Korean Kimchi Stew with Tofu

This veggie kimchi stew is loaded with healthful fermented veggies that deliver probiotics to increase the body's immunity.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

This warming kimchi-infused stew will do double duty this chilly season. Not only is this hearty bowl the ultimate cozy dinner, it also contains gut-healing properties. This traditional, fermented Korean dish is typically made using the following: Chinese cabbage, daikon radish, garlic, Korean red pepper powder, onion, fish sauce and ginger. This fermented wonder is the perfect example of “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Each and every ingredient lends vitamins and minerals that make kimchi one impressive complement to savory dinners.

Kimchi’s main ingredients:

There are four must-have ingredients found in kimchi that we love in particular: Cabbage, daikon radish, onions and garlic. These have displayed significant heart-health benefits and some anticancer properties. They each also contain additional health benefits:

  • Cabbage: This veg is a crucial ingredient in most kimchi recipes. Cruciferous veggies, such as cabbage, are chock full of antioxidants that can reduce certain blood markers of inflammation.
  • Daikon radish: This Asian radish is the perfect example of a veg that is low in calories but plentiful in vitamins. Daikon is exceptionally rich in vitamin C and folate.
  • Onions: This kitchen staple is rich in quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant. Studies show that quercetin-rich onion extract can significantly reduce systolic blood pressure compared to a placebo. In kimchi, onion greatly adds depth to the existing savory flavor base.
  • Garlic: Studies show that this aromatic reduces plaque buildup in blood vessels and can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. A staple ingredient, garlic greatly contributes to the zesty aroma of kimchi.

Thanks to how its prepared, kimchi itself is a superfood. You may already know that fermented foods – particularly kimchi – are lauded for their impressive benefits for gut health. Healthy bacteria such as lactobacilli develop during fermentation. Lactobacilli are probiotics, believed to support and improve the body’s immunity. Like other naturally fermented foods, shop for brands that list “unpasteurized” on the label as the heat during pasteurization can destroy their healthy bacteria.

Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
60 min


  • 1 tsp plus 1 tbsp safflower oil, divided
  • 3⁄4 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 1 small white onion, halved lengthwise and sliced into half moons
  • 1 small zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced 1⁄4-inch thick
  • 1 cup peeled and grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp Korean chile paste (aka Gochujang) (NOTE: This fermented chile paste can be found in the Asian section of your grocery store or in Asian specialty stores.)
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms, stemmed (about 1 cup)
  • 16 oz organic silken tofu, drained and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups kimchi, drained and roughly chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • Hot sauce for serving, optional


  1. In a small saucepan on medium, heat 1 tsp oil. Add rice and toast, stirring constantly until opaque, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until water is absorbed and rice is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large saucepan on medium-high, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add onion, zucchini and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 6 minutes. Add chile paste and continue cooking until flavors blend, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add broth and 2 cups water. Increase heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until vegetables are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and tofu and simmer, covered, until mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Divide kimchi among serving bowls and keep close at hand. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl and gently tip it into simmering broth. Set a timer for 2 minutes for soft yolks or 3 minutes for firmer yolks. Quickly repeat with remaining eggs. When timer goes off, ladle first egg into 1 of the bowls, doing your best to keep yolk intact. Repeat with remaining eggs in order in which you added them. Divide remaining soup among bowls. Sprinkle with chives and serve with rice on the side and hot sauce (if using).

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 2 1/2 cups kimchi stew and 1/4 of rice
  • Calories 379
  • Carbohydrate Content 49 g
  • Cholesterol Content 185 mg
  • Fat Content 14 g
  • Fiber Content 7 g
  • Protein Content 17 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 2.5 g
  • Sodium Content 622 mg
  • Sugar Content 9 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 6 g