At a Korean table, a variety of side dishes (banchan) will clutter and cover an entire table to the corners and edges. Each diner is set with their own bowl of rice, a spoon, and chopsticks. A soup or stew is a standard for every mealtime during a Korean meal. As such, a single pot of soup is set in the middle of the table for everyone to eat from directly. Due to the long reach to the communal pot, Korean spoons have longer handles than other culture's spoons for this reason. Interesting, right? You're welcome for that tidbit of trivia knowledge. Don't ever say I never gave you anything.
This tofu soup comes together in no time, and as I explain in the notes below, is very flexible in ingredients as well. The silken tofu's luscious and soft texture is carried through a mildly spicy soup base with small nibbles of vegetables and meat along the way. Share this pot of stew with your family or some friends, or eat the whole thing by yourself. There's no wrong way to enjoy this fragrant and bubbling mess.
Notes: This soup can easily be made vegetarian or even vegan! You can also swap the seafood for beef or pork and it will be just as delicious. If you omit the animal broth and/or meat, I recommend a spoonful more of kimchi and a bigger glug of sesame oil for more flavor. This is a mild version, so feel free to add Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) or sliced spicy peppers to your liking. Also, I had a difficult time tracking down silken tofu - so don't be discouraged if you can't find it, either. Soft tofu is a perfectly delicious substitute for this soup. —The Shared Plate
chopped seafood (I used shrimp and squid.)
grape seed oil (or any other neutral oil)
(Optional) Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
garlic cloves, minced
stock (vegetable, seafood, chicken, beef) or water
green onion, thinly sliced
In This Recipe
Cut seafood into small dice and clean and sort clams. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat grape seed oil on medium high heat. Stir in Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru), if using.
Add kimchi, garlic, mushrooms, and zucchini; cook until tender and barely browned, about 2-3 minutes.
Add stock and bring to a boil.
Scoop large spoonfuls of silken tofu from its package into the boiling soup base.
Reduce heat to medium and bring back to a hard simmer, stirring occasionally to break up the tofu. Simmer for 3 minutes until tofu is heated through. Season with kosher salt.
Add seafood and cook until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Reduce the heat to low and drizzle the soup with sesame oil and scatter green onions.
Crack an egg into a small bowl and gently pour on top of the soup; the hot soup with cook the egg.