Korean Soybean Paste Stew with beef and mushrooms

Korean Soybean Paste Stew with beef and mushrooms
Korean Soybean Paste Stew with beef and mushrooms

It’s winter here in Australia and we’re craving hearty, warming dishes like soups, stews and curries. We love eating out at Korean restaurants, and there are so many to choose from in Sydney now. We rarely cook Korean at home though, so we decided to try making this fairly simple stew. You need to visit a specialty Asian grocer to find a few ingredients, but they will last for ages and will hopefully inspire you to cook more Korean food in the future.

A few notes about this recipe – we added the beef stock to give the soup more body, a traditional recipe would just use the rice washed water, which we found a little bland. You can remove the chillies if you don’t like the dish very spicy. We used a mixture of enoki, shiitake and oyster mushrooms here but feel free to add whatever kind of mushrooms you enjoy.

Serves 2 people as a main dish, or can serve up to 4 people with the addition of Korean side dishes (Banchan).

Seasoning sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp green onion, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Stew:

  • 200g sirloin steak, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups medium grain rice
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 75g Korean soybean paste
  • 250g firm tofu
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 1 tsp Korean red pepper powder
  • 30g green onion, sliced
  • 1 green chilli, sliced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • Sesame seeds, to garnish
  • Green onion, finely sliced, to garnish
  1. Prepare the seasoning sauce ingredients and mix together. Add the sliced beef and leave to marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Wash the rice in water and drain, reserving 500ml of the rice washed water. Put the rice on to cook in a rice cooker or according to the instructions on the packet.
  3. Drain the tofu and cut into 2cm cubes.
  4. Preheat a heavy pot or large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the beef and seasoning sauce and stir fry for two minutes.
  5. Add the beef stock and the rice washed water and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, and keep the stew simmering gently.
  6. Place the soybean paste in a fine metal sieve and lower into the simmering stew. Allow the paste to dissolve into the stew for 10 minutes and then remove the sieve and any remaining solids.
  7. Add the tofu, mushrooms and red pepper powder and continue to simmer for another two minutes.
  8. Add the green onion and chillies and cook for another minute. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste.
  9. Serve the stew in bowls and garnish with sesame seeds and finely sliced green onion. Serve with a bowl of rice and side dishes of your choice, if you like.

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