Ultimate Guide to Jjigae and Its Different Types

Amratha C.S, Delhi

Recently, the K-wave is spreading everywhere in the world. Many Korean restaurants and cafes are popping up like mushrooms, catering mostly famous Korean noodles (Ramyeon), Korean barbecues, Kimbaps, and Bibimbap. Korean cuisine is not just these; it contains much more than that. It’s about time I tell you about my favourite home-style comfort food, which is Jjigae (찌개).

What is Jjigae?

In basic translation, Jjigae (찌개) means stew. There are many types of jjigae; it’s basically made with a broth seasoned with gochujang, doenjang, ganjang, or saeujeot. Jjigae is different from the soup (gguk) variety as it has a much higher ratio of ingredients to broth. The main components of jjigae are vegetables, tofu, fish, or meat. It is usually a common practice in Korea for families to share a pot of jjigae rather than buying individual servings. However, nowadays, at restaurants, one can order individual portions of jjigae if they wish to. Most of the time, BBQ restaurants serve a complimentary pot of jjigae with each order of rice.

Now that I have made you drool over my favorite dish jjigae, let’s get to know some of the most famous and delicious Korean stews or jjigae.

Different Types of Jjigae

Sundubu Jjigae (순두부 찌개)

This stew is made with soft tofu, which isn’t pressed or strained, as a highlighted ingredient. This makes the dish richer in flavour. It also includes vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, and zucchini, optional seafood like oysters, mussels, clams, and shrimp, and optional meat like beef or pork.

Picture Credits: Amratha C.S

Gochujang (Korean chilli paste) or Gochugaru (Korean chilli powder) is added for a kick of spice. The dish is cooked directly in a dolsot, also known as a stone bowl, and is served while it is still bubbling. Sometimes, in a traditional restaurant, a raw egg can be added to the jjigae just before serving. I prefer having it without egg but with some barley tea (boricha) on the side to sip.

Kimchi Jjigae (김치찌개)

Kimchi stew, or kimchi jjigae, is one of my go-to comfort foods during rainy season or winter. When it’s freezing outside, there’s nothing better than seeing a dolsot or stone pot bubbling right in front of you, ready to be served with a steaming bowl of rice. This dish is made with kimchi and other ingredients, similar to sundubu jjigae.

You can add additional ingredients such as meat, seafood, or diced tofu, but my advice would be to have it as is. Sometimes, simple and authentic flavors are just irreplaceable. It is also one of the most commonly found dishes in Korean households. I learned about it through my friends and their families. One more thing I should add is that you shouldn’t be scared to try it even if it looks incredibly spicy because it’s not. I usually find it to be mild and a bit sour, not overly spicy.

Doenjang Jjigae (된장찌개)

Doenjang jjigae is not only popular for its taste but also known for its simplicity and ease of cooking. This Korean stew is prepared with doenjang, which is fermented soybean paste. It consists of tasty veggies too, like zucchini, potatoes, onions, and Korean or daikon radishes. Also, in the base stock soup you can add any meat or vegetables as you want. While Koreans still make doenjang at home, people like me who either aren’t Korean or who don’t want to do it from scratch just buy it, such as Sunchang Gung Doenjang (Korean Soybean Paste), which is ready-made, from a Korean convenience store. You must note that the doenjang jjigae recipe and taste might vary from household to household.

Budae Jjigae (부대찌개)

It’s a Korean term for a military base, and Jjigae (찌개) refers to stew. So, Budae jjigae translates to “army stew.” This Korean fusion stew includes American-style processed foods such as spam, sausages, canned baked beans, and sliced cheese. Budae Jjigae is a Korean stew that combines the cultures of both the US and Korea. This dish has a sentimental history. In the 1950s, after the Korean War ended in 1953, food was scarce. The surplus of processed meat from the American military base greatly aided Koreans during that time.

Among the US military base areas in Korea, Uijeongbu, an hour north of Seoul, is most famous for this stew. A restaurant owner began making this meal and it still carries its popularity among Koreans and tourists. Famous ingredients in Budae jjigae are slices of American cheese, canned baked beans, instant ramyeon noodles, rice cake slices, and so on.

