This time I will introduce you to bok choy tofu doenjangguk. Doenjangguk is a soup made with Korean fermented soybean paste (doenjang) and a staple of Korean cuisine. This recipe is made with tofu and bok choy but there are many different types made with different ingredients. The one constant, unskippable ingredient is doenjang, which every Korean household has on hand, either store-bought or homemade.
I use bok choy in this recipe because it’s very easy to find, but you could substitute it with bunch spinach. The addition of tofu gives the soup a soft texture and protein.
This soup is hot, savory, and earthy, and makes your body warm and comfortable. No Korean would ever reject a large bowl of doenjangguk with a small bowl of warm rice, it’s our all-time favorite. In this video I served it with perilla leaf kimchi and sautéed zucchini and shrimp, but you could serve with whatever side dish you like. I recommend something with fish or just a little more protein, even as simple as a sunny side up egg. And of course don’t forget the warm rice!
- 8 to 10 ounces bok choy, split the leaves, rinsed, and drained
- 8 large dried anchovies, with the heads and guts cleaned
- ¼ cup doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)
- 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Fish sauce (or salt) to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 or 2 green chili peppers, sliced
- 1 pound tofu, cut into bite size pieces
- Place the anchovies in a soup strainer or a stock pouch and add to a large pot. Add 8 cups of water. Cover and boil for 10 minutes over medium high heat until boiling.
- Remove from the heat and uncover.
- Place a wire strainer in the pot. It can be a little submerged in the stock. Add doenjang, gochujang, and flour into the strainer and break it up with a wooden spoon so that it sifts into the stock. Discard any dregs remaining in the strainer.
- Add the bok choy, garlic, and green chili pepper. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over medium high heat until the anchovies are nicely infused into the stock.
- Add the tofu and gently stir a few times. Cover and cook another 5 minutes over medium high heat until the tofu turns soft.
- Remove the anchovy pouch.
- Taste the soup and add fish sauce or salt to your taste if you think it needs it. I added 2 teaspoons of fish sauce.
- Remove from the heat and serve right away with rice and side dishes.