Doenjang Jjigae (Fermented Soybean Stew)
It took chef Hooni Kim one year to perfect his recipe for dashi, which he uses as the base of this everyday Korean stew. Gochujang adds a subtle layer of heat to the broth, and doenjang boosts its richness and silkiness.
For the dashi
- 6 pieces dried kombu (about 1 oz.)
- 6 dried anchovies, heads and black innards removed
- 3 dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1/2 oz.)
For the stew
- 1⁄2 cup doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)
- 2 tbsp. gochujang (Korean red chile paste)
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (1 cup)
- 2 medium onions, diced (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 medium zucchini (1 lb.), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 lb. silken tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1⁄2 lb. beef brisket, very thinly sliced into 2- to 3-inch strips
- 1 long green chile, thinly sliced on bias
- 1 1 long red chile, thinly sliced on bias
- 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Steamed rice, for serving
- Make the dashi: In a large pot, add 4 quarts cool water, the kombu, anchovies, and mushrooms. Cover the pot and let steep 12 hours at room temperature.
- Uncover the pan and set it over medium heat. When the broth begins steaming, adjust the heat to maintain this temperature. Let cook, never allowing the dashi to reach a full simmer, for 1 hour 20 minutes. Then continue to cook, tasting every 10 minutes until the broth tastes rich and has the aroma of the ocean without the saltiness on your tongue, 10–40 minutes more. Strain.
- Make the stew: In a large pot, bring 8 cups of the dashi to a simmer (reserve the remaining dashi for another use). Whisk in the doenjang and simmer 20 minutes. Whisk in the gochujang until incorporated; simmer 10 minutes more. Add the soy sauce, gochugaru, and garlic and simmer 10 minutes more. Add the potato and simmer 10 minutes. Add the onion and simmer 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and simmer 5 minutes. Add the tofu, brisket, and peppers and simmer 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more soy sauce or salt if necessary.
- Remove the pot from the heat, and add the scallions. Cover and let the stew rest for 3 minutes. Serve with steamed rice.