Back to Basics: The Best Doenjang Jjigae for the Cooler Months

When the weather cools down and especially after you’ve had a heavy western meal, Koreans crave a good old fashioned doenjang jjigae. We all have our special touches and secret ingredients, but sometimes it’s great to peel back the layers of improv and go back to basics.

Here’s my classic version which includes potatoes, a cool weather comfort food favorite in my family. This recipe also leaves all the spice to the end so you can adjust according to your taste.

Doenjang Jjigae with Adjustable Spice

Yield: 2 Servings, Time: 30 min



  • 1 Anchovy Teabag
  • 3 Oz Lean Pork
  • 1 Small Potato Cubed
  • 1/2 Zucchini Halved and Sliced
  • 3 White Mushrooms
  • 7 oz Firm Tofu
  • 2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Doenjang
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Vinegar
  • Optional: Gochugaru


Step 1

Boil the water in a pot or Korean clay pot, then then add the anchovy tea bag and pork. Boil for 8 minutes.

Step 2

Remove the tea bag. Add the potatoes, doenjang and minced garlic. Boil for 10 min.

Step 3

Add the cut zucchini, tofu, and mushrooms. Boil for 5 minutes.

Step 4

Add the chopped scallions and the vinegar. Boil for 1 minute.

Optional: If spicy jjigae is desired, add gochugaru at the end one teaspoon at a time.

Enjoy piping hot jjigae!

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