Soondubu Jjigae (Soft Tofu Stew)

I first had a version of soondubu back in Cali. My friends and I would go to the Korean tofu houses in our area (Monterey Park), and I always had to order it. Mine would always be vegetarian and not spicy, and with the rice and the side dishes, I never got full. I always wanted more. Now in Korea, I can have it all the time, and it’s cheaper in the restaurant than making it on my own. There’s a kimpab shop below my workplace, and I love going there for their soondubu. It’s delicious, spicy, filling, and it comes with a few clams but I leave them as they are. After having it there, I decided to make it at home. I’ve taken out the clams, and simplified the recipe to merely the soup, soft tofu, enoki mushrooms, and an egg. It has taken me several tries, but I think I’ve managed it.

I’ll post the recipe another time.

Japchae (Korean Glass Noodles)


1/4 pound dried Korean glass noodles
1 bell pepper, sliced
1/4 pound spinach, washed and drained
1/2 carrot, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
2 tablespoons soy sauce

1. Fill a large pot with water and boil. When water is boiling, add the noodles and cook for 5 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again and toss with only 1 tsp of the sesame oil. Set aside.
2. Add olive oil in a wok or large saute pan on high heat and swirl to coat. When the cooking oil is hot but not smoking, fry bell pepper and carrot slices, until just softened.
3. Add the spinach, soy sauce, and noodles. Fry 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked through. Turn off heat, toss with the remaining 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil.

1-2 servings

Braised Potatoes

3 medium potatoes
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons Korean or Japanese dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 tablespoons malt syrup
1/2 cup water
a pinch of salt

1. Clean and peel the potatoes. Boil the potatoes in a pot of water for 10 minutes.
2. Drain the potatoes and let them cool for 5 minutes. Cut them into cubes.
3. Heat a wok with a bit of olive oil over low heat. Saute the potatoes with a pinch of salt until they can be poked through with a fork without them breaking in half.
4. Mix the soy sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, dried rosemary, and sugar. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and stir to coat.
5. Stir the malt syrup in water, add to wok, and stir well to combine.
6. Put a lid over the wok and cook slowly. Stir occasionally so the sauce evenly coats the potatoes. The longer you braise them, the more the sauce will disappear and the darker the potatoes will become. If the sauce disappears entirely before the potatoes are cooked, add a little more water to the wok and keep cooking. Have the potatoes cooked just enough so that they hold their shape and are soft to bite all the way through with no crunchiness.
7. Do not serve this dish hot. Allow to cool at least to room temperature.

1 serving