Doenjang Beef Stew


This doenjang beef stew is a delicious, filling meal with beans and savoy cabbage, among its ingredients. This Korean dish is lightly spiced, and full of flavour.

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Doenjang beef stew

When using dried white beans, soak them overnight in cold water. Dried white beans are the best choice when making a stew, as canned or jarred white beans will become too soft while stewing.

If you prefer to use canned white beans, add them once the meat has become tender. You can make this doenjang beef stew in a casserole, slow cooker or instant pot. For an instant pot, you can use the sauté function to brown the meat first. For a slow cooker, fry the meat in a pan until nicely browned before adding it to the slow cooker. For both the instant pot and the slow cooker, you add very little extra liquid.

Doenjang is a Korean paste made from fermented soybeans. This paste has a distinct flavour and is savoury and salty. Please note: some brands of doenjang may contain fish; they are not suitable for vegetarians, vegans, or people with fish allergies.

Veronique van Ohmydish

Made by Véronique

Published at 2024-01-19, this recipe is for 4 people and takes 2 hours 30 minutes.

Founder of Ohmydish (established 2014). Would happily spend her entire day in the kitchen. Previously worked in the hospitality industry as an independent chef and is ready and willing to help you gain confidence in the kitchen. With her easy-to-follow recipes, helpful tips, and cooking knowledge, you will be making the very tastiest dishes yourself in no time! Véronique's recipes are intended for everyone, from beginners to advanced home cooks.

Updated at: 25-01-2024

2 hours 30 minutes 4 people Main course
Doenjang beef stew


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  • 750 grams stewing steak
  • 400 grams dried white beans
  • half a savoy cabbage
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (400 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons doenjang
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste (assem)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 spring onions
  • rice to serve
Doenjang beef stew ingredients
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Kitchen equipment

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  • medium bowl
  • chopping board & chef's knife
  • saucepan with lid, instant pot or slow-cooker
  • wooden spoon

Doenjang Beef Stew

2 hours 30 minutes 4 people Main course

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Preparation – 15 minutes + waiting time

Soak the dried white beans overnight in plenty of cold water.

Remove the stewing steak from the fridge to let it come to room temperature, then cut into small cubes.

Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic cloves. Coarsely chop the spring onion and set aside.

Wash the savoy cabbage and cut into coarse chunks.

Doenjang beef stew
Doenjang beef stew

Finishing the doenjang beef stew – 2 hours + 15 minutes

Heat a dash of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the meat in batches until nicely browned.

Sauté the onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the savoy cabbage and cook for 5 minutes more.  

Doenjang beef stew
Doenjang beef stew

Add the white beans, diced tomatoes, 3 tablespoons doenjang, 1 tablespoon gochujang, 2 tablespoons tamarind paste and 2 tablespoons soy sauce.

Pour in a little water, until the beans are just covered, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat once the stew is boiling, then simmer gently for around 2 hours.

Make sure there is enough liquid to allow the beans and stew to cook without burning.

Season with a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, and serve with rice and spring onion. Enjoy your meal!

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Doenjang Beef Stew: frequently asked questions

What is doenjang?

Doenjang is a Korean soybean paste made from fermented soybeans. To make doenjang, dried soybeans are boiled, coarsely ground, then pressed. These are left in the sun, along with a rice bacterium (Bacillus subtilis), for several weeks to ferment.

The dried and pressed soybeans are placed in jars filled with brine to ferment further. After filtering, the liquid and paste are separated; the paste that you are left with is doenjang.

Note that some brands of doenjang may contain fish.

How do I use doenjang?

Doenjang is great for seasoning stews and soups because of its robust flavour.

Along with gochujang and other ingredients, doenjang is a component of the well-known dipping sauce ssamjang. This is a delicious sauce to accompany raw vegetables or spring rolls.