KOREAN SOYBEAN PASTE
In this series, we spotlight the boundless potential of a single ingredient.
Los Angeles-based naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist, Dr. Patti Kim works with patients using natural medicine to help peel away the layers of the proverbial onion to get to the root cause of symptoms.
Dr. Kim has crafted a nourishing stew with Korean fermented soybean paste, which includes a strong, sharp, deep, and complex flavor. As a fermented product, Korean soybean paste helps nourish the microbiome and strengthen overall immunity. It also has been shown to help balance blood sugar, lower inflammation, and have ACE inhibitory effects, as well as lowering high blood pressure.
Chef: Dr. Patti Kim
3 go-to ingredients that double as immunity: Ginger, turmeric, garlic.
Must-have ingredient that delivers an energy boost: Cordyceps
Ultimate comfort food: Korean fermented soybean paste stew (aka Doenjang Jjigae), Indian food (I love stewy foods with rich flavors that frolick together in one bowl). Also, if I'm being honest, french fries.
Favorite healing ingredient: There are so many and it does depend on what you're trying to focus on. I love berberis for overall antimicrobial function. It's nature's own antibiotic. For topical healing herbs, I love tea tree, yarrow, and calendula.
Beauty mantra: Do more of what brings you joy, not just pleasant enjoyment, but actual lights you up joy. Work on letting go. Letting go of inhibitions, self-consciousness, comparison, and worries. All these roads will lead to more love of self and, ultimately, more beauty in all forms.
KOREAN DOENJAN JJIGAE (FERMENTED SOY STEW)
There are many variations of this recipe. Most Korean recipes vary a bit from family to family. There's a more proper way of making this stew with more ingredients and using homemade dashi broth, but this is my quick and dirty method. This soybean paste can be used as a base for soups, stews, dips, and sauces. If you're not used to these kinds of flavors or prefer milder foods, it may be a bit strong for some.
1 tsp sesame seed oil
2 tbsp soybean paste (more for a stronger, pungent flavor)
a few ounces of pork belly sliced or chopped into small pieces (or omit if plant-based)
1 to 2 small red potatoes
1 zucchini sliced
½ onion chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 to 2 garlic cloves minced
½ package of medium-firm or firm tofu
1 green or red chili pepper (feel free to omit for less spice)
scallions for garnish
In a stone pot saute the sesame oil soybean paste and pork belly for to minutes. add cups water stir make sure is dissolved incorporated into water. potatoes zucchini onion garlic tofu chili simmer garnish with scallions enjoy rice.