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I still remember I had my first bowl of soondubu jjigae (spicy tofu stew) at BCD Tofu House in New York City. Bubbling in a hot-stone pot, the combination of soondubu (extra soft tofu), meat, seafood, vegetables in a spicy broth comforted me in the cold winter days. Undeniably, it has become my go-to Korean dish when I need something to warm up my belly.
As soon as we confirmed our trip to Seoul this summer, the first thing I looked up on the internet was Best Soondubu Jjigae Restaurants in Seoul. As much as I would like to try every single restaurants on the shortlist, I settled on Jaedong Soondubu (재동순두부) given our limited time in Seoul.
Hidden away in a small alley near Anguk station, Jaedong Soondubu is popular even among the locals. At noon, local folks working in the area would flock to the restaurant and get their Korean food fix.
The main hall is set up with tables and chairs while rooms over at the sides are designed in traditional style where customers are required to take off their shoes and sit on floor cushions at low tables.
Over at the coat hanger are aprons provided for customers to prevent them from dirtying their clothes during the meal. What a thoughtful gesture!
The restaurant serves a variety of traditional Korean dishes, including soondubu, bibimbap (mixed rice), kongguksu (noodles in cold coy milk broth), pajeon (scallion pancake), raw samgyeopsal (pork belly)…etc. Since it is a tofu house, Kev and I were eagerly anticipated to try the haemul soondubu (seafood tofu, 7500 won) and chodang soondubu (plain tofu, 7500 won). Both were served with a bowl of steamed rice and side dishes!
Served at the table boiling hot, the custardy tofu infused all the deep flavors and spices in the broth. Spicy chili oil was added for a spicy kick, but was not crazy hot. I barely needed to chew. Just let the silky tofu slide down my throat!
The chodang soondubu was just plain white with extra soft texture. It is highly recommended to mix it with some seasoned soy sauce, or else it would taste like un-sweetened soy milk. I’m sure there are people who prefer chodang soondubu over haemul soondubu, but it is too light and subtle for me 😛
I loved how appetizing the food was and not overwhelm us with heavy, oily taste. A true hidden gem if you’re looking for affordable, authentic soondubu jjigae in Seoul!
About Jaedong Soondubu (재동순두부)
Address: 84-11 Jae-dong Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 재동 84-11)
How to get to Jaedong Soondubu (재동순두부)
Get off at subway line 3 Anguk station, exit 2. Walk straight and turn right at the 2nd alley. It will be on your right.