Dubu Jorim 두부 조림 (Braised Tofu)

We have been wanting to make this dish for a while now (like others just as well) but we finally got around to it when we had an overabundance of tofu in our fridge. Dubu jorim (braised tofu) is one of the few dishes that puts tofu as the central ingredient in Korean cooking. It is a great source of protein (as most vegetarians already know), low in saturated fat, and provides of host of minerals and vitamins that make it a sought-after ingredient in Korea and abroad. Tofu (aka dubu) is a staple in Korea and is a regular ingredient in Korean cooking. Not only that, but it’s really one of the most healthy and diverse ingredients that can make a dish outstanding in terms of texture and flavor profiles. Though we use tofu on a regular basis, we hope that this Korean dish will introduce another means of using tofu. 🙂

Just for informational purposes (and something I learned in the process), here is tofu 101 in a nutshell.  Tofu or soybean curd (nice name huh?) production involves soaking soybeans in water and creating soy milk, then curdling (or congealing into sth hard, a la cheese) the milk. The curds are separated from the whey and packaged in block form. Most of the tofu brands offer a range of soft and firm varieties (firm tofu has more nutrients btw), which differ mainly in the amount of water retained. In a nutshell, tofu is unmistakably the king of vegetarian and health-conscious eaters looking for something nutritious and tasty.

Servings: 4 people
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15~20 minutes
Ingredients:
  • 1 pack firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tsp sesame seed
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
Directions:
  1. For frying: cut the tofu block into 1/2-inch thick square pieces (see pics above). Pat dry with a paper towel and try to remove excess water. For boiling or steaming: keep tofu block in tact until cooked. Simply boil or steam for about 5~7 minutes and then cut into 1/2-inch thick square pieces.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large non-stick skillet, carefully add the tofu pieces and sear over medium heat until golden brown, 5 minutes each side.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by mixing remaining ingredients together in a large pot that will fit tofu pieces. Add the fried tofu pieces and braise them for about 10~15 minutes on high heat or until most of the sauce has evaporated. Flip tofu pieces halfway to coat halfway during the braise.
  4. Plate tofu pieces and garnish with scallion strips and sesame seeds. If boiling or steaming the tofu, pour sauce mixture over cooked tofu pieces and then garnish. Enjoy.
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