Like any famous and popular dish, doenjang jjigae, otherwise known as Korean soybean paste stew, has a multitude of different versions and variations. Doenjang jjigae recipes vary depending on the ingredients used, regional flavors, and personal preference.
Though the recipes vary, all must include doenjang. Doenjang is a type of fermented paste made out of soybeans, which is a byproduct of making Korean soy sauce. Rich in flavor, doenjang tastes strongly of earthy and salty beans.
Our List of Doenjang Jjigae Recipes
Below is a list of different versions of doenjang jjigae. All of these recipes are similar in technique, although different in flavor. Which doenjang jjigae recipe do you prefer?
Doenjang Jjigae for Beginners
When starting to cook Korean food, I first learned doenjang jjigae from my husband. It became one of my first recipes on my blog. My doenjang jjigae is an easy recipe to follow for those learning to cook Korean food.
Unlike many recipes, our doenjang jjigae does not involve making your broth, cooking meat, or dehydrating dried vegetables. We created this recipe when I was a Korean cooking beginner, and I believe it is an excellent recipe for those just getting started!
Not only is it easy, our recipe is delicious. Though this recipe is a basic version with no frills or fuss, the doenjang brings a massive punch of flavor. Adding gochujang and gochugaru to the stew adds a layer of spice. The spice mingles deliciously with the rich earthiness of the doenjang.
Our recipe also just happens to be a great option for vegans and vegetarians as well!
Doenjang Jjigae for Advanced Cooks
If our doenjang jjigae is beginner-friendly, the Serious Eats version is advanced. Created by Seoyoung Jung, this recipe combines the earthy flavors of doenjang with the umami flavors of fish and kelp stock, dried mushrooms, and fresh clams.
First, Seoyoung begins by washing her rice to eat with the doenjang jjigae. After rinsing the rice, she keeps the used water to start making her stock. Once combined, the water, kelp, and dried anchovies make a stock already packed full of flavors. From there, she adds her re-hydrated mushrooms, vegetables, spices, doenjang, and clams.
I recommend this recipe for advanced cooks because of how long it takes to cook, the number of steps, and the use of new ingredients. Before starting to cook Korean food, I never used dried vegetables or dried fish in any of my cooking. Once I got the hang of cooking in a Korean kitchen, I could easily follow recipes such as this.
Let me tell you, Seoyoung’s recipe is delicious!
Doenjang Jjigae for Beef Lovers
If you follow my blog, you know how much I love the blog Kimchimari. JinJoo’s recipes always include smart tips and tricks for home-cooks. Many of these tricks include instructions on how to have little waste. JinJoo’s recipe for beef doenjang jjigae gives an option for using leftover meat. To me, this is a smart way to plan out meals throughout the week and cut costs. What better way to cook, right?
In this blog post for beef doenjang jjigae, JinJoo gives step-by-step instructions on how to use meat from a previous recipe–in her case, JinJoo uses her restaurant-style galbi–OR on how to use fresh meat if you are not using leftovers.
Like always, JinJoo’s instructions go in-depth. She starts from the base of the recipe and builds up. With her simple instructions, you can cook doenjang jjigae with little-to-no mistakes. Before you know it, you will have a doenjang jjigae filled with chewy beef, peppers, onions, tofu, and zucchini.
This version of doenjang jjigae is comforting. Soon, your belly will be full and your toes warm.
Doenjang Jjigae for Pork Lovers
Hyosun with Korean Bapsang is another Korean mother in the kitchen I adore. Her recipe instructions include step-by-step photos so that you do not get lost along the way.
You will notice when cooking this recipe, and many other versions of doenjang jjigae, that you cook the meat, then add broth and finally add the vegetables. This might seem counterintuitive for those used to making soup in the European or American style of cooking. In these cuisines, people usually sauté the vegetables before adding the broth. The more you cook Korean food, the more you will grow accustomed to adding the vegetables later. Often, it allows the vegetables to maintain that crunchy texture and bright flavor.
The fatty pork adds a layer of richness and strength to the flavor of this dish. Personally, when making Hyosun’s recipe, I also add a few chunks of potato. Potato soaks up that richness and adds a natural creaminess to the bite!
Doenjang Jjigae for Seafood Lovers
This doenjang jjigae recipe also comes from Hyosun’s blog Korean Bapsang. Take everything about her delicious doenjang jjigae in the section above, and substitute the pork with seafood. For this recipe, Hyosun recommends squid, shrimp, and clams.
Unlike when cooking with pork or beef, you must add the seafood last when making this doenjang jjigae. If added at the beginning, seafood would overcook. Thankfully, clam, shrimp, and squid take on the flavors of the doenjang very quickly.
Somehow, the earthy flavors of doenjang mingle deliciously with the flavors of the sea.
Let Us Know If You Try Any of These Versions!
How do you like your doenjang jjigae? Let us know if you try any of these doenjang jjigae recipes in the comments below or email us at [email protected]! We would love to hear from you!
Other Korean-Influenced Recommendations:
- Our List of Gluten-Free Gochujang
- Quick and Easy Banchan Recipes You Need to Try
- Korean Food Bloggers We Love
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