Already on my first trip to South Korea, I was converted. There I enjoyed delicious breakfast dishes with boiled tofu soup, fried tofu bowls, and spiced soft tofu – and plenty of other goodies. Like meat, of course, tofu needs flavor to make it on its own. If you taste it as it is, it feels quite chewy.
In a simple restaurant in the capital, Seoul, I glanced at the cold room, where tofu rested in various wooden shapes, accented with dates. Some may turn out soft tofu (reminiscent of mozzarella), and other pieces remain longer, squeezed and distilled into hard tofu (which is similar to feta cheese).
Tofu is often referred to as cheese bean, which is a correct term. This process is similar to non-productive operations, but using soybeans as a base. The origin is Chinese, but for hundreds of years, tofu has been found throughout East Asia. Today’s recipe is usually with me when I take a course in Korean cooking. Dobu Jorim is a popular everyday dish in South Korea and has turned many chefs around.
Plus, I usually make a few quick snacks by soaking chunks of tofu in a bit of soybeans and a few drops of toasted sesame oil. Or, finely chop the kimchi and mix it with the tofu cubes. The Korean ingredients in the recipes are available in well-stocked grocery stores and, of course, in stores with Asian food.
Dobu goreme, braised tofu
This is a very powerful dish that speeds up the spirits of life. Just take the time to fry the tofu properly, it may turn a little brown on the surface.
4 small portions
1 can of tofu (about 400g)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 dl finely chopped yellow onion
2 chopped green onions
1 teaspoon dark toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame
1 tablespoon soy (Japanese or Korean)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fine sugar
1 tablespoon Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
1 deciliter of water
Rinse the tofu with cold running water. Wipe it and cut it into slices about a centimeter thick.
2. Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan on the highest heat. Put the tofu slices. Be careful, the oil is hot! Leave it on one side for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat if it appears to be burning. Turn the pieces over and fry for the same length of time on the other side. Lift the tofu pieces and put them on a plate.
In the same skillet, saute garlic, yellow onion, and green onion for a few minutes, stirring. Mix all sauce ingredients. Add it to the skillet and leave it on a low heat. Put the tofu back in the pan (this is where the dish is prepared).
4. Heat the pan before serving. Drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds and maybe a little extra green onion.
Soup soup is served in Korean restaurants around the world. It can be fixed in several different ways. It often doesn’t contain ginger but I like to add it. Vegetarians can replace fish sauce with 1 tablespoon of soy and meat with 300 g of chopped mushrooms.
300gm beef inner thighs (or the same amount of mushrooms), sliced 2cm thick
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 ½ dL finely chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped green chili fruit
1 teaspoon gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
1 liter of water
1 tablespoon duengang (soybean paste)
1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chilipasta)
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger (can be left out)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (can replace with 1 tablespoon Japanese soy sauce)
2 combo pieces (kelp, brown algae) about ½ dl
To the soup near the end, add:
2 dL radishes, peeled and diced
1 deciliter zucchini, peeled and diced
2 green onions finely chopped
150gm hard tofu, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1. Heat the pot with cooking oil. Add the meat and brown it quickly, while stirring. Add onion, garlic, green chili and koshagaroo and sauté, stirring for a few minutes.
2. Pour water, doenjang, gochujang, ginger, fish sauce and kombu. Let it simmer uncovered for ten minutes.
Add radish, zucchini, green onion, tofu and sesame oil. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
4. Remove from heat and taste. Served with rice.