Healthy belly warming Korean stew – Deulkkae Sundubu

I have been wanting to post this recipe for quite a while. The reason it took me so long is mainly because of this dish being almost impossible to plate pretty for the pictures and the summer here has been hot as hell (too hot for belly warming stew…!) Weather has finally become so much cooler now, but I have to say this was definitely the most challenging food to photograph.

Until I started living overseas, I didn’t know how ‘Deulkkae’ (shiso/perilla seeds) is deeply rooted in our cuisine. And I realized only recently that I had been wrongly describing perilla leaves as sesame leaves to my foreigner friends at Korean BBQ restaurants all those years. Besides the fresh leaves eaten with barbecued meat, they are also used in salad, pickled in soy bean paste or soy sauce (really delicious, my favorite way to eat perilla leaves). We also consume large amount of perilla oil, which I personally prefer to conventional sesame oil, perilla seeds and powder from the seeds for tea, porridge, soup and stew. Perilla powder adds incredibly rich nutty flavor and texture to the dish.

Perilla is very nutritious too. The leaves are known to be packed with calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin A, C , riboflavin and potentially anti-inflammatory. Both seeds and leaves are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber. Apparently, some experts are now calling them the next chia seeds, but cheaper and tastier option. I have never been a huge fan of super food fads, but perilla leaves and seeds deserve to be called ‘super food’ for real in my opinion. And if you happen to try this dish, you will find out that it is super delicious and comforting as well.


  • Prep time: 5-10mins
  • Cooking time: 30mins
  • Serves: 3-4



  • 3 x 350g Korean soft tofu (Sundubu)
  • 2 tbsp. Korean fermented soy bean paste (Doen-jang)
  • 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 cup. water
  • 2 medium size (200g) bunching onion or leek
  • 350g. enoki mushrooms, bottom of stems removed
  • 1 cup. perilla powder (Deulkkae-garu)
  • 1 tsp. Korean hot red pepper powder (Gochu-garu)
  • 2-4 large eggs
  • 2-3 red and green chilies



1. Add soft tofu, soy bean paste, soy sauce, crushed garlic and water into a pot.

2. Boil it over high heat for 10 minutes stirring to dissolve soy bean paste.

3. Meanwhile, halve bunching onions lengthwise, rinse and chop into 5cm/2” length.

4. Remove woody bottom of enoki mushrooms and pick them apart into 5-6 handfuls.

5. Turn the heat down to medium. Add perilla powder and red pepper powder into the pot and simmer for about 5 minutes.

6. Add bunching onions and mushrooms into the pot and simmer for 9-10 minutes.

7. Turn the heat slightly up to medium high, add in eggs and chilies.

8. Put a lid on (preferably transparent one) and simmer for a few more minutes until egg white’s cooked and yolk is still runny. Enjoy!


6 thoughts on “Healthy belly warming Korean stew – Deulkkae Sundubu

  1. You have made this dish look stunning! I have had the same problems, sometimes the food (my food) looks more like a blob on a plate that something nice and edible!
    It sounds so good and tofu needs spices to bring the flavor out I think, a great way to serve it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Petra 🙂 Exactly, I think most ppl who think tofu is boring just don’t know what to do with them, and serve it bland. I feel your pain, most of Korean comfort food I love is just too hard to plate…haha

      Liked by 1 person

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