This non-spicy Korean tofu soup, or sundubu jjigae, is warm and comforting, and perfect for the entire family to enjoy, especially babies and toddlers. It's super simple to make and will be ready on your table in under 30 minutes.
What is Sundubu Jjigae?
Sundubu jjigae is a very popular Korean soup made with silken/extra soft tofu. It is normally served piping hot and is quite spicy. If you want a good sweat, this will do just that!
However, since I focus on baby and toddler-friendly recipes, here's a non-spicy version that is super easy to make with simple ingredients. Because there aren't a lot of seasonings, the natural nuttiness of the tofu really shines through in this dish!
Silken/extra soft tofu. You will find two types of soft tofu at the Asian grocery store - packaged in a square container or a long tube. I personally prefer the tube because it's easy to squeeze into the pot.
You can also add it to this creamy sweet potato sauce!
Dashima or dried kelp. You don't need much and it really helps deepen the broth flavor. You'll have a lot leftover, and I like to store mine in the freezer. If you want to make Korean soups/stews, dashima is a must ingredient to have on hand.
You can also use it to make this low sodium teriyaki sauce!
Sesame oil and seeds. As you can see in the recipe, there aren't a lot of seasonings in this dish other than a tiny amount of soy sauce. In my opinion, this is the star ingredient! It truly helps bring out the nuttiness. If your child is allergic to sesame, you can substitute with perilla oil and seeds. It has an earthy, slightly minty flavor.
Mushrooms. You can choose whatever variety you prefer. We personally LOVE enoki mushrooms so that's what we use. However, it does have a slightly chewy texture even after cooked so if serving to your baby, be sure to chop them up into tiny pieces with scissors.
Egg. If there's an egg allergy you can leave it out. But if not, HIGHLY recommended. It adds a lovely richness to the stew.
Step By Step Instructions
Add the dashima and sliced onion to a pot with water. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Remove the dashima.
Add the veggies, tofu, garlic, soy sauce, and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Then stir in the sesame seeds. Cook for another minute or two.
Whisk one egg into the soup and cook for about a minute. Drizzle sesame oil, top with fresh green onions, and enjoy!
This baby-friendly Korean soup is great with rice or noodles. Nothing beats white rice, but if you want to pack in more nutrients and variety, give this multigrain rice with beans and lentils a try!
And if you're looking for another soup recipe with beef, try this Korean radish soup/
Just like with any Korean dish, kimchi is a great accompaniment. I get asked all the time when it's safe to give to babies. You can introduce as early as 6 months, but there's no rush.
You can wait until around 8-9 months when your baby has had greater exposure to textures. Kimchi is a great source of probiotics so I recommend giving it a go!
Some tips: Look for kimchi that has the lowest sodium. Rinse to remove the spiciness and the salt. Finely chop and serve on its own or mixed into other foods.
Other Baby-Friendly Asian Dishes
- Beef vegetable rice porridge
- Healthy Korean Ground Beef and Broccoli Quinoa
- Instant Pot Korean Chicken and Potatoes
- Orange Sesame Chicken
- Sweet and Sour Meatball Stir-Fry
- Korean Japchae
- Korean Bulgogi
- Bibimbap with Beet Sauce
Non-Spicy Korean Tofu Soup
- 2 pieces of dashima (2x2 inch squares)
- 2 cups water (can add another cup if prefer more liquid)
- 1 medium onion, sliced into half moon shapes
- 1 pack mushrooms (enoki is esp. good!)
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced
- 2 (11 ounces) extra soft or silken tofu
- 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
- a pinch of black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup green onion, finely chopped
- Add dashima and onion to pot with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling for 5-7 minutes. Remove dashima.
- Add zucchini, mushroom, soondubu, garlic, soy sauce and pepper to pot. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Stir in sesame seeds and boil for another 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk one egg into soup and cook for about 1 minute.
- Drizzle sesame oil over soup and finish with chopped green onion prior to turning heat off.