Soon Dubu Jjigae (Spicy Soft Tofu Stew)
There are many dishes that I enjoy cooking time and time again, not only because they are easy but also because I can cook them pretty well. But for this particular Korean dish (which is one of my favorites), I always find myself hesitating and then falling into deep nostalgia. During my time in Seoul, I remember ordering this spicy stew at least once a week regardless of weather temperature, and it always hit the spot. There’s something special about the oh-so-soft, somewhat creamy, absolutely silken tofu texture that is unparalleled with the spicy broth. For that reason alone (which is thoroughly enjoying food I cook), I left this off my recipe list until the last minute. And, ironically, I will again get to order this stew at moment’s notice as I head off to Seoul tomorrow morning (yah!). As with most Korean soups and stews, there are endless variations of soondubu jjigae but I enjoy the basics: seafood medley, zucchini, onion, mushrooms, and plenty of tofu. You’re more than welcome to adjust and substitute ingredients to your preference (just make sure you have the sauce ingredients in tact). Interesting side note, most restaurants in Korea usually serve soondubu jigae in traditional earthenware bowls while bubbling, scorching hot. A raw egg is then added to the stew just before serving so don’t be surprised at its initial appearance!