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