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How to Make Korean Soft Tofu Stew Inspired by "Itaewon Class"

Yup, you can make it at home!
How to Make Korean Soft Tofu Stew Inspired by "Itaewon Class"
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/danbam.official
Yup, you can make it at home!

Looking back at all the episodes of Itaewon Class, you might've noticed that one specific dish was omnipresent in many of the hit K-drama's most pivotal moments. It was there when Park Saeroyi and his father had their first drink together, when Ma Hyun-Yi proved her culinary skills in the Best Pub show, and, perhaps most notably, when Jang Dae-Hee finally got a literal taste of his own medicine.

In all those important scenes, there was always a steaming pot of soft tofu stew (called sundubu-jjigae in Korean) for the characters to enjoy. And now that the show is over, we won't blame you for craving the same dish on your own dining table.

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For those who have yet to try this Korean classic, sundubu-jjigae is a thick soup with soft tofu, anchovy stock, and pork as its main ingredients. It's usually eaten with rice as well as other side dishes, and often served with soju in restaurants.

In case you've been itching to try this dish, you have to try this recipe from Maangchi, a popular Korean YouTuber who shares the best authentic traditional recipes. Her take on sundubu-jjigae is probably one of our favorites on her channel, and we thank Itaewon Class for inspiring us to make it again.

Ready to cook Dan Bam's specialty at home? Keep scrolling!

How to Make Soft Tofu Stew

Ingredients (Makes 1 to 2 servings)

  • 8 large dried anchovies, heads and guts removed
  • 5 ounces of radish, peeled, washed, and sliced thinly 
  • dried kelp (6 x 4 inch piece)
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ½ cup pork belly (or any cut of pork: 2.5 ounces), cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • ½ cup well-fermented kimchi (4 ounces), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt½ teaspoon sugar1 tube of soft tofu (sundubu)
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Make the stock by mixing the dried anchovies (remove the head and guts) and dried kelp in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes in a pot. 
  2. Once the water boils, lower the heat and let it boil for another 20 minutes. 
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and strain the kelp and anchovies.
  4. Mix the hot pepper flakes with sesame oil in a bowl to make the spicy paste.
  5. Heat your stone pot (any thick pot can work, too) over medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Once hot, add oil, and stiry fry your onion and garlic.
  7. Stir fry the pork until cooked.
  8. Add the kimchi and the anchovy kelp stock and cook for 7 minutes over medium heat.
  9. Season with salt and a little bit of sugar. Mix well.
  10. Add the soft tofu into the pot and gently break it up with a wooden spoon. Add more stock if needed.
  11. Grab your spicy paste and spread it on top.
  12. Crack an egg, placing it in the middle of the stew. Allow to cook for 1 minute.
  13. Garnish with chopped green onion and serve with rice and side dishes.

Click play on the video below for a full demonstration!

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