a staple in my home: spicy Korean fermented bean stew

March 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

I usually make this when I want dinner on the table really fast.  This is such an easy stew to make and so very tasty if you’re really into Korean cuisine.  However, the taste completely hinges on one fact:  the fermented beans MUST be top quality or no matter what you do to the stew, it will taste sub par.  Any vegetables can be added, but garlic and onions are THE BARE MINIMUM.  I added garlic, yellow onions, zucchini, enoki mushrooms, Korean peppers (and/or serrano peppers) and soft tofu.

After years of making this same stew without a written recipe, I finally realized to make this consistently good every time, one needs to know a few things……

First, the water to fermented bean ratio is very important.  I’ve made it so many different ways and variations (one variation includes adding the spicy red pepper paste).  These were also all made with different sources of the fermented bean paste, which is why it has taken me so long to finally GET IT!

Second, timing is everything so that all the veggies are cooked just right and the green veggies retain its bright color.  So, I added the ingredients in the following order:  garlic & onions; tofu; zucchini & peppers; enoki mushrooms.  After adding each ingredient(s), let it come back to a boil each time before adding in the next ingredient(s).  This goes really fast, so prepping beforehand is essential.  I like to add the “green” veggies close to the end so that they stay bright green as much as possible when it is finally served.  And, YES, I do add THAT MUCH garlic!  I found that adding a ton of garlic makes it tastier than adding less…..in this case, less is NOT more! 🙂

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