I have a cookbook addiction. I went through my cookbooks a few months ago and decided if I’d not cooked from the book in a year or if there were only one or two recipes I was cooking I would donate the cookbook to the library. I hunkered down and did it and got rid of a bunch of cookbooks but then I went to my favorite breakfast spot, Parker and Otis, and I was weak. They have a phenomenal cookbook section. I told myself I didn’t need a cookbook but then I saw it, Koreatown. Korean food is one of my favorite cuisines. I opened the pages and damn it, glossy sexy photos. I was sold. If you like Korean food I cannot recommend this cookbook highly enough. You’ll have to stock your pantry with some Korean cooking essentials but these pastes last a good while so you’ll be set to cook for months. This recipe was one of the first I tried and it’s amazing. It’s a little sweet, a lot savory and the texture is toothsome. I served it a dinner party to a group of meat eaters who went back for seconds and then proceeded to pick the leftover crusty bits off the serving plate. Seriously, it’s that good. Even better it’s super easy to prepare. If you like Korean food this dish needs to be in your regular cooking rotation. Enjoy!
From the Koreatown cookbook by Deuki Hong & Matt Rodbard, Soy Braised Tofu
1 – 18 oz. package firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch slices horizontally and patted dry with paper towels
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 inch piece of ginger, minced
1 Tbs. coarsely ground gochugaru (Korean chili flakes), despite being chili flakes it’s flavorful but not hot
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. mirin (I’ve substituted white wine)
Vegetable oil, as needed
1 tsp. minced Korean red chile pepper (this is a powder)
1 scallion, thinly sliced for garnish
1 Tbs. sesame seeds, for garnish
1. In a bowl whisk together the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, gochugaru, sesame oil, sugar and mirin.
2 Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add the tofu leaving room between the pieces, cook until golden brown, turning frequently, about 8-10 minutes.
3. Remove the tofu and drain on paper towels. Drain all but 1 Tbs of oil from the pan and add the soy sauce mixture and 1/2 c. water. Add the tofu and braise over medium-high heat, until the liquid reduces to a caramel-like sauce, about 4 minutes.
4. Grab your favorite serving dish, plate it up and garnish.