digestion and enhancing nutrient absorption.

Additionally, doenjang is packed with antioxidants that help protect the body from harmful free radicals. Antioxidants play a vital role in reducing oxidative stress and preventing chronic diseases.

3. Low in Calories and Fat

For those conscious of their calorie and fat intake, doenjang jjigae is an excellent choice. The stew is relatively low in calories and fat compared to many other traditional Korean dishes.

By incorporating doenjang jjigae into your diet, you can enjoy a hearty and satisfying meal without worrying about excessive caloric intake or unhealthy fat content.

Overall, the health benefits of doenjang jjigae, ranging from its protein and vitamin content to its probiotics and antioxidants, make it a nutritious choice for individuals seeking a flavorful, wholesome, and balanced meal.

Doenjang Jjigae Recipe Tips and Tricks

Looking to make a delicious Doenjang Jjigae? Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your Korean soybean paste stew turns out rich and flavorful:

  1. Use Quality Ingredients: Start with a good brand of Doenjang paste, as it will greatly impact the overall taste of the stew.
  2. Slice Ingredients Thinly: Thinly slicing the ingredients ensures even cooking and a pleasant texture in every bite.
  3. Adjust Gochugaru and Ssamjang: Customize the spiciness of your stew by adjusting the amount of Gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) and Ssamjang (Korean spicy dipping sauce) according to your personal preference.
  4. Serve Hot and Fresh: To fully enjoy the comforting flavors of Doenjang Jjigae, serve it hot and fresh. This will allow the flavors to shine and provide an optimal dining experience.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to create a mouthwatering Doenjang Jjigae that will impress your family and friends. Enjoy!


Doenjang jjigae, a beloved and comforting Korean stew, is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit individual taste preferences and ingredient availability. Whether made with beef, pork, or seafood, and accompanied by a range of vegetables, doenjang jjigae remains a staple in Korean cuisine. Its rich flavors and health benefits make it a delightful addition to any home-cooked meal.

The use of fermented soybean paste gives doenjang jjigae a unique and savory taste that is deeply comforting. The stew can be made with various ingredients, allowing for endless variations and culinary creativity. Whether enjoying a traditional version or experimenting with different flavors, doenjang jjigae is guaranteed to satisfy the taste buds and warm the soul.

With its wholesome ingredients, including protein-rich meats, nourishing vegetables, and probiotic-rich soybean paste, doenjang jjigae not only delights the palate but also offers several health benefits. Its low-calorie and low-fat nature make it a nutritious choice for those seeking a well-balanced and flavorful meal.

Whether you’re a fan of Korean cuisine or simply looking to explore new flavors, give doenjang jjigae a try. This classic Korean stew embodies the essence of comfort food while providing a delectable culinary experience. So gather your ingredients, follow the recipe, and let the tantalizing aromas of doenjang jjigae fill your kitchen, bringing joy and satisfaction to every spoonful.


What is Doenjang Jjigae?

Doenjang jjigae is a staple Korean stew made with fermented soybean paste. It is one of the most popular everyday home-cooked Korean dishes.

How do you make Doenjang Jjigae?

To make Doenjang Jjigae, you combine sliced beef with rice wine and black pepper. Brown the beef, add potatoes, pour in rice water, dissolve doenjang and ssamjang, add gochugaru and minced garlic. Boil and add zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and tofu. Finally, add green onions and chilies (optional) and boil for another minute before serving.

What are the key ingredients for Doenjang Jjigae?

The key ingredients for Doenjang Jjigae include beef brisket, rice wine, black pepper, rice water, doenjang (Korean soybean paste), ssamjang (Korean spicy dipping sauce), gochugaru (Korean chili flakes), minced garlic, potatoes, zucchini, onions, enoki mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, tofu, and green onions. Fresh chilies are optional for added heat.

Can Doenjang Jjigae be customized with different ingredients?

Yes, Doenjang Jjigae can be customized with various ingredients such as different types of meat (pork or seafood) and a variety of vegetables (mushrooms, spinach, or cabbage) based on personal preferences and ingredient availability.

What are some serving suggestions for Doenjang Jjigae?

Doenjang Jjigae is traditionally served with steamed rice and other Korean side dishes. Popular side dishes to accompany the stew include Korean egg rolls, seasoned seaweed, and radish kimchi.

What are the health benefits of Doenjang Jjigae?

Doenjang Jjigae offers several health benefits due to its nutritious ingredients. The stew is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. The fermented soybean paste used in the stew is rich in probiotics and antioxidants, which can promote digestive health and support the immune system. Additionally, the stew is low in calories and fat, making it a healthy choice for maintaining a balanced diet.

What are some tips and tricks for making a delicious Doenjang Jjigae?

Some tips and tricks for making a delicious Doenjang Jjigae include using quality ingredients, slicing the ingredients thinly and evenly for even cooking, adjusting the amount of gochugaru and ssamjang according to personal preference, and serving the stew hot and fresh for optimal enjoyment of its comforting flavors.

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