Hi everybody!

Today my doenjang (fermented soybean paste) project is done by releasing this video recipe: How to make one of the most popular and representative doenjang dishes: doenjang-jjigae aka fermented soybean paste stew!

Many Koreans say, “I never get tired of eating kimchi, doenjang-jjigae, and rice!”

When a Korean mom chooses the first real meal for her baby, she chooses doenjang-jjigae (or soup made with soybean paste, doenjang-guk) with fluffy white rice. To make it go down easy she mixes the stew with the rice and feeds it to her child. Years later, when the child is grown and living far away, she makes it for them whenever they come home again, because every child has ingrained memories of mom’s doenjang-jjigae. It’s something they know and love and are always comforted with.

When some Korean tourists travel to foreign countries, the first place they want to go is a Korean restaurant and eat doenjang-jjiage with rice. “Oh, airplane food upset my stomach, I need something to feel good!” And it works!

One of my friends who has been living in USA for more than 3 decades stashes a small jar of doenjang into her check-in bag when she travels, because her husband can’t keep eating non-Korean food for an extended period of time. She’ll makes a quick doenjang-jjigae for him in their hotel kitchen.

There are many types and versions of doenjang-jjigae (like the recipe I posted years ago, doenjang-jjigae geotjeori bibimbap), and this recipe I’m showing you today is my standard that I’ve been using for years. It’s one of my favorite styles of doenjang-jjigae and is in my cookbook, too. What makes me more excited about it today is that I made it with my homemade doenjang!

Most of you don’t have homemade doenjang, so you can use store-bought doenjang with the same recipe. It will still be delicious, I promise!


Serves 2-4

  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 green Korean chili pepper (cheong-gochu), stemmed and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 large shrimp, shelled, deveined, washed, and coarsely chopped (about ⅓ cup)
  • 2½ cups water
  • 7 dried anchovies, guts removed
  • 5 tablespoons fermented soybean paste (doenjang)
  • 6 ounces medium-firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 2 green onions, chopped

homemade doenjang (집된장)


  1. Combine the potato, onion, zucchini, chili pepper, garlic, and shrimp in a 1½-quart (6 cups) earthenware pot or other heavy pot.
  2. Wrap the dried anchovies in cheesecloth (or a dashi bag, a pouch for stock-making sold at a Korean grocery store), and put them into the pot with other ingredients  Add water and cover.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes until it starts boiling. If you use a stainless steel pot, it will take less than 15 minutes, about 7 to 8 minutes.
    doenjangjjigae ingredientsDoenjangjjigae (Korean fermented soybean paste stew: 된장찌개)
  4. Stir in the soybean paste, mixing well. Cover and cook for 20 minutes longer over medium heat.
  5. Add the tofu and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the anchovy pouch and discard.
  6. Sprinkle with the green onions and serve as a side dish to rice. Serve it directly from the pot, or transfer to a serving bowl. Everybody can eat together out of the pot, or portions can be ladled out in individual bowls for each person.

Doenjangjjigae (Korean fermented soybean paste stew: 된장찌개)

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  1. KrisIllinois Rockford, IL joined 4/24 & has 1 comment

    I’ve been following the site for many years and I love the recipes!

    I made this for the first time last night and it turned out really well. I didn’t have the anchovies so I subbed a bit of fish sauce. Also, not having zucchini, I used some fresh pumpkin that I grew in the garden last year.

    A couple thoughts. If you sub something like pumpkin, don’t add it at the beginning. Mine was in 1/4 inch cubes so it only took about 5 min to heat through. I also didn’t put the shrimp in until I added the tofu. It really cooks through quickly and it stays more tender adding it later.

    I had it with some Eomuk, Kimchi, and Cheonsachae (all homemade, of course!8) I’m very fortunate to work outside of Chicago and have access to a terrific Korean Market!)

    Keep going, Mangchi!
    Mr. Kris

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 593 comments

      Hi Kris,
      Making doenjang jjigae with fresh pumpkin harvested from your own garden sounds even more delicious!
      When I make soybean paste stew, I usually add shrimp from the beginning and let them simmer. This is because during the boiling process, the flavors blend well, resulting in a delicious stew.

  2. Bagpuss66 Sheffield UK joined 11/18 & has 4 comments

    Would sweet potato be Ok to use instead of white potato in this recipe ? Many thanks.

  3. Jang-geum Charlotte, NC joined 9/20 & has 26 comments

    Homemade Doenjang-jjigae…delicious…thank you for the recipe!

    See full size image

  4. Sporifix Houston TX joined 4/20 & has 6 comments

    I’ve made this several times in different ways and it’s always good. Replaced tofu with chicken once; one time for stock used homemade vegetable stock with a bit of dashi powder in it. It’s always great. I have mine with some Maangchi radish kimchi and a preserved duck egg sliced into it.

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