Following the theme of teaching a Korean man how to cook for his family, I was indirectly assigned the task of making something that’s easier than making instant ramen (yes, it’s that easy): Yubu Chobab 유부 초밥 (Fried Tofu Rice Pockets). Simply, it’s rice mixed with finely diced vegetables and seasonings, and then lovingly hand-stuffed in fried tofu pockets. It’s a light, healthy, and kid-friendly snack that makes for the perfect lunchbox addition and ideal for picnics–comparable to bite-sized favorites like Jumuk Bap (Rice Balls) and Kimbap. Just a side note: every day is quite the culinary adventure as I dig through my friend’s refrigerator to see what’s available for cooking. On this particular day, it was a package (aka kit) for yubu chobap that caught my attention–probably purchased because we got a youngster running in the house. Tomorrow, I have my sights on using canned tuna that’s stocked like Legos here. 🙂
How easy is it, you ask? The aforementioned kit comes with 3 items: the fried tofu pockets (known as bean curd as well), a vinegar-based super sweet sauce, and a packet of dried ingredients (carrots, sesame seeds, seaweed, etc). You simply add the seasonings to the rice and then stuff the tofu pockets accordingly. Pretty simple, right? There are also pictures on back if you can’t read Korean directions. For those with advanced cooking skills, add some more nutrients to the plain rice by dicing any vegetables to your liking and giving them a quick stir-fry before mixing. This recipe shouldn’t take any longer than 20 minutes, excluding the rice cooking time. Good luck and give it a try!
“When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.” ~ Laiko Bahrs
- 3, 4 cups cooked white rice
- 1 package yubu chobap
- ½ bell pepper, diced
- ½ onion, diced
- ½ cup broccoli florets, diced
- ¼ cut shaved seaweed
- Prep the cooked rice and place in a large bowl, cool 15 minutes before using.
- Dice the vegetables into small pieces, saute altogether with a small amount of olive oil, and add to the rice.
- Pour half of the seasoning and sauce from the packet on to the rice mix. Make sure to taste as you go since the sauce tends to be super sweet. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Squeeze out extra liquid from the tofu pockets.
- Scoop out the rice with a small spoon and fill the tofu pockets accordingly.
- Plate onto a dish and then sprinkle exposed rice with the mix of dried seasonings. Enjoy!