Seafood Soondubu with Kimchi
SEAFOOD SOONDUBU WITH KIMCHI SERVES 4
Soondubu makes a hearty family stew that will leave your house smelling of kimchi (a good thing, of course) for days to come. Like many Korean stews, this dish is traditionally served table-side, so for a little extra air, I recommend setting up a butane burner beneath the stew in a traditional Asian clay pot, so your guests can dig in (or if you don’t have a clay pot, you can also set a Dutch oven over a butane burner or bring the pot to the table). Either way, the stew should be served bubbling, spooned over rice. One pot will provide a hearty meal for four, but you can always stretch it as part of a kimchi-themed spread with some LA Galbi short ribs and Kimchi Pancakes.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 to 4 tablespoons gochujang chili paste, homemade or store-bought, to taste
1 cup Instant Kimchi or store-bought kimchi
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Sea salt, to taste
1 medium zucchini, cut into ¼-inch cubes
1 pound soft (“silken”) tofu, drained
1 cup freshly shucked oysters, or 1 8-ounce can shucked oysters
12 littleneck clams, cleaned and debearded
4 large eggs
2 scallions (green and white parts), thinly sliced lengthwise
Perfect Steamed Rice, for serving
Heat the vegetable oil in a deep soup pot or a clay pot set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Mix in the gochujang to coat. Add the kimchi, broth, and soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Season with sea salt to taste. Add the zucchini and simmer for about 2 minutes, until soft. Add the tofu in big loose spoonfuls, like scooping up ice cream. Simmer the tofu gently for 3 to 4 minutes, until heated through. Throw in the oysters and clams, cover, and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, until the clams just open. Remove and discard any unopened clams.
Crack the eggs directly into the simmering liquid. Let the eggs cook for 1 to 2 minutes (the runny yolks will add a silky complexity to the dish).
Garnish with the scallions, and serve immediately with hot rice.