Instant Pot Doenjang-Jjigae

published Sep 29, 2022
Secret Family Recipes
Doenjang-Jjigae Recipe

Traditional Korean soybean paste stew starts with a rich, comforting beef broth, then adds on various vegetables and tender tofu. Our version keeps it simple with an Instant Pot.

Serves8

Makesabout 4 1/2 quarts

Prep30 minutes

Cook1 hour 40 minutes

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Credit: Dan de Jesus

Doenjang-chige (also spelled doenjang-jjigae) is the hot, soupy, savory dish that I can easily have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner multiple times a week. That’s why I make such large quantities at once — but also partly to feed my husband and toddler girl. It’s the go-to meal that my grandma and mom, like many other Koreans, whip up for their families.

Whenever I was away from my childhood home for long bouts, I’d miss this soup the most. My mouth would water just thinking about it. The recipe has gone through adaptations through the generations and across borders — I use an Instant Pot, for instance. But most importantly, the soup remains in my own weekly cooking repertoire, and the palate for doenjang and the enjoyment of the tender beef, soft tofu, and unctuous broth are passed down to my daughter, too.

Doenjang-Jjigae Recipe

Traditional Korean soybean paste stew starts with a rich, comforting beef broth, then adds on various vegetables and tender tofu. Our version keeps it simple with an Instant Pot.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 40 minutes

Makes about 4 1/2 quarts

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds

    boneless beef chuck roast

  • 1

    large yellow onion

  • 1 medium head

    garlic

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1 pound

    Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 medium)

  • 2

    medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)

  • 3

    medium scallions, divided

  • 1

    green Korean pepper or 1 small jalapeño pepper (optional)

  • 1 (about 14-ounce) box

    firm tofu

  • 3/4 cup

    doenjang (Korean soybean paste), plus more as needed

  • Gochugaru flakes (Korean chili flakes), for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover. Let sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, dice 1 large yellow onion (about 2 1/2 cups). Peel and mince 1 medium head garlic (about 1/3 cup).

  2. Drain the beef and rinse under cold water. Trim off any large pieces of surface fat. Place in a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Add enough cold water to cover the beef by about 3 inches. Add 3/4 of the onion, 3/4 of the garlic, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt.

  3. Lock the lid on and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to cook for 40 minutes under HIGH pressure. It will take about 30 minutes to come up to pressure.

  4. Meanwhile, peel and dice 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 cups). Trim and quarter 2 medium zucchini lengthwise; cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 1/4 cups). Cut 2 of the medium scallions crosswise into 1-inch pieces; thinly slice the remaining 1 medium scallion and reserve for garnish. Thinly slice 1 green Korean pepper or 1 small jalapeño pepper crosswise if using. Drain 1 (about 14-ounce) box firm tofu; cut the tofu horizontally into 4 slabs, then cut the slabs into 1/2-inch pieces.

  5. When the cook time is up, you can quick release the pressure, or preferably, naturally release the pressure. Transfer the beef to a bowl with tongs.

  6. Turn the pressure cooker to the highest Sauté setting and bring the broth to a simmer. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the remaining onion and garlic, zucchini, and 3/4 cup doenjang. Stir to combine and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the beef into bite-sized pieces when cool enough to handle, discarding any sinew or fatty parts.

  7. Add the beef, green pepper if using, tofu, and 1-inch scallion pieces. Gently stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes. Taste the soup and add more doenjang or salt as needed. Serve garnished with the thinly sliced scallions and gochugaru flakes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.