Korean Braised Tofu

Well well well.  Hello there Tuesday.  So, Mondayyyy, see ya never?!

Although I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this past Monday since it was spent with a day off work ;)  Hopefully ya’ll did too!

I spent the day saying my goodbyes to Kim & Mylez (back to schooool wahhh), doing some much needed yoga, digging through bins at the JCrew warehouse sale (police escorts at this thing ya’ll, it was serious lol) and food shopping with Fanatic Mom.

I also spent some much needed QT in the kitchen whipping up this delicious treat:  Korean Braised Tofu!

Inspired by this new-to-me site that I’m really enjoying thus far:  Gojee.com

Basically, you can enter food items that you are craving, ingredients you have on hand as well as those you dislike and this site will pull up an array of recipes that you may want to try!

You can also flag them as favorites and save for when you’ll want to create them in your own kitchen…

Plus the photos are ridiculously awesome.  Something about an attractively bright picture that really pulls me into wanting more, or is that just me?!

This Korean braised tofu recipe came about after a search for:

I Crave —> “firm tofu”

I Have —> “Sambal oelek

Shocker there.

I didn’t have a few of the ingredients listed (sesame oil, sesame seeds) so I decided to take a spin on it and make it my own with a few substitutions!

Coconut oil to the rescue…?

I figured that coconut flavors blended so well with the spicy Sambal last time around in this Coconut Chicken n’ Rice Soup, that why wouldn’t they work just the same here :)

And that they did! #winning

Nasoya Organic Firm Tofu

Picked this up at Whole Foods last week for a mere $1.14 thanks to a coupon in their sale flyer…

Score.

I used this nifty tofu press to pull out all the liquid.  But placing it on paper towels between 2 heavy plates will work too :)

While the tofu pressed out (10 minutes), I mixed up the sauce. 

Coconut oil, spicy Sambal, soy sauce, garlic and green onion.

If you have Sriracha on hand, you could use that too.  Just omit the extra garlic step.

And p.s. green onions are so easy to grow from leftover grocery store pieces at home, remember this lil’ trick?!

Sliced green onion and minced garlic.

All mixed up with their other friends!

Once the tofu was ready, I sliced it in half then into 1/2″ slices.  The first set of slices here were kinda thick, I’d say shoot for about 8 total slices out of the block.

Add to a hot pan with some coconut oil and cook until browned on both sides, also slightly crispy on the outside.

Then add the pre-mixed sauce right to the pan.

And continue to cook for a couple minutes until the sauce turns into a beautiful glaze and the tofu get all caramelized and happy!

To serve this tofu, I’d highly recommend topping it with some additional Sambal or Sriracha just for an extra flavor punch!

  

What I liked about this recipe was (1) the texture and (2) the flavor.

(1) I think tofu deters many an eater because of the sometimes mushy/spongy texture. Myself included. This dish, however, had a nice firm outside with a perfectly soft middle. It just worked!

(2) The salty soy sauce was mildly offset with sweet coconut oil and the spicy chili sauce was the perfect compliment to the two.  Definitely a great mix of flavors!

The leftovers also made a lovely wrap when folded up in a whole wheat tortilla and slathered with a “little bit” more of the spicy Sambal.  Just sayin… ;)

So moral of the story:  even if you’re a bit “tofu-shy” I’d recommend giving this recipe a whirl!  You never know, you just might like it… 

12 Responses to Korean Braised Tofu

  1. What a neat website! Definitely bookmarking that one for when I have random ingredients and I need to make a meal of it!

  2. Mmmm. If you made tofu look that tasty then I know this must be good! :)

  3. Ow- that jcrew sale sounds like serious business for sure! So…I tried to make tofu at home a few times and felt it was very ick. I need to give it another go. The flavors sound yummy

  4. Yep, totally love this dish – I think I’d double the sauce and saute some zucchini or broccoli – yum!

  5. I’ve never tried tofu [and always say "killer tofu" in my head whenever I hear the word tofu- I think it was from Doug?!] but your pictures makes me wanna try it!

  6. Thanks for the gojee advice! Going to check it out now! :)

  7. Love the idea of doubling the sauce. Gojee rocks!

  8. There is something about the whole “pressing tofu” thing that freaks me out. I’ve only cooked my own tofu a handful of times, although I do like it!

    I think I’m coming to the cooking class with you and Brittany on Monday!! YAY!

  9. that sounds SO good! i think nick would even like this – he’s not the biggest fan of tofu.

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