As a college student I struggle with managing my time properly. Between classes, socializing, church, the last thing I have on my mind is what I’m having for dinner. I’ll be honest – it is really difficult to plan ahead and actually make a proper meal. It is a real skill! I remember back home there was always food in the house. Dinner was always on the table! We always had a cupboard full of crackers, a fruit bowl filled to the brim with oranges/pears/apples, rice cooker filled with steaming hot rice, a fridge full of tupperware of last nights leftovers. My mum was oh so good at making sure we were fed. No one ever went hungry. In fact I gained so much weight from the abundance of food we had. Those were the good old times. It seems so strange now that I’m in college having to return to my apartment after hours of studying in the library… and seeing an empty kitchen, empty table, empty rice cooker and an empty fridge. The struggle is real as a college student. Its these moments that I suddenly feel a pang of homesickness wash over me.
I wonder how my family is doing…what they are having for dinner, what good food they are eating..what fun things they’d be up to.
That is why I am ever so grateful for technology to be able to Skype my family weekly, text them daily, talk to them on the phone frequently. Even across the continent, I don’t feel we are that far apart. I still feel like they are a part of my life.
Doenjang jigae is one of my mum’s favorite stews. It is really very simple. My mum loved ordering this after a heavy meal of korean barbecue. It just helps your food go down better. As Zoe and I ate this, we thought of her. Of course I wish I could make this for her myself, but that will just have to wait till the next time I see her.
Another great thing about this recipe is that it is so healthy and good for those who have digestive problems. My stomach is always so sensitive so I personally love drinking soup because it goes down really easy. My body seems to be able to absorb nutrients better that way. If you’re a breakfast person, soups is a great way to start off your day, because they don’t make you feel bloated or overstuffed. Another plus is that it is great for skin as well 🙂 Definitely give this a try!
Zoe and I have made variations of this recipe 2-3 times already. Lots of recipe will require anchovy stock. If you have the ingredients for it definitely go ahead to use it. We didn’t have any and it still is flavorful and delicious! So don’t fret over using water, because the doenjang paste definitely is adequate in flavoring this soup!!!
(Tip: Each doenjang paste tastes different so be careful of the saltiness level. You need to taste as you go and adjust it)
Adapted from Beyondkimchee
- 1/2 package silken tofu, cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 red chili sliced
- 1/2 package of enoki mushrooms (or any mushrooms)
- 1/8 daikon radish, cut into 1″ cubes (feel free to use zucchini,
- 2 tbsp doenjang paste
- 1 tsp Korean chili flakes
- 1 garlic cloves
- 1 green onion, sliced (garnish)
- 2 cups rice starch water
How to Make:
- Rinse rice once and pour out. Add another 1/2 cup water and swirl for another 30 seconds. The water will turn milky. Add another 2 cups water and swirl to collect another all the starch from the rice. Drain and SAVE IT!
- Pour the starch water into a small pot and bring to boil.
- Dissolve the doenjang paste into the boiling water.
- Add in the onions, chili flakes, turnip, and let it boil.
- Add in garlic, red chili and tofu. Cook for 2 minutes. (Make sure all he vegetables are soft).
- Add in enoki mushrooms. Sprinkle the green onion. Remove from heat and serve with rice, or cauliflower rice!
Rice Starch Water: use the water that we used to wash the rice
Vegan/ Vegetarian: Make sure the miso paste does not have bonito to ensure it is vegan and vegetarian-friendly.