Doenjang Stew

Finished doenjang stew, served with a little brown rice.

Doenjang Stew

After college, I lived in South Korea and taught English as a foreign language for two years.  It was so much fun!  I fell in love with the culture, especially the food.  One of my favorite foods to get at the time (although it was not vegetarian) was this stew made from a fermented soybean paste called doenjang.

I was super excited at the grocery store the other day to find doenjang paste!  It is somewhat similar to miso, although it has a richer deeper flavor.

This version eliminates the meat and fish products, uses slightly less doenjang paste, and is slightly less spicy to accommodate my toddler's pallet.  I also used brown rice instead of white.  Feel free to increase the crushed red pepper, substitute in fresh hot peppers, omit the carrots (their not traditional at all), or just generally experiment.  The recipe is very flexible.

My toddler enjoyed picking out the tofu and eating that as well as slurping up the broth.  Eating grains of rice one by one is also necessary, apparently.

Serves: 6


  • 1 TBSP canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 pepper, chopped
  • 1 tub tofu, cubed
  • 6 cups water
  • 8 TBSP doenjang
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 cups brown rice


  1.  Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Add the onions and cook for about three minutes, or until they begin to turn translucent.
  2. Add in the garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Stir in the carrots and cook another two minutes.
  4. Add in the zucchini, yellow squash, pepper, and tofu.  Cook, stirring, about three more minutes.
  5. Add in the water, bean paste (doenjang), scallions, and crushed red pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to low and simmer 45 minutes.
  6. Serve in a bowl with a scoop of rice on top.



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