Traditional Doenjang Jjigae Recipe – A South-Korean Dish

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Immerse yourself in the heart of Korean cuisine with our Doenjang Jjigae Recipe, a robust and soul-soothing stew! Begin by dissolving earthy doenjang (soybean paste) in a bubbling pot of umami-rich broth, creating a base that’s both savory and profound. Toss in tender chunks of tofu, crisp vegetables, and juicy mushrooms, allowing them to bathe and infuse in the flavorful concoction. Add a hint of gochugaru for a gentle kiss of heat. Simmer to perfection, garnish with fresh green onions, and prepare to be transported to the streets of Seoul with each comforting, hearty spoonful.

Bask in the symphony of flavors with our Doenjang Jjigae recipe, a South Korean culinary jewel. Each spoonful transports you to Seoul, home to this rich, hearty stew. A pot simmering with fermented soybean paste, Tofu, and succulent vegetables paints a vibrant palette of authentic Korean tastes. 

Doenjang Jjigae Recipe

The umami-laden broth, soaked by melt-in-your-mouth Tofu and crunchy zucchini, gives your taste buds a grand parade. Feel the warmth radiate through you, the ultimate comfort on a cool evening.

Let the harmonious fusion of rustic ingredients turn your kitchen into a haven of Korean cuisine. 

This Doenjang Jjigae recipe, brimming with tradition and flavor, offers a culinary journey you will want to take advantage of. Join us as we explore this gastronomic treasure, a testament to Korea’s rich culinary heritage. 

Brace for a delectable ride as each ingredient unfolds a narrative in your mouth. Create, savor, and enjoy the masterpiece that is Doenjang Jjigae.

What Is Doenjang Jjigae?

Doenjang Jjigae is a traditional South Korean stew celebrated for its bold, deep flavors. At its heart is doenjang, a fermented soybean paste that gives the stew its unique, umami-packed taste.

It’s complemented by a medley of ingredients such as Tofu, vegetables like zucchini and mushrooms, and sometimes seafood or meat. 

The concoction simmers until the flavors meld beautifully, resulting in a warm, hearty dish. Doenjang Jjigae is often served with rice, making it a staple comfort meal in Korean households.

Doenjang Jjigae Recipe

Can You Vary Doenjang Jjigae Recipe With Other Ingredients?

The flexibility of Doenjang Jjigae allows it to accommodate various dietary requirements.

  1. Keto Use low-carb vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and bell peppers. Avoid adding potatoes or tofu. Include proteins like meat or seafood.
  2. Paleo Stick to ingredients that fit within the paleo guidelines. For instance, use a variety of vegetables, add meat, and ensure your doenjang is soy-free and fermented naturally.
  3. Gluten-Free Check your doenjang to ensure it’s gluten-free as some brands might contain wheat. Apart from that, most ingredients in the stew are naturally gluten-free.
  4. Whole30 This diet eliminates legumes, so ensure your doenjang doesn’t contain soy. Substitute it with a Whole30-approved umami source like mushroom or vegetable broth.
  5. Vegetarian Skip the meat or seafood, and use a vegetable broth instead of an anchovy one. Enhance the umami flavor by adding more mushrooms.
  6. Vegan Follow the vegetarian tips, and also ensure that your doenjang doesn’t contain any seafood extracts, which some brands use for additional flavor.
Ingredient tips

Recipe Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat sesame oil at medium heat. Add the thinly minced garlic and sliced onion. Saute it until it becomes fragrant and slightly softened.
  2. Add the doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste) to the saucepan, stirring until it dissolves and blends with the onions and garlic, creating a rich and savory base.
  3. Pour the vegetable stock and water into the saucepan, stirring to combine the ingredients. Allow the mixture to come to a boil.
  4. Stir in the green onions, zucchini, tofu, and jalapeno, adding a delightful mix of textures and flavors to the soup.
  5. If desired, add soy sauce for additional depth of flavor and gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) for a touch of spiciness. Adjust the quantities based on your taste preferences.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let the Doenjang Jjigae simmer for approximately 15 minutes. This will allow the flavors to meld together beautifully, creating a heartwarming and satisfying soup.
  7. After simmering, taste the Doenjang Jjigae and adjust the seasoning, if needed, with additional salt or soy sauce.
  8. Serve the Doenjang Jjigae piping hot in individual bowls, garnishing with extra sliced green onions or a sprinkle of gochugaru, if desired.
Recipe Direction

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

The beauty of Doenjang Jjigae lies in its versatility. Here are ways you can enhance this savory stew:


  • Meat lovers can add thin slices of beef or pork for extra protein.
  • Seafood enthusiasts might include shrimp, clams, or mussels for a taste of the sea.
  • Mushroom varieties like shiitake or enoki can deepen the earthy flavor.


