Korean Tofu Soup (Soondubu Jjigae)


Experience the heartwarming flavors of Korean cuisine with our delightful Korean Tofu Soup, also known as Soondubu Jjigae. This classic dish is beloved for its rich and spicy broth, silky tofu, and an array of fresh vegetables and proteins. Whether you’re craving a comforting meal on a chilly day or looking to explore the vibrant flavors of Korean cooking, this Soondubu Jjigae recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds and warm your soul.


  • 1 package (14 ounces) soft tofu (soondubu)
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 4-5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup kimchi, chopped
  • 1/4 cup kimchi juice (from the kimchi jar)
  • 2 cups vegetable or seafood broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 1 egg per serving


1. Prepare the Ingredients:

  • Drain the tofu and cut it into small cubes. Prepare the vegetables by slicing the onion, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, and chopping the green onion and kimchi.

2. Make the Spicy Broth:

  • In a large pot or Korean earthenware pot (dolsot), heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sliced onion, and sauté until fragrant.
  • Stir in the kimchi and kimchi juice, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the vegetable or seafood broth, soy sauce, gochugaru, and gochujang to the pot. Bring the broth to a simmer and let it cook for 5-7 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

3. Add the Tofu and Vegetables:

  • Carefully add the cubed tofu, sliced zucchini, and shiitake mushrooms to the simmering broth. Gently stir to combine and let the soup cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the tofu is heated through.

4. Season and Serve:

  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. If desired, crack an egg into each serving bowl and gently stir to create egg ribbons.
  • Ladle the hot Soondubu Jjigae into individual bowls and garnish with chopped green onions. Serve immediately with steamed rice and Korean side dishes (banchan) for a complete and satisfying meal.

Benefits of Korean Tofu Soup (Soondubu Jjigae): Korean Tofu Soup, or Soondubu Jjigae, is not only a delicious and comforting dish but also offers numerous health benefits. Packed with protein-rich tofu, fiber-filled vegetables, and gut-friendly kimchi, this soup is a nutritious and satisfying option for any meal. The spicy broth also contains anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the addition of gochugaru and gochujang, making it a soothing choice for those seeking relief from cold or flu symptoms.

Serving and Storage Tips for Korean Tofu Soup (Soondubu Jjigae):


  1. Hot and Fresh: Serve Korean Tofu Soup (Soondubu Jjigae) piping hot straight from the stove for the best flavor and texture. Garnish each serving with chopped green onions for a pop of color and freshness.
  2. Accompaniments: Pair Soondubu Jjigae with a bowl of steamed rice and a variety of Korean side dishes (banchan) such as kimchi, pickled vegetables, or seasoned seaweed. These side dishes complement the flavors of the soup and create a well-balanced meal.
  3. Customization: Encourage diners to customize their soup according to their preferences. Offer additional condiments such as soy sauce, sesame oil, or extra gochugaru and gochujang for those who prefer a spicier or more intense flavor profile.
  4. Egg Addition: For added richness and texture, crack a raw egg into each serving bowl just before ladling in the hot soup. The heat from the broth will gently cook the egg, creating silky egg ribbons that enhance the overall enjoyment of the dish.
  5. Family Style: Serve Korean Tofu Soup (Soondubu Jjigae) family-style in a large pot or Korean earthenware pot (dolsot) placed in the center of the table. Allow diners to help themselves to generous portions, encouraging a communal and convivial dining experience.


  1. Refrigeration: Allow any leftover Soondubu Jjigae to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate promptly and consume within 2-3 days to ensure freshness.
  2. Freezing: While tofu can become slightly spongy when frozen, you can freeze leftover Soondubu Jjigae for future enjoyment. Place the cooled soup in freezer-safe containers, leaving some room for expansion, and freeze for up to 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  3. Reheating: Reheat refrigerated or frozen Soondubu Jjigae gently on the stovetop over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add a splash of broth or water if needed to adjust the consistency. Alternatively, reheat individual portions in the microwave until heated through.
  4. Fresh Additions: Enhance the flavor and texture of reheated Soondubu Jjigae by adding fresh ingredients such as chopped green onions, sliced mushrooms, or a sprinkle of sesame seeds just before serving. These additions will liven up the dish and make it taste almost as good as freshly made.
  5. Creative Repurposing: Use leftover Soondubu Jjigae as a versatile base for other dishes. Transform it into a hearty stew by adding cooked noodles or rice cakes, or use it as a flavorful sauce for stir-fried vegetables or tofu. Get creative and experiment with different flavor combinations to create exciting new meals.


1. What is Soondubu Jjigae?

  • Soondubu Jjigae is a traditional Korean tofu soup known for its spicy and flavorful broth, soft tofu, and assortment of vegetables and proteins. It is a popular comfort food in Korean cuisine.

2. Is Soondubu Jjigae vegetarian-friendly?

  • While traditional Soondubu Jjigae often includes seafood or meat-based broths, it can easily be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth and omitting animal-based ingredients. Simply adjust the recipe to suit your dietary preferences.

3. How spicy is Soondubu Jjigae?

  • The level of spiciness in Soondubu Jjigae can vary depending on personal preference and the amount of gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) and gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) used. You can adjust the spiciness to your liking by adding more or less of these ingredients.

4. Can I make Soondubu Jjigae without kimchi?

  • While kimchi adds a distinctive flavor to Soondubu Jjigae, you can still enjoy a delicious soup without it. Simply omit the kimchi and adjust the seasoning to taste with other ingredients such as soy sauce or miso paste.

5. What type of tofu is best for Soondubu Jjigae?

  • Soft or silken tofu (soondubu) is traditionally used in Soondubu Jjigae for its creamy texture and ability to absorb the flavors of the broth. Firm tofu can also be used if you prefer a more substantial texture.

6. Can I make Soondubu Jjigae ahead of time?

  • Soondubu Jjigae is best enjoyed fresh, but you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time and assemble the soup just before serving. Store the prepped ingredients separately in the refrigerator and combine them when ready to cook.

7. What can I substitute for seafood or vegetable broth?

  • If you don’t have seafood or vegetable broth on hand, you can use water as a substitute and adjust the seasoning with soy sauce, salt, and other spices to enhance the flavor of the broth.

8. Can I freeze leftover Soondubu Jjigae?

  • While tofu can become slightly spongy when frozen, you can freeze leftover Soondubu Jjigae for future enjoyment. Store it in freezer-safe containers and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

9. Can I make Soondubu Jjigae without eggs?

  • Eggs are optional in Soondubu Jjigae, so you can omit them if desired. The soup will still be delicious and flavorful without the addition of eggs.

10. What are some common variations of Soondubu Jjigae?

  • Some popular variations of Soondubu Jjigae include adding different proteins such as pork, beef, or seafood, as well as incorporating additional vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, or bean sprouts. Feel free to get creative and customize the soup to your taste preferences.


Indulge in the flavors of Korea with our mouthwatering Korean Tofu Soup (Soondubu Jjigae) recipe, a delightful combination of spicy, savory, and comforting elements. Whether you’re a fan of Korean cuisine or new to its culinary delights, this soup is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen repertoire. So gather your ingredients, simmer up a pot of Soondubu Jjigae, and savor the rich flavors and nourishing benefits of this beloved Korean comfort food.

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