Doenjang-jjigae (fermented soybean paste stew) is a hearty, delicious, warm, and comforting everyday stew that Koreans never get tired of. We have so many variations that we can happily and comfortably eat it a few times (or more often) a week with rice and kimchi and enjoy it every time.

I’ve introduced doenjang-jjigae on my website before, my longtime favorite recipe cooked with shrimp, anchovy stock, and vegetables, and also a version with scallops. But we can also make it with beef instead of seafood, preferably a little fatty, marbled cut that will give the broth a rich flavor and allows you to leave out the cooking oil.

You may be tempted to be generous and load the stew with more ingredients, but adding 4 ounces of each, as I do in this recipe, will make for a well-proportioned stew with plenty of broth.

Enjoy the recipe!

Korean breakfast with doenjang jjigae

typical Korean breakfast 


(serves 4)

  • 4 ounces any cuts of beef (or ground beef), cut very thinly
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounces potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 4 ounces onion, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 4 ounces zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice
  • ¼ cup doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)
  • 4 ounces medium-firm tofu, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 green chili pepper or jalapeño, sliced
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon gochu-garu (Korean hot pepper flakes; optional)


  1. Place a heavy, medium sized pot over medium heat. When it is hot, add the vegetable oil, beef, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes, until the beef is no longer pink. Add 2 cups water. beef doenjang jjigae
  2. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. If it begins to boil over, crack the lid.
  3. Add the potato, onion, zucchini, and doenjang.Korean soybean paste stew
  4. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir the stew to make sure that the soybean paste is evenly incorporated.
  5. Add the tofu, green chili pepper, green onion, and gochu-garu (if used).Korean soybean paste stew
  6. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until the tofu softens and the stew is bubbling. Serve right away with rice, kimchi, and more side dishes.Korean soybean paste stew
  7. You can refrigerate the stew for up to 3 days. When you want to have some, reheat gently on top of the stove.

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  1. marlenep new york joined 4/20 & has 2 comments

    I have leftover beef bone broth that I want to use. Can I use it in place of the water?

    • marlenep new york joined 4/20 & has 2 comments

      I used it and it came out delicious! My husband and I loved it. Thank you! I was wondering, next time if I want to make it a little spicier tableside, ( my husband likes things spicier than I do ), what would you recommend? He added some chili oil but I think there’s got to be something better. Maybe ssamjang? Thanks again. You’re such an inspiration, Maangchi.

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  2. cjvoller Pennsylvania joined 8/22 & has 1 comment

    We love this stew. Is it possible to freeze it?

  3. New York joined 8/22 & has 1 comment

    I bought a ttukbaegi specifically for doenjang-jjigae. It’s so savory and delicious, the ttukbaegi keeps it hot until the last spoonful!

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  4. AKitchenCat Australia joined 8/22 & has 1 comment

    I make this very regularly – it’s one of my favourite Korean dishes! I have noticed that when I reheat it
    and eat on day 3 it always seems to give me an upset stomach.

    I noticed that you say you store it for up to 3 days – traditionally, is this dish one that you can store for a few days and reheat, then eat safely?

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

      Yes, you should always serve doenjangjjigae hot. “ on day 3 it always seems to give me an upset stomach.” Maybe you should finish eating in 24 hours? Anyway be sure to boil the leftover doeanjang jjigae before serving.

  5. GillUK Manchester, UK. joined 8/22 & has 2 comments

    This is the first time making this and it was delicious. Served with plain rice and kimchi. Liked by all my family. I’ll be making this again. Thanks Maangchi!

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  6. maangchi-ddal UAE joined 4/22 & has 1 comment

    I made some today! My family & I LOVED it. Thank you so much! ♥️

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  7. Dbertovi Croatia joined 4/22 & has 1 comment

    Extra! So tasty and savory, really extra. I used Sempio doenjang. Really good. And added extra Tsp of Gochujang :-)).

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  8. Coddedge Georgia joined 2/20 & has 4 comments

    I made this today for my birthday. I used shrimp instead of beef and it was delicious! Thank you Maangchi for all your wonderful recipes!

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