Broccoli is polarizing. I know fully-fledged adults who will only touch it if it’s buried under a blanket of melted cheese, or raw and dunked in a vat of ranch dressing. And I get it. Broccoli is often overcooked, mushy, and bland. And a lot read more
Craving a warming and hearty soup for supper? Look no further than this Korean jjigae (or stew), known as Haemul Sundubu-jjigae. That may be a bit of a mouthful, but there are all kinds of jjigae enjoyed in Korea; this one has soft tofu (sundubu) and seafood (haemul) in a spicy, flavorful broth. I love how quickly this gets on the table, and I especially love how it’s a complete meal in a bowl. A jumble of succulent seafood, veggies, and silky tofu gets topped with a poached egg, all simmered in the spicy and savory broth. This is a seafood lover’s dream, so let’s get into it.
Is anyone else a fan of K-dramas (Korean Drama Shows for those of you who are new)? My sister and daughter are slightly addicted and often they will recommend something on Netflix. I’ve watched my fair share now, and one of the things that always draws my attention is the quantity of food consumed by the actors on screen. Seriously! Don’t believe me? Pick a show, any show. When you watch American TV, there are plenty of scenes showing people sitting at dining tables, in kitchens, or at restaurants. But how many of them are actually eating? Very very few. They’re mostly moving the food around the plate or casually nibbling a fry. But these K-dramas are not kidding around when they show people eating. And these people are basically eating all the time.
If you watch more carefully, you’ll notice that soups/stews are an integral part of the meal. Most Korean meals, even more so than Japanese and Chinese meals, feature a soup. Whenever I watch a K-drama, I’m always salivating watching the characters slurp away. Once you try this Haemul Sundubu-jjigae, you’ll never be able to watch K-drama in the same way. You’re welcome!
A hallmark of any jjigae is a flavorful broth. I like to use my anchovy stock that I shared recently. It’s so easy to make and has a wonderfully assertive seafood flavor that is perfect. You can also use a purchased stock to make this even faster, with a little dashi powder to mimic the briny flavor. I start making my Haemul Sundubu-jjigae by prepping and sautéing aromatics.
The preferred tofu to use for this jjigae is soft silken, which comes either in a box or in tubes. It has an almost custard like texture. A medium or firm tofu would change the dish completely.
The tofu will absorb all the rich and spicy flavors of the broth while it cooks. Now it’s time to add the seafood. I call for shrimp, mussels or clams, and squid, but feel free to use your favorites. I feel like a variety adds exciting textures and flavors, but if all you have on hand is shrimp that will be delicious too! I keep the shells on the shrimp because it adds so much more flavor and it keeps the shrimp tender. But I do take a moment to devein them.
To serve, scoop out an egg into each serving bowl and then carefully ladle the stew on top.
Fast cooking Haemul Sundubu-Jjigae is one of my favorite ways to enjoy seafood on a weeknight, and I hope it becomes one of yours as well. Try it this week and let me know what you think, and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
- 2 green onions, white and green parts chopped separately
- 2 cups anchovy kelp stock (or your stock of choice)
- ½ teaspoon dashi powder (if you are not using anchovy stock)
- 3 Tablespoons gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 2 tubes soft tofu (or 20 ounces extra soft silken tofu)
- 4 large deveined shrimp in the shell
- 3 ounces squid, cut into rings
- 4 fresh mussels or clams, cleaned and rinsed*
- 2 eggs
- Heat a large saucepan (about 3-4 quarts) over medium high heat for several minutes. Add the neutral oil, onion, garlic, the white part of the green onion, and shiitake mushrooms.
- Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until the veggies are lightly brown and starting to soften.
- Add the stock and the dashi powder if using. Simmer for 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, ground black pepper, sugar, and sesame oil. Stir to dissolve.
- Cut the tubes of tofu in half and squeeze the tofu into the pan (or if the tofu is in a container, open the container, drain the tofu, and then place the tofu in the pan) breaking up the tofu a bit with chopsticks or a ladle. Cook for several minutes so the tofu can heat up and absorb some of the flavor of the broth. Taste the broth and add a little salt, ground black pepper, or fish sauce as needed.
- Next add the shrimp, calamari, and clams and cook until the mussels/clams have just opened, 1-2 minutes.
- Carefully crack the eggs into the bubbling stew, and cook for another minute until the eggs are half cooked. Sprinkle the remaining green onion over the top and serve Haemul sundubu-jjigae right away.
- When serving, scoop up each egg and place one in each bowl. Ladle the stew into two soup bowls carefully so you do not break the eggs.
*If you have Korean earthenware pots or small dutch ovens (about 20-24 ounces in size), they make perfect individual servings. Ladle the stew into 2 vessels (before adding the seafood) and place them on the stove top. Heat them up over high heat. Once the stew starts bubbling, add the seafood to each bowl and cook for a couple of minutes until the clams/mussels open. Then add the eggs into each bowl. Cook for another minute. Remove the pots carefully from the heat, sprinkle with the chopped green onion, and serve.
