Dwenjang Jjigae, 된장찌개, Soybean Paste Stew

A bowl Dwenjang Jjigae, Soybean Paste Stew

Dwenjang Jjigae, South Korea's favorite comfort food, is a testament to the wisdom of grannies who knew how to create rich, savory flavors from simple ingredients. This Soybean Paste Soup is more than just a dish—it's a heartwarming experience. As you prepare this dish, you'll find yourself immersed in the process, appreciating the harmony of ingredients coming together. Our recipe brings you this authentic, hearty stew, perfect for any meal. It's a culinary journey into the heart of Korean cuisine, offering a taste experience that's sure to warm your heart and soul.


  • Dwenjang (soy bean paste)
  • Gochujang (red pepper paste)
  • Gochu garu (ground red pepper flakes)
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Green onions or scallions
  • Moo (daikon)
  • Tofu
  • Jalapenos
  • Sesame oil
  • Method

    • 1. Preparation is key to this recipe. Start by mincing several cloves of garlic. Next, slice the onions, daikon, and one whole jalapeno (on a bias) into bite-sized pieces. Cube the tofu similarly. Finally, dice the green onions into tiny pieces.
    • 2. Now, let's start cooking. In a large pot, add a little sesame oil and heat it up. Once hot, add the minced garlic to flavor the oil. Pour in 6 cups of water and bring the heat up.
    • 3. It's time to add our main ingredients. Put a large scoop of dwenjang (soy bean paste) into the water and stir until it's dissolved. Do the same with a slightly smaller scoop of gochujang (red pepper paste). Add a couple of tablespoons of gochugaru (red pepper flakes) - you can eyeball this.
    • 4. Next, add the onions, daikon, and tofu into the pot. Mix gently and let it come to a boil. Then add the diced green onions and sliced jalapenos. Let it cook for a minute.
    • 5. Your Dwenjang Jjigae is ready to serve! It's best enjoyed with a bowl of rice. Enjoy this hearty and comforting meal.

    Make it a Meal

    History and Tradition of Dwenjang Jjigae

    Dwenjang or Doenjang Jjigae, is a soybean saste stew, a dish that is deeply rooted in the culinary traditions of Korea. This robust and hearty stew has been a beloved staple in Korean households for centuries, passed down from generation to generation. Each family has their unique version, adding a personal touch that makes the dish all the more special. At the heart of this dish is Dwenjang, a fermented soybean paste that has been an integral part of Korean cuisine for countless generations. The fermentation process gives Dwenjang its distinct, rich flavor that forms the base of this comforting stew.

    Unpacking the Unique Korean Ingredients

    The distinctive flavor profile of Dwenjang Jjigae is largely due to its key Korean ingredients. These ingredients are not just additions to the stew, but they are pillars of Korean cooking that give Dwenjang Jjigae its authentic, homely taste. Let's explore these essential ingredients:

    These ingredients are the essence of Korean cuisine and play an essential role in Dwenjang Jjigae. Their combination, along with the addition of moo (daikon), creates a harmonious symphony of flavors that will transport you to the heart of Korean home cooking. When combined with other ingredients, these Korean gems, including the daikon slices, infuse the stew with an unmistakable taste that truly captures the spirit of Dwenjang Jjigae.

    Exploring Variations and Adding Your Personal Touch

    Our recipe provides a traditional approach to making Dwenjang Jjigae, but the true beauty of this dish lies in its versatility and the opportunity for personalization. Some variations of the stew incorporate seafood or meat, adding an extra layer of flavor and complexity. Others might include a diverse range of vegetables, such as sliced carrots or Granny's favorite - diced potatoes, contributing to the stew's hearty nature. In fact, the possibilities are endless when it comes to the vegetables you can add to this stew, making each rendition unique and personal. The key to mastering Dwenjang Jjigae is to taste the stew as you're cooking, especially after adding the dwenjang and gochujang. This ensures the balance of flavors is just right and allows you to adjust according to your preference. Remember, Korean recipes are often guided more by taste and intuition rather than precise measurements. So, don't be afraid to trust your palate, experiment with different ingredients, and make the dish truly your own. After all, the best Dwenjang Jjigae is the one that tastes right to you!