The cold winter weather is making me crave hearty Korean stews. Here’s one that’s relatively quick and easy — and vegetarian, unlike most Korean dishes. This has quickly become one of my favorite recipes.

Dubu Jjigae (Spicy Tofu Stew) — 두부찌개

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 block medium or firm texture tofu (14 oz.)
  • 3 dehydrated mushrooms, rehydrated until soft*
  • 4 c. soup stock (vegetable broth)
  • 1 green onion, diagonally sliced (or 3 scallion stalks)
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce**
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, mixed with 1 Tbsp. water
  • ½ tsp. Korean red pepper powder***

*You can buy these mushrooms in Asian grocery stores and rehydrate them by soaking them in a bowl of hot water. (See photo above.)

**To make this recipe gluten free, I used San-J Organic Tamari Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (available at Whole Foods or for $6.69 + shipping on

***You can find plastic bags or canisters of Korean red pepper powder (called gochugaru in Korean) at Asian grocery stores or on for about $13 a pound. The consistency is between a coarse powder and a fine flake, so gochugaru is sometimes called red pepper powder or hot pepper powder and sometimes called red chili flakes. (See photo above.)


  • Cut tofu into blocks (1½” x 1½” x ½”).
  • Slice mushrooms and scallions.
  • Pour soup stock into large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add mushroom and scallion slices and soy sauce to boiling soup stock.
  • Simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  • Add tofu blocks, red pepper powder and cornstarch mixture.
  • Cook for 2 minutes, stirring carefully.
  • Serve, either in one communal bowl (Korean-style) or in individual bowls.

[Recipe from “Korean Cooking”, an out-of-print cookbook created by the Korean Institute of Minnesota.]