*I know it’s very difficult to buy clams/mussels fresh when you only need a couple pieces. You can use frozen mussels (the greenlip are big and meaty) or clams, a couple of scallops, a couple ounces of fish, or just double up on the shrimp
Keywords: tofu, stew, korean, jjigae, sundubu-jjigae, shrimp, mussels, eggs, seafood
One of our most popular menu items is our Green Curry Shrimp. And it’s easy to see why. It’s rich, creamy, spicy, and full of colorful veggies. I am a firm believer though that vegetarians deserve to get in on the fun too, and that’s how this Green Curry Tofu was born. I kept everything people love about the original, and swapped in crispy tofu for the shrimp. And for this version, I also use a commercial green curry paste which makes this a totally doable weeknight meal. Quick, easy, and delicious. Let’s do this!
Prepping the Green Curry Tofu Veggies
I start by getting the sweet potatoes ready. These soft sweet nuggets are a perfect contrast to the spicy curry sauce.
Then I boil them for 6-8 minutes until tender. You want them tender but not fall apart mush.
While the sweet potatoes are cooking, I get the veggies and tofu ready. I like the contrast of shapes when cutting my veggies so I’m using a couple of different styles. It’s totally not necessary but you should try to keep them roughly the same size.
It’s important to get a nice golden crust on the tofu. It adds a lot of texture and flavor to the dish. Use a non-stick skillet because tofu has a lot of moisture and that moisture loves to grab onto the surface of the skillet. If you use a regular stainless skillet, you will hate yourself as you struggle to keep the crust from adhering to the pan. It’s not impossible, but you will need to heat the pan for a long time and use a lot more oil. Do yourself a favor a use a non-stick skillet or a well seasoned cast iron pan.
Cooking Green Curry Tofu
Now that the veggies are prepped and the tofu has been fried, it comes together really quickly.
The secret to the lusciousness of restaurant curries is coconut cream. Now’s not the time to fall into the low fat trap. At least use full fat coconut milk rather than the watery light versions. Coconut fat is good for you and it is essential to create a rich and creamy curry. If you’re ultra concerned, eat a little less and save some for your next meal!
Because this is a vegetarian (and vegan) dish, we’re not using the traditional fish sauce. However, it’s important to give the dish that deep, salty, earthy flavor that fish sauce imparts. Today we’re mimicking that flavor with soy sauce and miso. Used in combination, you get a similar umami goodness. You can also experiment with coconut aminos and a little salt with good results.
One the veggies are added, lower the heat to medium and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the eggplant has softened, stirring the pan occasionally.
I like to garnish this with fresh herbs and serve with rice to scoop up all the luscious sauce. A fresh squeeze of lime is nice too!
Can’t get enough curry? Try:
I hope you love this easy, weeknight Green Curry Tofu. Please take a moment to rate and comment on the recipe, and you can show off your food pics by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 4 Tablespoons Oil
- 1 Block Firm Tofu
- ½ large yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cloves large garlic
- 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- 1–2 thai bird chilies (optional for those who really like extra spicy foods)
- 3 ounces baby spinach
- 1 Chinese eggplant, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1 handful cilantro or basil
- 2 oz green curry paste (I used ½ 4 oz maesri brand can)
- 10 fl oz coconut cream
- ½ Tablespoon Miso
- ½ Tablespoon Soy sauce or Coconut Aminos
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper to Taste
- Hot rice
- Limes Wedges
- Peel and trim the sweet potatoes.
- Dice the sweet potatoes into 1” pieces.
- Place the sweet potatoes into a small pot and cover with 3 cups of water.
- Place the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil over high heat.
- Lower the heat to medium and cook for 6-8 minutes until tender but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking, open the tofu package and then cut the tofu into small 1 ½“ pieces.
- Set the tofu on a plate lined with a couple pieces of paper towel. Cover the tofu with some more paper towels (you can also use a clean kitchen towel) and gently press down on it to remove excess water.
- Heat a large 12” non-stick frying pan over medium heat for several minutes and then add 3 Tablespoons of the oil.
- Place the tofu in one layer and let it cook undisturbed for 3-5 minutes until the bottom is crisp and browned.
- Using a spatula, flip the pieces of tofu over and cook the other side for another 3-5 minutes until also crispy and browned. Take the tofu out of the pan and set aside.
- Return the unwashed pan to the stove. Turn the heat to medium high.
- Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil and the onions. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the ginger, garlic, and curry paste. Stir-fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the eggplant, sweet potatoes, coconut milk, miso paste, and soy sauce to the pan.
- Bring the pan to a simmer, stirring to melt the miso into the sauce. Then, lower heat to medium and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the eggplant has softened, stirring the pan occasionally.
- Add the tofu, stir and cover. Lower heat to a medium low and cook for an additional 2 minutes until the tofu is hot.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with a little salt and ground pepper as needed.
- Add the spinach and stir to wilt. Garnish with some cilantro or basil sprigs.
- Serve the Green Curry Tofu immediately with hot rice and lime wedges.
Keywords: green curry, tofu, thai, spicy, coconut, sweet potato, vegan