Here are the best Korean stew recipes for when you are craving Asian dishes with bold flavors yet warm and comforting, all packed with nutritious ingredients.
Known as jjigae in Korean cuisine, these authentic stews are a staple in Korean households and come in several types.
Did you know? Korean stews usually get their names depending on the main ingredients or broth and seasonings they contain. (Source)
This makes it easy to identify what is in the stew and can help you choose a recipe that suits your taste. For example, some popular jjigae dishes include kimchi jjigae (made with fermented kimchi), sundubu jjigae (made with soft tofu), and doenjang jjigae (made with soybean paste).
You typically cook stews in a hot or earthenware pot and flavor them with a spicy or savory broth. So if asked how Korean stews taste, the answer is, they are all spicy and rich.
But what set stews apart from other Korean soups, or guk, is their thicker consistency and heartier ingredients.
Whatever type of stew you choose, make sure to fully stock your pantry with Asian condiments and seasoning to achieve that authentic Korean flavor.
If you're new to Korean stews, here are my favorite recipes! They are nourishing for lunch or dinner, especially in chilly weather.
First, we have the Kimchi Jjigae with Pork. The superstar of Korean stew recipes, Kimchi Jjigae features the classic combo of spicy, fermented kimchi and tender pork belly.
This mouthwatering dish is perfect for kimchi lovers and requires moderate cooking skills. You'll fall in love with its bold flavors and comforting warmth.
You can also adjust the spiciness level as desired. Get the recipe
Next, we have the Sundubu Jjigae, or Soft Tofu Stew.
A delight for tofu enthusiasts, this Korean stew recipe showcases soft tofu as the number one ingredient.
This stew is an irresistible blend of spicy and savory, with the silken tofu providing a delicate contrast. Even novice cooks can master this dish, making it a go-to recipe for a satisfying, quick meal. Get the recipe
The Kongbiji Jjigae or Ground Soybean Stew is a Korean stew full of protein and flavor.
The ground soybeans offer a unique, creamy texture and earthy flavors. For this recipe, the soybeans are soaked and pureed until creamy, with the addition of soy pulp.
Intermediate cooking skills are required, but the delicious result is worth the effort. Get the recipe
A seafood lover's dream, Al Jjigae is packed with the umami goodness of pollock roe (fish egg). This Korean stew recipe features a spicy, savory anchovy broth that beautifully complements the rich flavor of the roe.
What I love about this dish is the way the flavors of the pollock roe meld with the other ingredients to create a truly unique taste. Get the recipe
Another must-try for seafood enthusiasts, this Korean stew recipe stars succulent crab as the main ingredient.
Kkot Ge Tang boasts a delightful balance of spicy and sweet, and the tender crab meat will leave you craving more.
What I love about this dish is how the crab meat's sweetness balances the broth's spiciness. Get the recipe
Budae Jjigae or Army Stew is a Korean stew recipe that originated during the Korean War, when food was scarce, and people had to make do with what they had.
This stew features the main ingredient of canned meat, such as spam or ham, with kimchi, tofu, and other ingredients. This is one of the popular Korean stew recipes you usually see in Korean variety shows.
What I love about this dish is its history and how it reflects the ingenuity of the Korean people. Get the recipe
You can't go wrong with Dakdoritang or Chicken Stew for a heartier and meatier stew.
This stew's main ingredient is chicken (bone-in and skin-on). Aside from that, sweet, spicy, savory broth with vegetables and potatoes is added.
What I love about this dish is how the chicken becomes fall-apart tender and soaks up the broth's flavors. Get the recipe
If you prefer seafood, then Chamchi Jjigae or Tuna Stew is a must-try.
This stew features the main ingredient of tuna, which is simmered in a spicy and savory broth with vegetables and tofu.
What I love about this dish is how the tuna adds a meaty and hearty flavor to the stew. Get the recipe
Another gem in the world of Korean stew recipes. Bursting with flavor and showcasing the tender fish as its main ingredient, this dish requires moderate cooking skills but rewards you with a scrumptious meal.
What I love about this dish is how it brings out the rich and deep flavors of the fish, making it a perfect comfort food on a cold day. Moreover, you can use any fresh fish in this recipe. Get the recipe
Dongtae Jjigae or Alaska Pollock Stew is a stew popular in Korea's coastal regions.
The main ingredient of this stew is frozen Alaska pollock, which is simmered with vegetables, tofu, and spicy seasonings.
What I love about this dish is how the flaky texture of the pollock blends perfectly with the other ingredients, making it perfect for seafood lovers. Get the recipe
One of the most iconic Korean stew recipes, Doenjang Jjigae is a comforting dish with the rich, earthy flavor of fermented soybean paste as the main ingredient.
Customize this versatile stew with your favorite vegetables and protein, making it perfect for any palate. In Korea, they usually serve this stew as the last part of a larger meal.
What I love about this dish is its depth of flavor, which comes from the fermentation process of the soybean paste. Get the recipe
Gochujang Jjigae, or Korean Chili Paste Stew, is the perfect dish for those who love spicy food.
Its main ingredient is the flavorful and spicy Korean chili paste, gochujang. This stew combines the heat of chili paste with a rich, savory broth, creating a bold and satisfying dish.
What I love about this dish is how the gochujang's spiciness brings out the other ingredients' bold and complex flavors. Get the recipe
Finally, we have Cheonggukjang Jjigae, or Extra-Strong Fermented Soybean Paste Stew.
For the adventurous foodies out there, this Korean stew recipe is a must-try. Cheonggukjang Jjigae's main ingredient is the extra-strong fermented soybean paste which imparts a deep, pungent flavor to the stew.
This dish is not for the faint-hearted, requiring advanced cooking skills to master the unique flavors.
What I love about this recipe is the strong smell from the fermented soybean paste that gives the stew a bold flavor and texture. Get the Recipe