Vegetarian Sundubu jjigae with Gamja Jorim


This is a recipe for a vegetarian version of Korean soft tofu soup and braised potatoes, my two favorite Korean dishes. The Korean red chili pepper (gochugaru) is very important! No substitutions!

This will make about 2-3 servings.

Vegetarian Sundubu Jjigae



  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 L of water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 piece(s) of kombu, about 4″ x 6″, broken into small pieces
  • 1 cup of diced daikon

Chili to set aside

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp Korean red chili pepper (gochugaru)


  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 fresh chilies
  • 5-10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 5-10 baby bok choys, pulled apart, ends cut off
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 package of soft tofu
  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  • 2 eggs, soft boiled (about 7-8 minutes in boiling water will do it)
  • kimchi, if you can find a tasty vegetarian kid (I haven’t, yet)


  1. Mix the sesame oil and chili pepper together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the water, capers, kombu, soy sauce, and daikon in a pot. Cover and boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Separately saute the onion and garlic in a little oil for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the bok choy and mushrooms. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the kimchi, if you have it.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and add the sesame oil-chili mix and tofu.
  7. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
  8. Crack an egg (or 2) in the broth and poach it to your desired consistency.
  9. Serve with green onions sprinkled on top, and rice to the side.

Gamja Jorim


  • 2 small russet potatoes (organic!), peeled and diced into small 1 inch chunks
  • 1 small onion, or 1/2 of a medium onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp Korean red chili pepper (gochugaru)


  1. Heat a pan with the oil on high heat. Once it is ready, add the potatoes. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the onions, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Mix the soy sauce, sugar, garlic, black pepper, gochugaru, and water well in a small bowl. Add the the pan.
  4. Let the mixture simmer on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Add additional water if the potatoes start to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Once the potatoes are soft enough, pull it off the heat and serve!