While hubby like Kimchi-Jjigae, I prefer Doenjang-Jjigae. I remember eating this spicy soybean paste stew at a popular Korean family restaurant in Singapore and liked it very much. The few times we dined there, I would always order this stew. But the very last time I went, the stew had a very strange odour/taste which musked the flavour of doenjang, I even asked the staff whether that was Doenjang Jjigae, and the staff insisted it was. Then I realised probably the broth or seafood used in the stew wasn't fresh resulting in a strong fishy taste in the soup. Naturally that was the last time I visited that restaurant.
Korean Bapsang. Most recipes use Korean anchovy for broth/soup base, I didn't have any but didn't feel like using our local ones. Saw some fresh clams at the wet market and decided to use fresh clams for the broth/soup base.
Very pleased how the soup turned out. The fresh clam broth gave a sweet undertone to the soup and provided a complimentary role to the highlight of the stew, doenjang. All the ingredients, especially the thinly sliced pork belly matched the taste of the soup. Love it! This recipe is a keeper; I could cook it as a one-pot dish for the family (hubby and I only or non-spicy version so that dear son can eat too) by adding more ingredients like potato and mushroom or perhaps a smaller portion for myself as lunch.
Spicy soybean paste stew (Doenjang-jjigae 된장찌개)
(recipe from Korean Bapsang)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 100g pork belly, thinly sliced (I bought those shabu shabu type of pork belly)
- 1.5 tbsp Korean fermented soybean paste (doenjang)
- 1 tsp Korean chilli pepper flakes ( gochugaru)
- 3 cups clam broth (see below for recipe)
- 10 clam meat
- 250g tofu, cubed
- 1 small zucchini, cubed
- 1/2 small onion, sliced
- 1/2 red chilli, thinly sliced
- 1/2 green chilli, thinly sliced
- 1 stalk scallion, sliced
Clam broth (yields 6 cups of broth)
- Heat a pot with 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Saute garlic till fragrant, then add meat, soybean paste and chilli paste and fry for 3-4 mins.
- Add clam broth and clam meat and stir well to dissolve the soybean paste.
- Cover and boil over medium high heat for 4 to 5 mins.
- Add the tofu, zucchini, onion and chilli. Boil for another 8 mins.
- Add scallions and boil for another 2 mins.
- Off heat and serve immediately.
- 1kg fresh clam
- Water, about 1-2 inches above level of clams
- Soak fresh clam in water for 10 mins and clean/scrub any dirt on the clams. Discard the water.
- Place clams in a pot and add water enough to cover all the clams, about 1-2 inches more.
- Boil the clams for 10 mins till all the clams are opened.
- Remove all the clams and retrieve the meat. Discard the clams that remain closed. Use as desired or freeze in ziplock bag for future use.
- Strain the broth with fine mesh.
- Use broth immediately or put inside ziplock bags for freezing up to 2 months.