Doenjang Jjigae (soybean paste stew)


Doenjang Jjigae (soybean paste stew)

This is a staple Korean stew made with Doenjang (fermented soybean paste). This is made by fermenting cooked soybeans (called meju) with salt for minimum of 1 year. Of course, nowadays, we can buy it factory made from any Korean supermarket but still many Korean family make their own Doenjang and it is really long process and takes care and is time consuming.

This is similar to Japanese miso but a quite different outcome. Doenjang is chunkier with some beans and has a stronger and more pungent flavour whereas miso has much smother, light taste. The strengths of Doenjang has many different versions due to length of fermentation and temperature.

How to make Meju

  1. In cold water (December), Wash soybeans and leave them in water for 24-48 hours.
  2. Boil them for 4-6 hours and drain water then, grind in a mortar to do not make too smooth.
  3. Make into a square and dry them for 2 weeks in the sunshine.
  4. Then move them into cool area and dry them for over one month (must to be completely dry)
  5. Move them in a warm temperature between 28-26 degrees and leave them between straw and cover with cotton for over 30 days and you will notice that some good white and yellow fungus.
  6. Wash them and dry them again in a cold temperature for few days.
  7. Add sea salt (minimum 3-year-old) in an earth ware pot and water. Put in the dried square of soybean paste and leave for 60 days.
  8. The dried soybeans square become used for Doenjang and the remaining liquid becomes soy sauce.
  9. Bon appetite if you have minimum 6 months to 2 years to spare.



Doenjang Jjigae (soybean paste stew)

                                                                       Preparation time: 10 minutes

cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Serves 4-6 people


Traditionally   Korean housewives save the water used to rinse rice and use it as a stew or soup base. The rice water adds starch to the stew and works as a binding agent between the soybean paste and the broth. It also enhances the flavour of the Doenjang.

If you don’t have the water then add rice flour or potatoes to the stew.


  • 4 cups, washed rice water or pure water
  • small 20 or medium 10 or large 5, dried anchovies / optional
  • 2 palm size pieces, dried kelp
  • 4 Tablespoons, soybean paste
  • 2 grated teaspoons, garlic
  • 1 teaspoon, gochutgaru (chilli powder) or 1teaspoon gochujang (chilli paste)
  • 1teaspoon, caster sugar
  • 50g kohlrabi, medium dice
  • 50g courgette, medium dice
  • 50g potatoes, medium dice
  • 50g onions, medium dice
  • 100g tofu, medium dice
  • 1 medium green fresh chilli, slice diagonally/garnishing
  • 1 medium red fresh chilli, slice diagonally/garnishing
  • ½ stem spring onion, slice diagonally/garnishing
  • 50g scallops, optional
  • 50g squid, optional              
  • 50g mussels, optional

1.Wash vegetables and seafood, put aside.

2. Prepare vegetables

  • Cut off the steam and leaves of the Kohlrabi, (if the kohlrabi is big then slice it in half). Peel the kohlrabi, using a vegetables peeler or knife. Make sure to remove all the woody part. Slice the kohlrabi into like a steak/about 2cm, then cut into big matchsticks/about 2cm and then again cut them into a square bite size.
  • Peel potatoes skin and cut into about 2cm cubes like a bite size.
  • Cut the tofu and courgette into about 2cm cubes like a bite size
  • Slice diagonally fresh chillies and spring onions
  • Grate garlic
  • Cut squid and seafood into a bite size  if necessary

3. Broth

Boil 4cups of washed rice water or pure water in a pot. Put 10 dried anchovies and 2 dried pieces of kelp into boiling water. Skim off the forms if necessary. Let them boil for 5 minutes, Remove the anchovies and the kelp. (if you don’t use any of these two then just boil the water for 5 minutes)

4. Reduce the heat over low heat then dissolve 4 tablespoons of soybean paste into the broth. Let it boil for 3 minutes over high heat.

5. Add 1 teaspoon of gochutgaru and 1 teaspoon gochujang (optional), 2 teaspoons of grated garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar and add kohlrabi and onions. Boil them over high heat for 3 minutes.

6. Add potatoes, courgette and tofu. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, skim off the forms if necessary.

7. Add all seafood and let it boil for 2 minutes more and add sliced green and red chillies and spring onions on top and boil for an additional 1-2 minutes over high heat.

This is one of my cooking class menu.



Kimchi packet

In the right conditions, Kimchi bacteria will start to convert the natural sugars in vegetables into other compounds, such as lactic acid.

Bloating is a clear indication that bacteria are present inside the packet. Bacteria feed on the contents of the pouch and produce gas. Since this gas cannot escape from the sealed packet, it accumulates inside and causes the pouch to bloat.

Bloated Kimchi packet has been left in a room temperature since 4th of July, 2018 whereas the other one was in the fridge from the same date.

