A block of soft tofu is simmered with seafood and zucchini in a spicy broth made from Korean chili flakes. Chopped kimchi adds an extra flavor boost to the soup.
Traditional Soondubu Jjigae
Although we call this dish a soft tofu soup in English, the choice of tofu should be silken tofu. It has a silkier texture. Use either kind.
Make anchovy stock: Combine dried anchovies and sea kelp with water in a pot. Bring to boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Discard the sea kelp and anchovies, and reserve the stock.
If using frozen whole clams: soak them in cold water for 5 minutes. If you see that the clam shells are open, that’s a good sign.
Infuse oil with chili flakes: Heat oil in a pot over low heat. Add Korean chili flakes and the leek (or green onion) and gently stir for 1 minute. Be careful not to burn the chili flakes.
Stir-fry onion and kimchi: Add the onion, garlic, and kimchi and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes over medium heat until soft.
Add tofu: Try not to break up the tofu when you scoop it out—big chunks are better than letting it break into too many small pieces.
Add seafood & zucchini: Whole shrimps make the soup broth deeper in flavor. You can use peeled shrimps if you find whole shrimps to be bothersome to peel later when you eat them.
Pour the stock: Pour the anchovy stock until it barely covers the tofu and seafood, about 1-3/4 cup. Bring the soup to boil first and reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Season the soup: Use Korean soup soy sauce and anchovy sauce to season the soup. Taste the broth and season more with salt if needed.