One-Pot Wonders

Kimchi Tofu Soup

October 15, 2014
3 Ratings
Photo by Linda Xiao
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This soup is my easy riff on soondubu, Korean tofu soup. I eat it alongside rice, and find it so luscious and warming that it's become a wintertime staple. Feel free to include any vegetables you'd like such as mushrooms or bok choy. It can also be made vegetarian by omitting the ginger and pork. —Linda

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 2 cups kimchi
  • 6 cups stock or water
  • Soy sauce, to taste
  • 7 ounces soft tofu, chopped into cubes
  • Green onion, to serve
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil on high until hot. Add ground pork and cook, breaking up clumps, until no longer pink. Add garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant. Add kimchi and cook for a few minutes until hot. Pour in stock or water and about a tablespooon of soy sauce.
  2. Let soup come to a boil, then turn heat to a low simmer and gently add the tofu. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes. Add more soy sauce to taste as you go.
  3. Distribute the soup evenly into bowls. Garnish each with a sprinkle of green onion right before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Melissa Solomon Shiffman
    Melissa Solomon Shiffman
  • Kelly Kindle Cheney
    Kelly Kindle Cheney
  • Adair Moran
    Adair Moran
  • Adelucchi
  • erinrae
My family's from Sichuan, so I have an unparalleled appreciation for Chongqing-style hot pot, fuqi feipian (room temp beef and offal dressed in a really spicy sauce), and pretty much anything doused in red. I also like tart foods. More lime juice please.

20 Reviews

artisanal January 21, 2021
I ground a couple boneless chicken breasts with some garlic, ginger and scallion whites, sautéed that, then added some gochujang, soy and little sesame oil before adding chicken broth. Added a mix of mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, oyster, enoki, etc) in addition to the kimchi, silken tofu and udon at the end. Yummy!
Melissa S. January 17, 2021
This was delicious! I made it without pork and added a
drizzle of sesame oil with the scallions at the end.
Katie January 6, 2021
This is SO delicious. I'm confused as to why I need to omit the ginger to make it vegetarian?
Katie January 6, 2021
I'm confused as to why I need to omit the ginger to make it vegetarian?
Vivian May 7, 2020
Very tasty!
Kelly K. November 30, 2017
Sounds good but I have a question. Wouldn't it be better to add the kim chi at the end to keep the probiotics alive?
Adair M. March 3, 2017
Great soup! I made it vegetarian by leaving out the pork but adding some mushrooms to give it a hearty flavor. Using good quality kimchi and stock is definitely key to making the veg broth taste good.
Adelucchi October 23, 2016
Thanks for this recipe! Never made Korean food before but I bought some kimchi from a local grocer because I want to add more fermented food to my diet, have some tofu and it's a cool Sunday. Great combo to prepare a spicy soup! I'll let you know how it came out.
erinrae September 22, 2015
So good! Added baby bok choy and a bunch of thinly sliced button mushrooms before adding the water (doesn't really need stock, by the way, I'd say a 50/50 split in any case). My grocery has great pre-made kimchi, which made it extra easy. Love it!
kim! January 14, 2015
Made it with my moms homemade daikon kimchee, added a heaping tablespoon of sambal for extra heat. Was really yummy, fast and easy!
jeanne_marie November 22, 2014
Used my own old kimchi and beef stock freshly made. My butcher just ran out of ground pork so I used diced seared pork sirloin. Added a bit more microplaned ginger at the very end along with some purple kale (thanks to California winters..)
Amazing and will def make this again and again being flexible with substitutions. Besides the pork ;-)
Hipfoodiemom November 10, 2014
One of my all time favorites . . made easy! Love seeing Korean food on Food 52!
nogaga November 4, 2014
This was simply excellent. What a perfect recipe!
CBMillet October 26, 2014
What kind of stock do you recommend?
CBMillet November 4, 2014
This was delicious. I added enoki mushrooms, baby bok choy and udon noodles.
Rebecca C. October 25, 2014
I have some firm tofu in the fridge. Can i sub that here? Or this that a no-no?
Yooinn H. October 25, 2014
Any kind tofu works. I personally like it better with firmer tofu.
It could be also made into another dish called kimchi soondooboo (extra soft tofu) with egg addition.
Yooinn H. October 23, 2014
Tips from someone born and raised in Korea.
. Kimchi should be old and sour. Freshly-made kimchi is no good in soups.
2.Pork is important. I am the kind of person that subs any meat with chicken but I'd never dare to sub pork in Kimchi soup.(Canned tuna can be used and liked but IMO it can never really claim the throne.)
3. Tastes better on the day after since the liquid seeps into tofu deeper.
4. You could add ramen noodle and boil it some more until it softens.
Linda October 27, 2014
Thanks for the input lady!
Laura O. October 21, 2014
I made this for dinner tonight, with a pile of rice noodles subbed for a bowl of rice and tamari as the soy sauce. It was delicious, fast, and a blessing, since I had kimchi that had been around a while, ginger slowly drying out, a packet of tofu opened three days ago, and pork at risk of freezer burning if I didn't use it - truly fortuitous and tasty. I will be making it again - the fat from the pork makes an unctuous broth.