Fermented Soybean Stew (Doenjang-jjigae)
A meaty mushroom-anchovy dashi forms the base for this bold, Korean classic from chef Hooni Kim.
It took Korean American chef Hooni Kim an entire year to perfect his mushroom-anchovy dashi, which he uses as the base of this everyday stew. Gochujang adds a subtle layer of heat to the broth, and doenjang boosts its richness and silkiness. Korean chiles (gochu) range from mild green asagi to red hot cheong-yang, but you can substitute goat horn peppers for this recipe. Find all of our Korean recipes here.
Featured in: “Journey to the Home of Korea’s Mother Sauces.”
For the dashi:
- 6 dried anchovies, heads and black innards removed
- 6 pieces dried kombu (about 1 oz.)
- 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
For the stew:
- ½ cups doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)
- 2 tbsp. gochujang (Korean red chile paste)
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce, plus more
- 1 tbsp. gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-in. chunks
- 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into ¾-in. chunks
- 1 lb. silken tofu, cut into ¾-in. cubes
- ½ lb. beef brisket, very thinly sliced into 3-in.-long strips
- 1 Korean green chile, thinly sliced on the bias
- 1 Korean red chile, thinly sliced on the bias
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced into 1-in. pieces
- Make the dashi: To a large Dutch oven, add the anchovies, kombu, mushrooms, and 4 quarts of cold water. Cover and let steep for 12 hours at room temperature.
- Place the Dutch oven on the stove, uncover, and turn the heat to medium. When the broth begins to steam, cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to keep the liquid at this temperature (do not simmer), for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, tasting every 10 minutes, until the broth tastes rich and has the aroma of the ocean without the saltiness on your tongue, 10–20 minutes more. Pour the liquid through a sieve into a large bowl, discard the solids, then return 8 cups of the liquid to the Dutch oven on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. (Reserve the remaining dashi for another use.)
- Make the stew: When the dashi boils, turn the heat to medium, whisk in the doenjang, and cook for 20 minutes. Whisk in the gochujang and cook for 10 minutes, then whisk in the soy sauce, gochugaru, and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the potato, cook for 10 minutes, then add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes, then add the tofu, brisket, and peppers and cook for 5 minutes. Season with soy sauce and salt to taste, then add the scallions and cover the pot. Remove from the heat and let the stew rest at room temperature for 3 minutes before serving.