Soy Bean Paste Stew

Roy Choi shares his recipe

It’s officially fall! While we have mixed feelings about the demise of summer, we are excited about a few things that the new season brings: apple pie, hard squashes, braised meats, and the debut of Los Angeles magazine’s “Chefs of the Year” issue on newsstands! Each week online we’ll be highlighting recipes from some of our 20 award recipients. To kick things off we have a dish from the September issue cover star, Roy Choi. The Kogi king created this spicy soy bean paste stew for his RidingshotguninLA blog. Zucchini, Fresno chiles, and shiitakes join firm tofu in these bright red bowls. “I hope you enjoy a piece of my stinky childhood that was hard to explain until now,” says Choi. Thanks Roy—we’re sure we will.  

(Serves 2 to 4)


1 cup of shiitake mushroom caps
1 tablespoon of minced green onion
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1/2 cup of diced zucchini
1/4 cup of sliced onion
1/2 teaspoon of crushed roasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of sliced Fresno chilies
6 tablespoons of Korean soy bean paste
4 cups of water
1/2 pack of firm tofu diced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
S&P to taste


Sauté garlic, green onions, onions, and mushrooms in sesame oil till slightly aromatic about two minutes.

Add the water and bring to a slight boil then whisk in the soy bean paste to dissolve.

Simmer for 10 minutes then add the zucchini, tofu, chilies, soy sauce, and sesame seeds.

Simmer for another 5 minutes then season to taste. It should be salty but comforting. If it’s on point, you will be nodding your head.

Pour in a bowl and eat with rice or loaves of hot sourdough bread.

If you want to enrich the flavor more: consider using pork stock, vegetable stock, beef stock, dried anchovy stock, dashi, or even the water from washing rice to substitute just plain water.