Ahl Jjigae (알찌개)

I have only had it once, but I must say, it did get my attention. I love salty rather than spicy ones. Ahl is seasoned pollack roe, and it is often served as a salty and sea-flavoured side dish, with sticky rice topped with a little sesame oil and sesame seeds. The seasoned pollack roe is salty on its own, so you don’t need much seasoning for it. However, the stew balances the unique flavour with spice from the red pepper and tofu itself.

Picture Credits: serious eats

Would you like to try this home-style comfort dish packed with a variety of options to choose from? Let us know in the comments!

Picture Credits: Amratha C.S

43 Comments Add yours

  1. Rahana says:

    Wow my fav korean dish🤤

    1. Anonymous says:

      Am big fan of k food!!!…so really thanks to u to giving us the article.

  2. Hema Srinivasan says:

    Wow…It’s my first time knowing these many different types of 찌개’s.Thankyou to the writer 🤗

  3. Oh damn looks so tasty 🤤 !! Wanna try them someday ❤️

  4. Devanshi Bisht says:


  5. Moumita Mondal says:

    I really wanna try all the types of jjigae with my friends ❤

  6. Sonia says:

    It’s delicious and article is amazing ❤

    1. Tirna says:

      The dish looks delicious and I am intrigued by the different flavors 🔥❤.

    2. Anjum shaikh says:

      Amazing article… really craving for this jjigae now 😋😋

  7. Sruthi E P says:

    Nice article 👍

  8. aqsazea12 says:

    This was such an amazing article.

  9. priyadharsini2884 says:

    I’ve tried kimchi stew but after reading this article i wanna try other varieties too

  10. sheetal says:

    Amazing article. The dishes are looking so yummm 😋

  11. assisarah10 says:

    Wowwww it looks so delicious and I wanna eat it so badly 😋 …. Thanks for the article 😁

  12. Kimchi Jjigae is always my favorite❤️❤️

  13. svt says:

    Absolutely loved the comprehensive guide to Jjigae ! The article’s wealth of information, coupled with its engaging writing style, makes it a captivating read for both foodies and cultural enthusiasts. Exploring the nuances of each Jjigae variant was a delightful journey. Fantastic work!

  14. Aayushi mishra says:

    I wanna try this, looks soo good

  15. Manya says:

    Wow.. I’m amazed by it’s types😍😍

  16. Swapnil says:

    You can’t drool on the page 🥰🥰

  17. Samiya Parvez says:

    Wow they all lool so damn yummy 🤤🤤🤤

  18. Am craving for it now😭😭 comfort foods>>>

  19. Sabitri Manna says:

    They looks so 😋. Wanna try this but don’t know where🫠.

  20. Pranjul Sharma says:

    I’m on diet and this article on 찌게 made hungry enough 😋

  21. Navya Sharma says:

    All time comfort food😍😍

  22. rynwrsi says:

    Looks yummy 😋🤤

  23. shreeyuktabanerjee says:

    I’ve said it, and I will always keep saying it – JJIGAEs ARE THE WAY TO MY SOUL!! THE ULTIMATE SOUL FOOD!!

  24. Ashi says:

    Wanna try them 😋


  26. dasbandita288 says:

    I would definitely try this reciper cuz it looks so mouth watering
    Well explained about this dish in this article. Well done

  27. areezasaifi1 says:

    Looks tasty…nice article👌

  28. Jayati Vyas says:

    Looks delicious

  29. Shilpa says:

    Looks so good… I wanna try this😌❤️

  30. aanchaltekriwal says:

    The article is so exquisitely written covering the various aspects of Jjigae and it’s types.

  31. Neha Tarekar says:

    I’m really loving all these details and knowledge, I’m getting from these articles ☺️ little by little learning more

  32. Mamoni says:

    I don’t know how many types of Jjigae are available😅 I want to try all of them and know which one will be my comfort food😌😋

  33. Goldigajbhiye says:

    Wow.. it looks so tastyyy 🤤😋

  34. DJ says:

    Amazing Article 🤩

  35. Susmita Samanta says:

    Delicious want to try it…

  36. Susmita Samanta says:

    Want to try it 😋

  37. Susmita Samanta says:

    Want to try it…

  38. Pavani Nandyala says:

    looks yummy

  39. The Food seems so tempting…yum!!

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