Kimchi is a living product. The bacteria (lactic acid bacteria) which ferment the cabbage (vegetables) to produce the kimchi are still alive when it is sold.  Part of the fermentation process is the production of C02 gas, which is harmless.

The more  sourer, the higher Lactic acid bacteria in the kimchi.

But the most important thing is, No matter how long you kept the kimchi in your fridge or in  a room temperature, the kimchi texture must be still crispy, crunchy and the flavour must be fresh sour, tangy and zing otherwise the Kimchi is gone bad (Don’t eat).



Kimchi fried bulgur wheat


I don’t like eating large amounts of food but I do spend the time to source good ingredients. Kimchi is the one of healthiest foods that you can eat. It is  packed full of nutritious  ingredients. We can use it as a seasoning. We can eat Kimchi as a salad, as a special gourmet addition to your recipes.

I love bulgur wheat. It has lovely pale brown colour, a nutty taste and most of all it is rich in plant based – protein and minerals. Bulgur is a light grain that is a good substitute for rice and is quick to make.

So here I made a balanced, healthy meal providing great, complete nutrition called Kimchi fried bulgur wheat.

They are really good, just try it!

It is quick and simple but most of all a super heathy meal.

Preparation time: 10-20 minutes

Cooking time: 5minutes

Servings:  2-3


  • 70g chopped Kimchi
  • 1 medium chopped potatoes
  • 1 baby courgettes
  • 3 baby carrots
  • 30g Romano peppers
  • 70g any cooked meats
  • 7 trimmed sugar

No pictures above ingredients

  • 70g cooked bulgur wheat,
  • 30g canned sweet corns
  • two poached eggs
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • A bit of water
  • Some herbs for garnishing
  1. Prepare all the ingredients.
  2. Add 1 tsp vegetable oil on a deep-frying pan, stir fry or cook the potatoes for 1-2 minutes and add one or two teaspoons of water if your need more oil.
  3. Add all the vegetables with cooked meat except kimchi with 1 tsp olive oil and stir fry for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Lastly, put the chopped Kimchi, cooked bulgur wheat, canned sweet corns, 1tsp sesame oil and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Try your dish and add a pinch of salt or white pepper if the food taste is bland.
  6. Poach your egg and then simply load up your plate.
  7. Sprinkle with finely chopped romano peppers, chives, spring onions or what ever you fancy with colours.


Myulchi Bokkeum

Stir fried anchovies in chilli paste

You can buy dried anchovies from any Korean or oriental supermarket. 

Before using in this dish you will need to remove the anchovies’ heads, bones and intestines otherwise you may find their smell to pungent and their taste too bitter. This takes some patience but is not so bad for a small portion.

Small sized dried anchovies are great for eating, you can sauté them with fresh chillies, garlic, some herbs and sesame oil or eat them as a snack with a glass of beer.

For this dish I used some medium-small sized dried anchovies that my mother sent me about 6 months ago. Thankfully she had already removed their heads, tails, intestines and bones.

Put the dried anchovies into a sieve and shake for a minute to free any powdery remains from the fishes.

Give them a rinse under the cold tap a couple of times.

Drain any excess water and then dry them once with some kitchen towels.

Add the olive oil into the frying pan on a high medium heat.

Add all the drained anchovies into the pan and stir fry them for 7-10 minutes stirring constantly.

Remove all the fried anchovies and set them aside for a while in a bowl.

We are going to add each of the ingredients sequentially in this order : sesame oil →freshly grated garlic→freshly grated ginger →sugar→gochojang→plum cooking juice→ golden syrup→ground black pepper → toasted sesame seeds.

Stir each ingredient for 20 seconds on a high medium heat with wooden spoon before adding the next one to bring out the flavour of each ingredient.

Turn the heat to low and add the previously fried anchovies into the sauce and mix well for 2 minutes on a medium heat.

You can keep this dish fresh for over a week in your fridge.

Preparation time: Less than 30 minutes

Cooking time: Less than 30 minutes

Serves: 4-8 people as a tasty side dish


You need to buy these ingredients from a Korean supermarket

  • Gochojang (Korean chilli paste)
  • Korean plum cooking juice

For the stir fry dried anchovies

  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 70 g dried anchovies, remove the anchovies’ heads, bones and intestines

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1ts freshly grated garlic
  • ½ tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 20 g Gochojang
  • 20ml Korean plum cooking juice
  • 30 ml Golden syrup
  • ½ tps  ground black pepper
  • 2 tbps  toasted sesame seeds

Here you can see different servings of these anchovies in chilli paste with egg and seaweed rice rolls all ready for a small party.

  • See how to make Chungmu Kimbab (link coming soon)
  • See how to make Egg Roll Kimbab (link coming soon)