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Vegan Korean Silken Tofu Stew (Soon Tofu Jjigae)

I love hot and sour food and this stew is up there with my favourite healthy lunches. This stew is traditionally made using kimchi, but as it is difficult to get hold of at the moment and I used up my last batch of home-made kimchi, I have adapted the recipe to be without this ingredient. If you do have kimchi, simply replace the vegetables with kimchi and some of the liquid and add more vegetables if needed.

Be careful with shop bought kimchi as it can contain fish sauce and if you are gluten intolerant make sure it has gluten free clearly labelled. It is easy to make your own, if you do have time to do this there is a recipe here from a previous blog post.

This is a lovely hot and sour stew-like soup and very healthy and easy to make. The silken tofu is stirred in at the end and warmed through to prevent it from breaking up, but allowing it to infuse with the flavours.

Gochujang is a Korean firey chilli paste and is perfect in this dish, but if you don’t have any gochujang, any miso paste or another red chilli paste works well in this dish.

Korean Silken Tofu Stew (Soon Tofu Jjigae)

This stew is packed with nutrition and has a wonderful hot and sour taste.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp gochujang or other hot pepper paste
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger grated
  • 1 medium carrot julienned
  • 1 head napa cabbage or chinese leaf chopped
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 pack firm silken tofu chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp red chilli flakes
  • handful scallions and sesame seeds to garnish


  • In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the onion for 5 minutes over a medium heat.
  • Add the gochujang, garlic and ginger and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chinese leaf, carrot, soy sauce, sesame oil and cider vinegar and cook for 3 minutes stirring.
  • Add the hot stock and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the tofu and chilli flakes and remove from heat and place the lid on allowing the tofu to warm through for 2 minutes.
  • Serve garnished with scallions and sesame seeds.

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