‘Soon Du Bu’ Jjigae means soft tofu stew or soft tofu beef stew. ‘Soon Du Bu’ itself means soft tofu but I’m not sure if ‘jjigae’ actually means beef stew or just stew. I had one problem with this dish…..it had to be cooked with gochugaru which is like the important component for this dish but it is the one thing I didn’t have and the one thing that the stores don’t carry. Writing the recipe, I felt I should put in gochugaru anyhow even though I substituted mine with gochujang and chilli powder. It doesn’t taste the same.
I don’t know if I should bother asking you to go to Korean gourmet shops to look for gochugaru because the funny thing is, these shops mostly sell instant noodles, Korean junk food, biscuits and ten thousand different kinds of seaweeds. You’ll find gochujang, that’s most common but I doubt you’ll find gochugaru. But for the sake of argument, I think you can check out Jusco market and see if they carry. Again….every Jusco is different.
I came across this dish from a magazine but it was a very cliff’s note version. So I checked out some food blogs to see if I could find some Korean bloggers cooking all things Korean. I came across this lady, I think she’s the more popular one of the lot.
She’s quite a character, a chef in short shorts and white knee-high boots. Haha. But, no doubt she can cook and I think her appeal lies half in how she looks and half in the dishes she makes. As she was making her soon du bu, she handled her knife with rough fury and when the stew bubbled over she exclaimed ‘it’s a really volcano.’ (6.32) 😛 The key to the dish as Miss Maangchi said, is the stock. It’s not a truly complicated stock but get the base right and I think the dish would come out great. Of course, it helps if you have some GOCHUGARU! (sorry, I can’t let it go)
SOON DU BU JJIGAE RECIPE
Half rice bowl kelp
2 cloves garlic
2 packets bonito flakes
5 dried Shitake mushrooms (medium size)
Half rice bowl anchovies
6 cups water
Beef, cut into strips
1 Onion, cut into strips
Soft Tofu (if you can find the Korean soon du bu, power to you, if not…..I just used the ordinary egg tofu in the tube)
Spring Onions, chopped rather long
2 eggs (for two people)
3 tablespoons gochugaru
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1. Let your water come to a slight boil. Wash your kelp and mushrooms. Toss them into the hot water. Turn off the heat and let them soak for 45 minutes.
2. To make the stock, boil the water with the kelp and mushrooms again and toss in onion, garlic, bonito flakes and anchovies. I actually pre-fried the anchovies a little but this step is optional.
3. Let everything come to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.
4. Heat another pot or wok, pour a little oil and fry your onions and beef. Take the shitake mushrooms out from the stock and chop them into little pieces. Toss them in with the beef.
5. Add your gochugaru. Coat everything with the red pepper flakes and pour about 2 cups of your stock. If it’s too little, just add more.
6. Let everything come to a boil. Add your tofu, break it up in the soup. Add sesame oil and fish sauce.
7. Lastly, break your eggs in and scatter your spring onions. Don’t let your eggs cook all the way through to the yolk.
8. Serve and eat with plain rice.
Note; You could add seafood to the stew and make it even tastier, I didn’t have any at the moment so I made the stew as basic as it goes.