Doenjang Jjigae (Korean Fermented Soybean Stew)

Doenjang, Korean fermented soybean paste, is prized because it does not lose its unique flavor when mixed with others, and it only gets better with ageing, like a fine wine. There are so many different ways to cook with doenjang, but it is most commonly used in soups and stews. Doenjang jjigae is one of the most popular dishes, served at home and in restaurants alike. Most families have their own recipe for this satisfying bowl; I prefer to make it with clams. You should always serve it in an earthenware bowl, ttukbaegi, which enhances the stew’s richness and rustic flavor.


Serves 4-6

  • 10 large dried anchovies, heads and guts removed
  • 1 4-inch piece dried kelp (kombu)
  • 4 cups water
  • 5–6 tablespoons doenjang (soybean paste), preferably Mac Doenjang
  • 2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
  • 1–2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 12 little neck clams, cleaned
  • 14 ounces firm tofu, drained, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
  • 10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and de-stemmed
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 red chili, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • Toasted sesame oil, for garnish
  • Black sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the anchovies, kelp, and four cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 more minutes.
  2. Pass the anchovy stock through a sieve and discard the solids, and return the stock to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the doenjang, chili flakes, and chili paste and whisk until dissolved fully. Taste the stock. If you want a stronger doenjang flavor, add some more, and if you want it spicier, add some more gochujang.
  3. Add the zucchini, onion, potatoes, and garlic, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 7–8 minutes more. Add the clams, cover, and simmer until they are all opened and cooked, about 5–6 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open. Add the tofu, mushrooms, scallions, and chili. Mix gently and simmer for an additional 3–4 minutes.
  4. Drizzle with sesame oil, and garnish with additional sliced scallions and chili. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve with steamed rice.

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@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageIn my latest Q&A, I share how I choose what to order at new restaurants and my top tip for finding the best places to eat in a new city. 

When trying a new place, I aim to try something I’ve never had before, often asking for the house specialty or signature dish. Being a big fan of seafood, I usually lean towards pescatarian dishes.

To discover great dining spots in a new city, my advice is to ask the locals, such as your taxi driver, where they would go to eat. When in Rome, do as Romans do! Be a local! (Do not eat at McDonalds in Paris!)
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@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageThank you @brokenpalate and @lainedoss for the feature! From a career in finance to following my passion in the culinary world, it’s been a transformative journey. I never thought it would lead to where I am now, but here I am!

This piece dives into my adventures with Seoul Bird, exploring how Korean fried chicken became a fan favorite, and my aspirations to bring Korean flavors around the world.

It’s a story of change, creativity, and the love of food that has shaped my life. Check out the full article to learn more about my slightly random path into the culinary world. Link in bio!

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@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageFamily meals are a cornerstone of Korean culture, where the table is adorned with an array of small dishes (banchan), showcasing a main course often barbecued meat cooked on a grill built into the table. 

One of the favourites is kalbi (marinated beef short-rib), which is not just a meal, but a convivial experience, bringing everyone together. It’s served with lettuce or perilla leaves (ssam), allowing everyone to wrap their meat with rice, kimchi, ssamjang hot sauce, or their preferred sides.

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@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageHailing from the great state of New Jersey– I grew up eating buffalo wings. 

There was even a buffalo wings site on campus at my college in NYC called Pluck U. (who else remembers this chain? It was started by Columbia and NYU grads). It was open late, and our go to place for midnight munchies!

And, yes they do come from Buffalo, NY, a city upstate known for their bitterly cold winters and their nuclear hot wings. 

Here, I have twisted up the traditional Buffalo wings with a fusion of East meets West. Believe me, I am a mega fan of the original wing slathered in Frank’s hot sauce. But, these Korean-esque wings are drenched in a delectably spicy gochujang based hot sauce, offering a more earthy and umami flavor. 

With the perfect balance of heat, tang, and a hint of sweetness, each bite is an adventure in itself.

Elevate your Korean Buffalo Wings experience with these tips:

Ensure your wings are well-coated in potato starch for that irresistible crunch.

Fry to golden perfection and toss well in the sauce for a glossy spicy finish.

Serve hot and garnish with sesame seeds and finely chopped spring onions for an added burst of freshness. 

And, a side of your fave blue cheese dressing! 

Discover the full recipe and embark on your culinary exploration of Korean flavours at - link in bio!
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