  • For added heat, throw in more chopped jalapenos or a spoonful of gochujang (Korean chili paste).
  • Boost the savory element with a dash of fish sauce or anchovy paste.
  • Elevate the umami taste with a drizzle of sesame oil just before serving.


  • Sprinkle finely chopped green onions or chives for freshness.
  • A scattering of sesame seeds adds a delightful crunch and nuttiness.
  • A side of kimchi complements the stew’s robust flavor and adds a spicy tang.
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Can I Make Doenjang Jjigae Recipe In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

The Doenjang Jjigae recipe adapts well to both slow cookers and Instant Pots. Here’s how you can do it:

Slow Cooker

  • Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker, except for the tofu and green onions.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • About 30 minutes before serving, add in the tofu and green onions.
  • Serve hot, straight from the slow cooker.

Instant Pot

  • Set your Instant Pot to the sauté function.
  • Sauté garlic and soybean paste until fragrant, then add the vegetable stock and water, followed by the rest of the ingredients, except tofu and green onions.
  • Seal the Instant Pot lid and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  • Use the natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quick release.
  • Open the lid, add tofu and green onions, then serve.
Doenjang Jjigae Recipe

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

While homemade broth often provides a deeper, richer flavor, store-bought broth can absolutely be used in Doenjang Jjigae, especially when you’re short on time.

Many high-quality, flavorful broths are available on the market. Look for low-sodium versions to control your stew’s saltiness better.

However, if you have the time and resources, making your own broth can greatly enhance the flavor of your stew. Homemade broths can be made using various ingredients like anchovies, kelp, or beef bones.

These can be simmered with aromatics such as garlic, onions, or ginger to produce a flavorful base for your stew.

Doenjang Jjigae Recipe

How To Serve?

Doenjang Jjigae is traditionally served hot straight from the stove, making it perfect for a family-style meal. Here are some suggestions for best serving:

  • Temperature: Doenjang Jjigae should be served piping hot to best enjoy its flavors. It’s typically cooked in a stone pot or earthenware which keeps the stew warm for a longer time.
  • Pairings: It’s commonly served with a bowl of steamed rice on the side, which helps to balance the deep, rich flavors of the soup.
  • Banchan: Accompany the stew with an array of banchan (Korean side dishes) such as kimchi, pickled radish, and seasoned spinach for a complete Korean meal experience.
  • Garnish: Just before serving, garnish with chopped green onions, sesame seeds, or a sprinkle of chili flakes for an extra flavor boost.
  • Utensils: Provide soup spoons for the broth and chopsticks to pick up the vegetables and tofu.
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Perfect Side Dishes

  • Kimchi: The tangy and spicy flavor of kimchi can help balance the rich, umami taste of Doenjang Jjigae.
  • Seasoned Spinach (Sigeumchi-namul): A side of lightly seasoned spinach adds a fresh, lightly seasoned contrast to the robust stew.
  • Korean Soybean Sprouts (Kongnamul Muchim): These seasoned bean sprouts add a delightful crunch and mild flavor, providing a refreshing counterpart to the soup.
  • Grilled Fish: A simple grilled fish, like mackerel (Godeungeo Gui), can complement the hearty soup with its mild and tender flesh.
  • Korean Rolled Omelette (Gyeran Mari): This fluffy, slightly sweet omelette serves as a light and pleasant contrast to the stew.
  • Steamed Rice: A bowl of plain steamed rice is a staple, and it’s perfect for sopping up the savory broth.
Doenjang Jjigae Recipe

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Make Ahead: Prepare the soup base by combining soybean paste, water, and aromatics ahead of time. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. Add fresh ingredients just before serving.
  • Storage: Store leftover Doenjang Jjigae in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop, adding a splash of water if needed to maintain consistency.
  • Freezing: While possible, freezing may alter the texture of some ingredients, so it’s best enjoyed fresh or refrigerated.
Doenjang Jjigae Recipe

What Can We Do With Leftovers?

