South Korea is becoming recognized for many things, including technology, music, film, and food. The latter may be the best way to characterize this beautiful nation. More than any other country, South Korea, values health; as a result, their whole diet gets comprised of healthful vegetables, kimchi, and meat cooked in minimal oil.
The perfect way to describe Korean food is with Korean Tofu Soup. If you yet haven’t had a taste of this delectable stew, you have not tasted anything. Shifts in Korean cuisine did occur due to several political and societal changes; nevertheless, none of these circumstances has affected the flavour and texture of Korean Tofu Soup.
It gets served in a sizzling hot pot which keeps the dish hot until it’s eaten, and the best aspect about this stew is that you can modify the spice level and add whatever extra ingredients you like. To know more about this special Tofu soup, keep reading!
Korean Tofu Soup Origin and Curiosities
Korean Tofu Soup or Korean Soft Tofu Soup (SundubuJJigae) is a classic spicy stew in Korean cuisine, also called comfort food, enjoyed during the cold months. Sundubu means “soft or silken tofu,” while jjigae means “stew.”
This meal gets prepared with fresh and clean Tofu, sometimes fermented cabbage (Kimchi), vegetables, and you can add meat, seafood, or chicken. The soup is not only tasty, with fresh vegetables and an ambrosia flavour that gives the mouth a strong kick, but it is also visually pleasing.
The history of this mouthwatering dish goes back to the 13th century. South Korea has a long history of kingdom rule, from which many well-known recipes emerged, and Korean Tofu Soup was one of them.
Although it is uncertain when or how this dish began, it’s believed that the soup got introduced during the Joseon Dynasty era.
Due to the scarcity of historical records of the period, no one knows the backstory of how this dish came to be, although it appears to have gotten developed for aged people.
This stew is also known as Korean Jjigae, Gochujang Tofu Jjigae, and Dubu Jjigae. The soft Tofu and the hot broth were easy for older people to swallow; however, as time went by, Korean Soft Tofu evolved into a meal that could get served for lunch or dinner.
South Korea isn’t the only country that has gotten to enjoy this delectable cuisine on its own. The immigration influx in the United States opened doors for diverse cultural food to get introduced widely.
Sundubu Jjigae was no oddity; in the 90s, a Korean settler Hee Sook Lee introduced the special dish by opening restaurant chains in Los Angeles, California.
In recent years, courtesy of their depiction in Korean dramas and films, there has been a surge in international interest in Korean culture and cuisine, making dishes like tofu soup a global delicacy.
Instead of being solely available in a Korean household’s home, it is now served in restaurants and even created by individuals interested in learning about the culture.
Korean Tofu Soup Gochujang
Korean gochujang tofu soup takes the classic Korean stew and soup strategy of making a hearty meal out of easily accessible and filling ingredients while satisfying the taste buds with a kick of spice.
While other soups get generally made to have a mild flavour to pair with a heavier dinner of meat and rice or to provide you with a nourishing and light meal when you are unwell- gochujang soup is a delicacy in and of itself.
This soup’s main ingredients are the same as any other: anchovies, chilli peppers, red pepper paste (gochujang), soy sauce, and the star of the show, Tofu.
Tofu has traditionally gotten used to complement the light tastes in many different soups in Korea, such as soybean paste stew, but in a spicy soup, it serves to balance the heat while providing texture since the type of Tofu used for this meal is Sundubu, soft Tofu with an airy texture.
The meal is also very affordable and simple to prepare because the ingredients may be found in one’s refrigerator or purchased inexpensively at the store.
The fact that this dish is easily customizable adds to its versatility. You can stick to the traditional soup and Tofu approach or alter the recipe to accommodate a larger party by adding more protein, such as eggs, or pairing the soup with your favourite instant ramen noodles, a classic Korean cuisine.
Experimenting with flavours or combining different foods is a trendy modern approach to Korean comfort cuisine, which makes this dish ideal for a quick lunch or entertaining guests.
Overall, the dish is easy to prepare and all around; since it may be consumed as part of a larger meal or on its own. Nonetheless, Korean gochujang soup remains a staple that can be quickly cooked and enjoyed and is an excellent example of how Korean food can be both delicious and comfortable to eat.
Korean Tofu Soup Recipe
There is no law stating that you cannot enjoy Jjigae if you are not Korean. Korean food gets loved across the world, and everyone wants to try it; yet, not everyone can go all the way to the mainland.
The dish is also inexpensive and convenient to make since the ingredients can be found in a person’s fridge or bought cheaply at the market.
Enjoy the flavour of Korean Tofu Soup Jjigae by preparing it at home, thanks to the internet. Make this hot and bubbling soup to warm up your body by following this simple 10-minute recipe and enjoy it with a side of a bowl of rice.
- Soft Korean Tofu (350g) (can get found in Asian supermarkets)
- 3.5 oz. Enoki mushrooms are washed in cold water after removing the stem
- Diced onion (1/2)
- Large green onion (1/3 cup)
- Grind garlic (1 tbsp)
- Korean or regular soy flavouring (1 tbsp)
- Korean chilli Flake powder (1 tbsp)
- Fine chilli powder (1/2 tbsp)
- Cut up meat (portions depend)
- Cooking oil (2-tablespoon)
- Sesame oil (1 tablespoon)
- Salt (1/2 tsp)
- Sugar (1 tsp)
- 1 whole egg
- 2/3 cup of water
- First, we will start by making the paste
- Heat the oil and sesame oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the sliced pork and green chopped onions to the pan and cook for a minute together.
- Continue to check if the meat got perfectly boiled, add the onions and continue to stir.
- When the aroma arises, the minced garlic, chilli powder, sugar, and salt are ready to go. Continue mixing until thoroughly coated in red.
- The final step is to whisk in the soy sauce, and the first phase is complete!
- The second phase is making the soup.
- Take a deep bottom pot, add water, and wait for it to simmer for a while.
- Add 1 cup of the sauce to the water for 30 seconds.
- When the water is boiling red, drop the Tofu and squash it into pieces with a spoon. After that, add the mushroom and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- To make the flavour richer, crack an egg on top and fully cook it.
That is not all, garnish your Korean Tofu Soup with:
- Peppercorns – Adding them to the cooking soup
- Crush and sprinkle a little black pepper
- Decorate it with onions
What to serve on the side
No Korean cuisine is complete with a pile of side dishes. Eat the beloved Sundubu Jjigae with Rice and with a few side dishes like:
- Seasoned bean sprouts
- Stir-fried Cucumbers
- Spicy or normal radish
- Vegetable pickles
Korean Tofu Soup Calories and Nutrition
It won’t be a Korean food if it has no health advantages. Sundubu Jjigae provides a myriad of health advantages. Tofu is high in protein itself, and due to the input of vegetables, this soup gets filled with proteins and nutrients that can play with each other in keeping you healthy.
The nutrients present in this dish can be appropriate for every generation, especially for the elders. The list of nutrients in this recipe starts from Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin C to Calcium, Iron, Zinc, and Potassium. So you’ll not only be enjoying this cosy food in the winter, but you’ll also be nourishing your inner self.
Some people might have a late-night craving, and what is better than being warmed up in a blanket with your favourite TV show or movie on and eating this delectable easy-to-make soup? However, there is always one big concern popping in mind from every direction, which is about: how many calories Korean Tofu Soup have and to answer it in simple words- not much.
With only 256 to 385 kcal existing, watch your favourite TV show on a cold winter night late night, and enjoy this low-calorie Tofu soup.
After eating this, you’ll surely want to plan your next vacation to South Korea. Mah-ni, have a delicious meal!
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