Soondubujjigae

The various seafood stews and soups from various cultures all share one thing: an intense focus on umame, what the Japanese call the fifth taste. This particular stew from Korea, soondubujjigae, outdoes anything. When I order bouillabaisse, it’s because I can’t get soondubujjigae. When I put tabasco into my Manhattan clam chowder it’s because I want soondubujjigae. Now through Maangchi’s formidable web site, I can make a very reasonable soondubujjigae at home. I did make it mild so that my reflux won’t kill me but it has enough kick to satisfy. I did use canned clams and added their broth. The soup, I strained out the anchovies and seaweed, was just a clobbering of umame. The Thai fish sauce which smells awful tastes sublime in this soup.

Link to Maangchi’s Recipe
http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/soondubu-jjigae

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