Sundubu Jjigae - Easy Korean Soup!

I was inspired to make this soup, as I hadn't had it in ages, and it is such a satisfying meal.  Elatia Harris was the trigger to this endeavour though, as she posted, asking a key question to this meal, do you use kochujiang (hot pepper paste) or kochugaru (Korean pepper flake)?  I prefer to use the kochugaru, as you can control the salt better, but adding a bit of the paste won't hurt either.

Sundubu Jjigae is a versatile soup, as you can add more seafoods to make it a seafoods soup.  I added New Brunswick Shrimp, from Gimli Fish.  PEI Mussels are also available and would work wonderfully in the soup.

Once you have all of the ingredients ready, it is very simple to prepare.  The stock takes a 20 minutes as it is simply dried anchovies, sliced radish (daikon), and kelp.  All of these ingredients are readily available at many Asian markets.  I found the dried anchovies in the cooler section at Sun Wah.

Stock:

8 large anchovies, heads removed (they snap off easily)
2 inches of daikon, peeled and thinly sliced
6" X 6" kombu (kelp)
4 cups water

In a medium saucepan, add all ingredients and cover.  Cook at medium high for 10 minutes after it comes to a boil.  Simmer for an additional 10 minutes and strain the stock.

Soup:

1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped (I used wonderful dried garlic from Berrard Farm, available at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market)
1 tbs oil, for cooking
1/2 cup chopped bacon or pork belly
1/2 cup chopped kimchi (Also use Cook's Creek Kimchi, available at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market)
2 tbs Kochugaru (red pepper flake)
1 tsp good sesame oil
2 green onions, chopped
1 square soft tofu, cubed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 egg per person (I used Nature's Farm Eggs, also available at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market)

Options:  chopped peppers, soybean sprouts, shrimp, mussels, firm white fish, pickerel

Mix the pepper flake and sesame oil together and set aside.

In a heavy pot, (clay pot will take a little longer, but is traditional), heat and add the cooking oil, onions and garlic.  Cook until soft and add the bacon or pork belly.  Cook until the pork is soft and no longer very pink.

Add the stock and kimchi and tofu, salt and sugar.  Let simmer for 5 minutes.   Drop an egg for each person, to poach, and add the green onions and top with the pepper flake with sesame oil.

Enjoy!  Usually served with rice. 

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