Korean-Chinese fusion?

Fact: my husband is Korean and I’m not.  Before we met, I did not have much experience with Korean food.  Now after almost 6 years together and a whole lot of kimchi (fermented cabbage) and mandu (dumplings) later, I can still only make one “Korean” dish that he enjoys – dwengjang chigae.  This is a stew made with soybean paste and traditionally contains tofu, mushroom and various vegetables.  I had originally gotten the recipe from my sister-in-law and throughout the years, have tweaked it to make it my own.  For instance, I add fish and beef balls, the kind you use for hot pot, and pork belly.  I also add tons of veggies and kimchi to make it a more hearty dish that you can have as a meal on its own.  This dish is perfect during the winter or on a rainy day and really hits the spot!

The starch.

The protein.

Dwengjang Chigae

Perfect with a bowl of rice!


  • 1 large potato
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6-8 white mushrooms
  • pork belly
  • kimchi
  • 3-4 tbsp soybean paste or to taste
  • 16-20 fish/beef balls
  • 1 package of medium firm tofu
  • vegetable oil
  1. Heat oil in large pot on medium heat.
  2. Saute potato until 1/3 cooked (couple minutes).
  3. Add garlic, pork belly and onion and cook until pork belly is half cooked.
  4. Add zucchini and mushrooms and cook until a bit soft (couple minutes).
  5. Add desired amount of kimchi.
  6. Add enough water so that it is 1 inch above all the ingredients in the pot.
  7. Increase heat and bring water to a boil.
  8. Add desired amount of soybean paste.
  9. Add fish/beef balls.
  10. Reduce heat to low-medium and cook until paste has dissolved and potato almost soft.
  11. Add tofu and cook for a few more minutes.
  12. Eat!

Notes and tips:

You can also use canned clams or sausage in place of the fish/beef balls and pork belly.  Just add it before you add the water.  Add more or less soybean paste and kimchi depending on how flavourful and spicy you like it.

10 thoughts on “Korean-Chinese fusion?

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