Thursday, 25 June 2009

K-popped! Kitchen: Doenjang Jjigae

While Orchid has been giving you health and beauty tips in May, I figured we could round off her posts with a healthy dish!

Today’s recipe is a very nourishing stew made with Doenjang. Doenjang is fermented soybean and is very similar the Japanese miso. It is said that doenjang is so good for you that having it regularly can help prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, strengthen the liver, aid digestion, keep our skin healthy, and best of all, slow down the aging process. In some sites I’ve browsed, they’ve said that doenjang is also a detoxifying agent (and it’s effective against some snake venom and bee stings!), prevents heart disease and keeps the brain healthy. Wow, this truly is some kind of super food!

Well, I don’t know about the snake venom, but I can tell you this - I have been eating doenjang quite often because it is so simple and quick to make and my skin has become more vibrant over time. I rarely use products on my skin so I’m pretty sure this stuff works. ;)

Doenjang comes in several varieties ranging from light tan to dark chocolate brown pastes. I usually get the ones that range in the middle. The darker the paste, the stronger the flavour.

Step 1: Ingredients!
Serves 2 people as a side dish, or 1 person as a main dish.

  • 1 litre of water (3 ½ cups)
  • 3 - 4 heaping tablespoons of doenjang

A selection of your favourite vegetables. In my doenjang, I’ve put in –
  • Carrots (cut into bite sized chunks)
  • Zucchini (cut into bite sized chunks)
  • Onions (thinly sliced)
  • Tofu (cut into cubes)
  • Shiitake mushrooms (chopped)

Garnish with:
  • Chopped scallions
  • A drizzle of sesame oil

Step 2: Dissolve the doenjang!
Fill a clay pot or small soup pot with water and incorporate doenjang in water BEFORE turning on the heat. I’ve found it easier this way because with the heat on, it’s a little hot on your hands.

Once the doenjang has completely dissolved in the water, bring the broth to a boil. Do a taste test, you might like to add in more doenjang for a thicker stew.

Step 3: Keep it boiling!
When the doenjang broth is hot and boiling, add in the vegetables and ingredients that take longer to cook first (carrots, zucchini, etc) followed by the ones that take less time to cook (mushrooms). Boil stew until ingredients are just about cooked then turn off the heat. Your stew will continue cooking in the hot broth.

Step 4: Garnish and serve!
If you used a claypot, just add a handful of scallions and a drizzle of sesame oil and serve, still bubbling and boiling in its pot, with a bowl of hot rice. Yum!

A tub of doenjang

Tips: You can try adding clams or shrimp to your doenjang jjigae. And if you like it spicy, add in some gochujang and freshly cut chillies.

Where can I get doenjang?
Check out the foreign section at the supermarket, it’s usually together with the Japanese imports. And if there isn’t any, a trip to the Korean mart is in order.

More K-popped! Kitchen posts!


Aiko said...

Thanks for the recipe! Looks delicious! It looks easy enough for me to make.

jehan said...

hi rooster! this is truly amazing of you....

to make your doenjang jjigae tastier, boil the water first with anchovies, about 10 pcs for this serving. when the anchovies are soft enough, remove them and that's the time you dissolve the doenjang with the broth...

this is my favorite side dish too since it's easy to prepare. after bringing the doejang broth to boil, i just put all the ingredients in and boil the stew.. (how my mom in law does it)

|| Lyññ || said...

Cool! Is this the soup they serve in restaurants? cuz it really does taste like Miso... Miso is fermented soybeans... haha... ooo... I saw this ysterday at Lotte Mart in 1U! They even sell fresh kimchi in the fridge... Cool... Sadly I can't take kimchi cuz it's too spicy for me... =(

I bought miso paste before and yea, it's super easy to make! u can even add noodles in... *yummy*

eonjehna said...

hmmm ... gotta admit that i didn't like doenjang jjigae the first time i tried it (on a trip to seoul last year!). but i think i'll try it again using this recipe. thanks for posting it up!

Ayumi said...

Rooster, thanks for the article!

"doenjang jjigae" is my fav food, too;
I've especially tried to have at least one bowl a day
(either doenjang, or Jap miso soup) since I watched the Korean program, "Mysteries of Human Body" on KBS World.

According to the program,
DJang is the most potent anti-cancer food and

many people in Korea and Japan who had made it a rule to have it in their daily diet lived over 100!

Actually, the smelier, the better for health effects -
the super-smelly (?!) Korean "Chung-gook-jang" is considered the most effective for health benefits.

So some companies ahve developed pills with 'Chung-gook-jang' concoction.

Since Korean djang is made from 100% soy beans unlike Jap miso, it's said to be better for your health.
It's super-great for your skin, too, as soy beans, good source for vege protein, keeps your skin tight and supple and helps your body to produce female hormone.

Male hormone, 'testastrone' causes acnes and pimples:)
Some women with TR in their body easily develop acnes.

I put tofu, potatoes, tons of green onions, mushrooms
(the fine noodle-shaped ones)and grinded red pepper (go-choo-gah-roo).

Try 'doenjang jjige' with rice and kimchi - it's heaven!
And very good for health and diet, too.

Rooster said...

Thanks for all the suggestions! Lots of great tips. :)

@jehan: Can we add kimchi to the doenjang jjigae as well?

@eonjehna: You could add a little doenjang paste to other soups that you make. That way it will act as a flavour enhancer and the fermented soybean taste won't be as strong.

@Ayumi: Yes, that's right! Unlike doenjang, miso has barley and rice in it. Thanks for the info. :) I didn't know they made supplements.

ultranguik said...

is it possible to replace doenjang with japanese miso?
alli got in my fridge is miso, and doenjang paste is kinda expensive here.
thank you for all your recipe. its always photographed beautifully (or profesionally, i must said), and looks delicious too.

Rooster said...

@ultranguik: Yes, you can use miso as a substitute. :)

Blaise said...

K-popped is amazing. Not only do the ladies share K-pop news, they generously divulge beauty and even health secrets.

I feel so blessed and thankful.


Falisa said...

look delicious!!
i just want to ask something...
are the hot pepper paste n soybean paste sold at some supermarket halal?? coz i notice at tesco, they label gochujang as non-halal item...confused now (**,)

Rooster said...

@ Falisa: Oh, I don't know about it being halal or not. Gochujang and doenjang are both vegetarian items. Perhaps they're labeled non-halal because maybe the plant where they are made also makes non-halal items? I'm not sure.

CAMERA dahling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CAMERA dahling said...

I'm just wondering, where should i store the tub of doenjang?

CAMERA dahling said...

Oh and the one i bought is called Dwenjang. Is it the same? >.<

Falisa said...

thanx rooster. i think so too...
i bought one before from korean mart at little korea ampang... maybe need to do more research just to confirm regarding the halal issue (**,)


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