If you have leftover Doenjang Jjigae, there are several creative and delicious ways to use them:

  • Rice Soup: Stir the leftover stew into cooked rice for a quick and comforting soup. Add extra broth if needed.
  • Noodle Soup: Add cooked noodles into the reheated stew for a hearty noodle soup. Ramen, udon, or even spaghetti work well.
  • Stir-fry Base: Use the leftovers as a flavorful base for a vegetable or protein stir-fry.
  • Grain Bowls: Serve the reheated stew over quinoa, rice, or barley for a Korean-inspired grain bowl.
  • Omelette Filling: Add a spoonful of the stew into an omelette for a savory breakfast or brunch.
  • Dumpling Filling: Blend the leftovers and use it as a unique filling for homemade dumplings.


  • Quality Doenjang: Invest in good quality fermented soybean paste (doenjang) for authentic flavor.
  • Balanced Broth: Achieve a balanced broth by combining anchovy or kelp stock with water for depth of flavor.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh vegetables like Korean radish, zucchini, and onion for texture and sweetness.
  • Add Tofu: Incorporate tofu for protein and a creamy texture, adding it towards the end to prevent overcooking.
  • Garnish Wisely: Garnish with chopped green onions and minced garlic for a burst of freshness.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Taste and adjust seasoning with soy sauce or salt to suit your preference.
  • Simmer Slowly: Allow the stew to simmer slowly to meld flavors together perfectly.
  • Serve Hot: Serve piping hot with a bowl of steamed rice for a satisfying meal.
Traditional Doenjang Jjigae Recipe - A South-Korean Dish

Traditional Doenjang Jjigae Recipe – A South-Korean Dish

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Course: Soup Recipe


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Doenjang Jjigae is a traditional Korean comfort soup that captivates the palate with its umami-rich flavors and hearty ingredients. This wholesome dish features a savory broth infused with the depth of fermented soybean paste (doenjang), tender vegetables, and cubes of Tofu, creating a nourishing and satisfying culinary experience.

Ingredients List

  • 3 Cups 3 Vegetable Stock

  • 3 Cups 3 Water

  • 2 Cloves 2 Garlic, Coarsely Chopped

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Korean SoyBean Paste (Doenjang)

  • 4 4 Green Onions, Chopped

  • 1 1 Zucchini, halved And Sliced

  • 16 Ounce 16 Firm Tofu, Drained And Cubed (Package)

  • 1 1 Jalapeno Pepper, Sliced

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Over high heat, combine your vegetable stock and water in a large saucepan. Bring this mixture to a vigorous boil.
  • Once boiling, stir in the garlic and the soybean paste. Stir consistently to aid the paste in dissolving properly. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes homogeneous.
  • After the paste has fully dissolved, add in your fresh ingredients. Stir in the chopped green onions, diced zucchini, cubed Tofu, and finely sliced jalapeno.
  • Allow the soup to return to a boil. Watch as the ingredients meld together, releasing their flavors into the simmering broth.
  • Once the soup reaches boiling point again, reduce the heat to low. Let your soup simmer for approximately 15 minutes. This allows the flavors to develop fully and the ingredients to soften.
  • After 15 minutes of simmering, your soup is ready. Ladle the hot soup into bowls, ensuring an even distribution of Tofu and vegetables.
  • Serve immediately while hot. Optional: garnish with extra green onions or a sprinkle of sesame seeds for a pleasing aesthetic touch.
  • Enjoy this comforting bowl of soup as is, or pair it with a bowl of steamed rice for a fuller meal. Savor the complex flavors of the soybean paste and the freshness of the vegetables.
  • Large Saucepan or Pot
  • Cutting Board and Knife
  • Wooden Spoon or Ladle
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Soup Ladle


  • Doenjang Jjigae is considered a staple in Korean cuisine, often enjoyed as a soul-warming meal during colder months or as a heartening dish shared among family and friends.
  • The key ingredient, doenjang, is a fermented soybean paste that infuses the soup with its characteristic tangy and savory notes, providing a delightful contrast to the mild sweetness of the vegetables and tofu.
  • Commonly added vegetables include zucchini, onions, garlic, and green onions, while jalapeno pepper adds a touch of mild spiciness.
  • The use of vegetable stock makes this soup suitable for vegetarians, but it can also be customized with other protein options like beef, pork, or seafood, based on personal preferences.
  • Served alongside a bowl of steamed rice and a variety of banchan (Korean side dishes), Doenjang Jjigae invites diners to indulge in a hearty and wholesome Korean dining experience.
  • Embracing the essence of Korean cuisine, this flavorsome soup offers a comforting harmony of textures and tastes that leave a lasting impression on those who savor its authentic essence.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

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