Doenjang Jjgae (Korean soybean paste soup)

Doenjang Jjgae (Korean soybean paste soup)

I am a sucker for soups.  I love to make them year round.  I live in a city that see's 115* during the summer, and I still make soup.  Soup makes me happy.  Soup makes me feel "at home" and I just love the taste.  
My other passion is Korean food. (well, all Asian food really)  I am a kimchi lover, and so is my two year old daughter.  The spicier the better.  I think that is why I love Korean food so much, they make so many spicy dishes.  
I have been making a lot of soups lately, and one of my wonderful friends, Claudine, asked if I ever make Korean soup.  I told her that I would make a batch and post it for her.  So here it is. :)
(This soup is served along side rice, so you should really make some to go with it.  In Korea they traditionally spoon some of the soup on some rice and eat.)

3 cups water
1/4c Korean fermented bean paste (I did a heaping 1/4 cup)
1/2 block of extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch squares
1 generous cup of sliced mushrooms (I used cremini)
1 medium sized zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise, and cut into thin half moons
2 green onions, sliced
1-4 tablespoons of chili paste (or you could use a whole chili sliced up)

 Pour water into a medium sauce pan and place on the stove.  Turn stove on to medium high.
Add the fermented bean paste

 Whisk until smooth
 Add tofu.  Stir carefully and cover pot to heat up.  When it comes up to a soft simmer, 
add the mushrooms and zucchini.  Stir very carefully, and cover again. 

Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir every few minutes to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.
After 10 minutes, remove lid and stir again.  THAT IS IT!  
Garnish with the chili sauce and green onions.  As much or as little as you like.

This is the brand of bean paste I use.  

Served with steamed sweet potato, kimchi, and rice.


  1. Only downside is that heating the Soybean Paste (aka miso) that much destroys the beneficial enzymes in it. I would assemble all other ingredients and get them heated, then add the miso that has been previously dissolved in very small amount of water and serve immediately. I am a bit of a fanatic that way though...:)

    1. Normally when I make any kind of miso soup, I put it in at the end. This dish is traditionally made as I posted, they cook it for a long time. I would for sure put it in the end though if you want the benefits of the miso. :)

    2. I was thinking the same thing, Geoffrey.

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