With some good “old” kimchi in the fridge needing to be used up, I decided to do another dubu kimchi dish with a little twist. First, I excluded one of my favorite ingredients—pork—and went straight vegetarian. Second, I pan-fried the entire tofu piece rather than cutting into smaller pieces. And lastly, I cut a hole in the tofu’s center for the sautéed kimchi and tried to do a play with the remaining piece (but failed, kind of). Despite these slight changes, the end result was a big thumbs up by my taste testers, who not only finished off the tofu and kimchi but also all the questionable garnish greens. Hmmmm.
Dubu Kimchi 101: This is a popular appetizer or anju (side dish served with alcohol) that is popular while drinking Korean soju (clear rice liquor), makgeolli (rice wine), and of course beer. Most restaurants serve this dish with sautéed pork and kimchi placed in the middle and tofu pieces around the perimeter. To eat like a real Korean, place kimchi on top of a tofu piece and eat together. Follow that with a shot of soju or makgeolli and you can call yourself a native.
“Vegetarians are cool. All I eat are vegetarians – except for the occasional mountain lion steak.” ~ Ted Nugent
Servings: 2 people
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 2 cups aged kimchi, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 block firm tofu, cut into 2-inch squares
- 1 tbsp gochujang (red pepper paste)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- Remove excess water from tofu block by patting dry with paper towels. Or place tofu on cutting board slanted at an angle for 15 minutes, water will run off.
- When the tofu piece is “dried,” cut out a hole using a knife or a small paper cup to make desired hole.
- Coat a non-stick frying pan or skillet with generous amount of oil and sauté the block tofu until browned on both sides. Remove and set aside on paper-lined plate to remove excess oil.
- Add kimchi and remaining ingredients to the pan and sauté for about 8 minutes, or until kimchi softens.
- Plate the tofu in the center of the serving dish and top with sautéed kimchi.