Healthy Recipes for Dinner

This Hearty Vegan Doenjang Stew Is the Perfect Warming Winter Dinner

Kells McPhillips

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To make this stew from scratch, watch the full video

Those who rely on soups and stews to make it through the bitter days of winter know that the broth makes or breaks the whole dish. That’s why Mina Park, co-owner and chef of Baroo in Los Angeles, pays extra attention to perfecting the shiitake and kelp base of her doenjang-jjigae (or doenjang stew) on this week’s episode of Well+Good’s Cook With UsBy the end, a complex, umami-flavored broth is simmering on her stove.

The starring ingredient in doenjang-jjigae is doenjang, a fermented soybean paste that’s a staple in Korean cooking. “So you can think of it kind of like the Korean version of miso, which you may be more familiar with,” says Park. “But doenjang has a much earthier and deeper flavor. It’s maybe more akin to red miso and it’s very aged, so ideally you want a doenjang that’s been aged for at least three years.” Because doenjang is fermented, it also has good-for-your-gut, probiotic effects, adds Park.

To sop up all that good, good broth, Park also adds fiber-packed potatoes, calcium and folate-rich daikon radish (which she explains is a superfood in Traditional Chinese Medicine), and vitamin-rich shiitake mushrooms. For a kick of protein, you’ll also stir in firm tofu. And once the soup has simmered to fruition, a sprinkle of leeks on top will cement the complex, hearty flavor profile.

As Park explains in the video, this stew is easy but you will need to pay attention to the order the veggies go into the pot to make sure they’re cooked to perfection. To accomplish that, you’ll need to tune in for the full video.

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