Korean Soybean Paste Stew with Beef and Bean Sprout
This soul comforting Korean soybean paste stew (doenjang jjigae) is made with beef, bean sprouts, zucchini, radish and tofu. No seafood ingredients are added.
I brought a jar of Korean soybean Paste when I came back to Buenos Aires from my summer trip in U.S. It smelled quite stinky, which means wonderful taste when it is made into a stew.
I had some soybean sprouts, so I made beef and bean sprout soybean paste stew (소고기 된장찌개, sogogi doenjang Jjigae). The recipe would be similar to the beef soybean paste stew recipe that I posted a few years ago. This would be an adapted and updated recipe, and I hope you can try this comforting stew. It is a heartwarming stew for all Koreans.
How to make Korean Soybean Paste Stew with Beef
Using rice water makes the soybean paste stew tastes better. Pour the starch water to about 2/3 of the Korean stone pot. You can use any small pot but the stone pot brings the nostalgic taste I remember.
You will need to add the beef and thinly diced radish into the pot and let them boil. Do you see the scums floating on top? You will want to remove that. Have the stock simmer for 3 minutes over medium heat until the radish is somewhat soft.
Then add the sprouts, about two big handful of amount.
Now it is time to add my soybean paste. Oh, the stinky smell~! I love it.
Put the paste on a wooden spoon or ladle and smear the paste briefly with a spoon into the stew.
The reason I am adding the paste at this stage instead of at the beginning is that I didn’t want to boil the paste too long. This recipe has radish and bean sprouts that requires some simmering time, and I wanted to keep the paste taste the best, which is usually after 2-3 minutes of boiling time after the paste is added. It is a personal preference and you can certainly add it in the begging stage of cooking.
Some people like to add the paste at the last minute, hoping to keep all the healthy enzymes in the fermented paste. But I learned that the enzymes can be destroyed completely in 70˚C. Even with adding at the last minute of cooking, the heat remain in the boiling stew is too hot for the enzymes to survive. If you want the health benefits of live enzyme of the fermented soybean, it is best to consume as raw; just like Koreans dip their vegetable sticks into raw paste. However, the health benefits of soybean paste are not limited in enzymes only. You can learn about the health benefits of soybean paste from this article.
Soon after the soybean paste is added, add tofu, zucchini, and a tiny bit of Korean chili paste. Let it continue to boil for 2 minutes. Lastly add the fresh chili (optional) and garlic. I like to add the garlic at last to keep its edge. If you don’t want your stew too garlicky, add with the tofu.
Remove the stew from the heat and sprinkle some chopped green onion. Done~!
Where is a bowl of rice?
This boiling hot doenjang jigae is dear to my heart. The chewy bean sprouts are so tasty along with tender beef and soft tofu… I can devour a bowl of rice within a couple of minutes.
Living on the other side of glob with the season runs to the opposite direction, I sometimes feel homesick. So whenever I miss Korea or my family, I cook doenjang jjigae. It comforts my soul and my cravings.
Sharing makes the food taste twice better. I shared my doenjang jjigae with a lovely Argentine lady who cleans my house. She loved it, although it was quite spicy for her due to the chili slices I added in the stew.
She asked me how to make the stew, but I am not sure if she understood what I tried to explain. Darn! My Spanish sucks.
At least, she is one lucky Argentine who tried one of the best Korean doenjang stews in entire Buenos Aires. That’s for sure, I hope…
Other Korean Soybean Paste Recipes
- Classic Doenjang Jjigae (Korean Soybean Paste Stew)
- Beef Doenjang Jjigae, Korean soy bean paste stew with beef
- Broccoli Rabe Salad with Soybean Paste
- Korean Cabbage with Soybean Paste
Korean Soybean Paste Stew with Beef and Bean Sprout
- 2 cups rice water, see note below
- 1/4 lb thinly sliced marbled beef , with some fat attached.
- 1 handful thinly diced Korean radish or daikon radish
- 2 handful soybean sprouts
- 2 tbsp Korean soybean paste (doenjang)
- 1/4 block soft tofu, diced
- 1/2 small zucchini , diced
- 1 tsp Korean chili paste (gochujang)
- 1 green or red chili , sliced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 green onion , chopped
- Pour rice starch water into a 2-qt stone pot. Add the beef and radish slices. Bring to boil and simmer for 3 minutes over med-high heat. Remove the scum floating on top with a spoon.
- Add the bean sprouts and continue to boil for 1-2 more minutes. Add the soybean paste by smearing onto a wooden spoon as you add to the pot. Add the tofu and zucchini slices, and Korean chili paste. Continue to boil 1-2 minutes. Add the chili slices and garlic and let it boil for 30-60 seconds.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the green onion. Transfer the pot carefully to the table and serve hot with rice.
Made this recipe tonight and IT WAS SO GOOD! Thank you!
I am so happy to hear that you liked this stew. Thank you for leaving a comment for me. I appreciate it.
How many does this serve? Do you make this in separate stone bowls if you’re making it for a family? Thanks for the recipe!
Just wanted to let you know I made this for dinner and it was fantastic! My first jjigae! I used kohlrabi instead of radish because I had it on hand. I made it in two bowls because I wasn’t sure it would fit in one and it served my husband and I generously, with some rice and banchan. Thanks for sharing such an easy recipe!
That is so great that you and your husband enjoyed this stew. This makes me crave again.
I love doenjang jjigae, it’s one of my favorite stews! I cannot wait to try this version with soybeans. Thanks for this recipe!
the rice starch water does it has to be the 1st rinse of water or 2nd rinse ?
Discard the first rinse of water. Pour small amount (about 2 cups) into the rice again, and swoosh around for 30 seconds to take some starch coating off the rice. You will see the water turning milky and you will need to reserve that water to use as soup base.
It’s interesting how some really stinky food taste just wonderful once cooked! This looks terrific — thanks.