Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dwenjang Jjigae (soy bean paste stew)

Ingredients

Dwenjang (Soy bean paste)
Gochujang (Red pepper paste)
Gochu garu (Red pepper flakes)
Garlic
Onions
Green onions/scallions
Moo (daikon)
tofu
jalepenos
sogogi dashida (see below post) - optional
galbi sal (small chunks of beef) - sold in korean grocery stores, precut
sesame oil

Directions

prior to cooking, prepare the following:

mince several cloves of garlic (or buy pre-minced in a bottle)
slice onions into bite-sized pieces
cube the tofu into bite-sized pieces
slice daikon into very thin bite-sized pieces
slice 1 whole jalepeno on a bias (on an angle)
dice green onions into tiny pieces

in large pot, add little sesame oil and bring up heat. add minced garlic to flavor the oil. then sautee galbi sal until slightly brown. drain excess oil, and add water (2 cups water serves 3 - 4 medium servings). Bring up heat. Add a large scoop of dwenjang (soy bean paste) into the water and mix around until dissolved. Add a slightly smaller scoop of gochujang (red pepper paste) and also mix around until dissolved. Add couple tablespoons (eyeball it) of gochugaru (red pepper flakes). Add onions, daikon and tofu into pot. Mix gently and let it come to a boil. Then add diced green onions and sliced jalepenos. Let it cook for a minute. Taste - if you want, add a pinch of dashida now. Serve with rice.

Notes - you can add pretty much any vegetables into this stew. I've seen recipes that call for sliced carrots and diced potatoes. I personally dont like potatoes in my stew, but its your choice. Make sure you taste the stew as you're cooking, especially right after you add in the dwenjang and gochujang to make sure the mixture of the two are correct. As you know, korean recipes are by taste - not by measurements - so just make sure it tastes right to you.

edit:: made changes accordingly (from the comments). if you are using 2 cups of water, then use approximately 1/4 cup dwenjang and 1/4 cup gochujang and a few tablespoons of gochugaru. if it looks still too watery, add a little more dwenjang. taste it - it should be more salty than spicy. the color should be near what's on the picture above.

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