Although as I’ve mentioned, I didn’t grow up craving or eating meatloaf, there is a dish that I grew up with and immediately fell in love with at first bite and perhaps first sight as well. There isn’t a Korean I know that isn’t familiar with this dish. Actually, I have yet to meet one that doesn’t share the love for it. Fortunately and unfortunately for me, when it comes to Korean food, everything seems to be put together haphazardly and impromptu. This is the story of my life. Fortunately, this tends to work for me since second nature kicks in with perfect timing. Unfortunately, everything happens through trial and error. In regards to cooking, everything is usually made to taste and recipes aren’t always recorded perfectly – my sincere apologies in advance.
SoonDuBu Jjigae (순두부 찌개), otherwise known as Korean Soft Tofu Stew, is what I would deem as Korean comfort food. It is soft, smooth, hot, spicy, and delightfully filling. In times of affliction, my clouded thoughts seem to clear up ever so slightly at the idea of this steamy stew. It’s just about the best thing you can make out of tofu. No other dish that I have come across portrays tofu’s subtle sapor and endless versatility better.
While there are so many different types of SoonDuBu, my indecisiveness and love for all foods forced me to make The Everything kind (모듬 순두부). Typically, you’ll find that SoonDuBu is made with seafood and sometimes with kimchee and pork. I just combined everything I had at home and made the ultimate meal. With this soup, you can get all your craving fixes.
This recipe was conjured on a whim, but was so mouth-watering and hard-to-resist that I almost outdid myself by partaking in the surfeit of tofu and soup that nearly gave me food coma. I think I was more so in search of comfort though, than anything. After a heated argument with the BF, the heated stew assuaged both my hunger and my anger. Surprisingly, it also helped us make up since the scent and presence of it alleviated the tension between us and gradually enabled us to sit and share the meal together. Luckily, this time, I recorded the recipe pretty accurately. Cooking and relationships both consist of trials and errors, but in both you’re able to transcend from the errors and attain better skills and more wisdom in both aspects of life.
The Everything SoonDuBu (모듬 순두부)
1-2 tbspn sesame oil
3-4 tbspn korean red pepper flakes
3 tbspn soy sauce
1 tbspn fish sauce
6 oz. meat (I used 1/2 can of spam), sliced
6 oz. can of chopped clams, with juice
8 oz. cooked shrimp
2 packs of soft/silken tofu
8 oz. kimchee, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, sliced
1-2 hot peppers, sliced
Combine seasoning ingredients and heat in a pot or earthen ware/ceramic pot.
Add the kimchee, clams. meat, garlic, and onion in the pan until cooked and soft.
Add 3 cups of water and bring to boil.
Add the two packs of tofu and break up using fork or spoon.
Then add the cooked shrimp and hot peppers to add more of a kick.
Add salt and pepper to taste.