Vege-ham Jjigae with good memories


We took this old picture at Mt. Bukhan(북한산) where my family used to go for hiking on weekends. My siblings and I played in the valley catching crawfish or tadpoles and my parents cooked delicious Bulgogi(불고기) and Jjigae(찌개).  What we ate in the mountain were the most delicious foods, but these days we’re not allowed to cook in the mountain any more.

At that time, my mom created her own recipe of Jjigae and I call it “vege-ham Jjigae,” which is a little similar to Budae Jjigae(부대찌개).

2 재료 [Ingredients] Zucchini(애호박), potato(감자), onion(양파), spam(스팸), green and red peppers(고추, 홍고추)

1 고추장 된장For sauce, we need Gochujang(red pepper paste) and Deonjang(fermented soybean paste). My mom makes these pastes at home. Someday I will inherit her know-how to make them, which she learned from her mother because these two are the most essential ingredients for so many Korean foods.


1. Cut the potato(1&1/2), onion(1), zucchini(1/2), spam(1/2 small can) into bite sizes and slice the green(2) and red(1) peppers. (To serve 3~4 people, but you can add some ingredients more to your taste)


2. Mix two spoons of Deonjang(fermented soybean paste) and one spoon of Gochujang(red pepper paste). This mixing is a secret of my mom’s Jjigae.

3. Dissolve the mixed paste in cold water well. (Amount of water should be enough to soak all the ingredients.)

찌개 끓이기

4. Pour the sauce onto the ingredients in the pot.

5. Heat it until Jjigae begins boiling and turn down the heat to medium-low and boil it for about 15~20 minutes.

6. Remove the bubbles from time to time and  turn off when potatos are cooked well and the taste of soup is deep enough(If it is not salty enough, add some salt).

완성 4My mom sometimes cooks this vege-ham Jjigae at home and it’s always delicious. However, I feel somthing is missing, maybe mountain air and our appetite after hiking. I miss those days.


  1. The jjigae sounds and looks very delicious. Can I buy the fermented soybean paste in a supermarket? I would love to make some jjigae. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Thanks for your comment. ^^ I guess you can buy the fermented soybean paste in a Korean or Asian supermarket. You may find Japanese fermented soybean paste called as ‘Miso’, but the taste of Miso is somewhat different from that of Korean Deonjang. So I recommend you to buy Korean soybean paste if you want real Korean taste. ^^

  2. What a darling photo! And, Jessie, I look so forward to learning how to make pepper and bean pastes. I never know at the grocery whether the pastes I am buying are anywhere near as they should be, and I am sure that home-made would be so much better.

    1. We make pepper and bean pastes once a year or two and, in case of red pepper paste, spring or fall is the season to make it. I guess my mom will make red pepper paste this fall and I’ll definitely make a posting on it. As you mentioned, home-made is much much better and there is even a saying that the taste of food comes from the taste of “Jang”(two pastes) of a household.

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