|Doenjang jjigae (soybean paste stew) (Korean Bapsang)|
Doenjang (fermented soybean paste) is a staple Korean condiment that’s used, among other things, as a base for stew or soup. Its deep, rich flavor is created by several months of fermentation and aging. Doenjang jjigae is a stew, which typically includes meat, tofu and various vegetables. It is one of the most representative dishes of everyday home-cooked Korean meals. Korean home cooks usually save the water used to rinse rice, ssalddeummul, and use it for a stew or soup. The rice water adds starch to the soup and works as a binding agent between the soybean paste and the broth, while enhancing the flavor of the doenjang. This hearty stew is a family favorite and my go-to dish when I want to make a quick, satisfying meal. The distinct aroma of sizzling doenjang makes my mouth water every time I make this dish.Ingredients:
● 300 grams tofu
● 1/2 medium zucchini (mushrooms and potatoes can be added)
● 1/2 small onion
● 60 grams pork belly or other fatty cut
● 1 chili pepper (green or red)
● 1 scallion
● 2 tablespoons doenjang, fermented soybean paste
● 1 teaspoon gochugaru, red chili pepper flakes
● 1 teaspoon minced garlic
● Pepper to taste
● 2 cups of anchovy broth or water*
(*Use the water used to rinse rice, ssalddeummul. For anchovy broth, boil about 7 or 8 medium dry anchovies and 17-centimeter square of dried kelp in 3 cups of water or ssalddeummul for 10 minutes.)
Cut the tofu and zucchini into bite-size cubes. Thinly slice the onion and chili pepper, and roughly chop the scallion. Slice the meat into thin strips.
Preheat a small pot with a little bit of oil over medium heat. Saute the meat, doenjang, gochugaru and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add the water (or anchovy broth), and stir well to dissolve the bean paste. Cover and boil over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the onion, tofu, zucchini and chili pepper. Boil for an additional 10 minutes. Throw in the scallion with 2 minutes remaining.
Serve with rice while it is still bubbling from the heat.
By Ro Hyo-sun
See more recipes at www.koreanbapsang.com.