Soothing Tofu-and-Zucchini Soup with Bean Sprouts

In Korea, almost every restaurant has a version of this comforting dish, usually made with beef or pork. For his vegetarian alternative, David Chang prepares a broth with doenjang (Korean miso paste) and a little sugar, then spices it with red-pepper powder and fresh chile.

videoDavid Chang: Easy Soup

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons doenjang, a Korean soybean paste (see Note), or dark miso
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kochukaru, a Korean red pepper powder (see Note), or Aleppo chiles
  • 1/2 pound mung bean sprouts
  • 1 medium zucchini, very thinly sliced
  • 14 to 16 ounces soft tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 spicy green long chile, preferably Korean, thinly sliced

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat the canola oil in a large pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the water and <em>doenjang</em> and whisk until dissolved. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar and <em>kochukaru</em> and bring to a boil. Add the bean sprouts and zucchini and cook until the zucchini is just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the tofu cubes and cook until the tofu is heated through, about 2 minutes. Ladle into bowls, garnish with the sliced chile and serve.


Doenjang and kochukaru are available at Korean and Asian markets.

Contributed By Published March 2011

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