4.139 Vancouver-Style Sundubu Jjigae

Cycle 4 – Item 139

24 (Fri) May 2013

Vancouver-Style Sundubu Jjigae


at Vancouver House of Tofu Soup

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with the Family

Vancouver House of Tofu Soup is a Korean restaurant chain.  Specializes in LA/Bukchang-style sundubu jiigae.

Recently opened.

While I was living in Los Angeles during the early aughts, restaurants specializing in sundubu jjigae were, presumably still are, common around Koreatown.  In addition to various types of sundubu jjigae, the service was distinguished by the rice that came in a sizzling hot stone pot, resulting in nurungji.  The trend was likely started by BCD (Buk Chang Dong) Tofu House, founded in 1996, a chain with several locations throughout the area; the website claims that the founder had learned sundubu jjigae at her mother-in-law’s restaurant in Bukchang-dong in Seoul, though it doesn’t explain about the nurungji bit.  While making nurungji in a stone pot is a common practice, serving it in combination with sundubu jjigae is not a thing in itself.  Generally, sundubu jjigae is a dish prepared simple and sold cheap, no fancy variations, in the humblest restaurants throughout the country.  Recently, a restaurant opened in Sinsa-dong called LA-style Bukchang-Dong Sundubu.

The rice is cooked directly in a stone pot, heated by a flame underneath.
After it’s cooked, the rice is scooped out of the pot into a separate bowl and eaten as usual, leaving behind the burnt rice stuck to the inner surface of the pot.
Warm water is poured into the pot and left to sit so that the burnt rice comes loose, which is then scraped off and eaten, along with the water, kinda like a secondary soup.

The sundubu jjigae at Vancouver House of Tofu Soup was meh.  The soup itself had a slight chemical aftertaste, perhaps from some packaged sauce mix.  The nurungji was fine, though personally I’m not a fan.  It’s called “Vancouver-style,” though clearly an LA/Bukchang knock-off. At 8,000 won, definitely not worth it.

The server began speaking to DJ in English when he pronounced “LA galbi” in an American accent.  She said that she’d lived in Vancouver, making me think that she’s probably affiliated with ownership.  I should’ve asked her about Vancouver-style sundubu.



These are screen-shot comments from the prior site. If you wish to leave a new comment, please do so in the live comment section below.

Leave a Reply