Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Do you like tofu?

Seafood Tofu with Gochujang Sauce

I was not a tofu lover until I came to St Louis. I ate tofu occasionally when someone offered to cook for me or when I dined out. Cooking tofu at home was a skill I acquired here. When I suddenly decided to take a liking to tofu.

I still remember the first time I cooked tofu at my old apartment. The moment the tofu touched the hot oil, the oil splattered every where. The floor, the stovetop and more painfully my hands; even though I had the cover of the wok as my shield. I was defeated by the seemingly harmless looking block of tofu. Ever since then, I convinced myself that cooking tofu at home was risky business and shall never be attempted again.

After I came to St Louis, I acquainted with tofu after my scientist husband told me the correct way to handle a block of tofu. He gently reminded me of the basic nature of the reaction between water and oil, and more importantly how to avoid splatter of oil when one cooks tofu.

The key, as he plainly pointed out is to drain the tofu, and make sure that the surface of the tofu is dry before adding them to the oil. I guess any experienced cooks have probably known this, but that was two years ago while I started to cook.

Like the ending of a fairy tale, I live a happy ever life cooking and eating tofu since then. Now, I cook tofu every week without worrying about the splattering. One trick that I learned and have never share with anybody though, is to wear an oven glove if you still worry about the splattering. The oil may dirty your glove but it will never kiss the delicate skin of your fingers!

Enough about the tips. I have a real good tofu recipe to share tonight. I woul call it seafood tofu with Gochujang sauce. It's a sweet and spicy recipe that comes together in a flash, and packed full of flavor. Making it suitable for week night dinner with a big bowl of rice.

Seafood Tofu with Gochujang Sauce

Seafood Tofu with Gochujang Sauce

1 pack (12 oz)firm tofu, drained and blotted dry with several pieces of kitchen towels, cut into cubes
4 oz shrimps, shelled and deveined
5 fish balls, halved (optional)
1/2 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 bunch of scallion, cut into 2-inches pieces
3 gloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 heaping tablespoon Gochujang
4 tbsp chicken broth /water
1 tbsp mirin, or more to taste
1/2 tbsp sugar, or more to taste
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet until hot. Add in tofu cubes and make sure all the tofu cubes are in contact with the surface of the skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes until one side of the tofu turned brown from searing. Add in garlic, zucchini, scallion and sesame oil. Stirfry until the zucchini turned soft. About 2 minutes.

Add shrimps and fish balls. Continue to cook until the shrimps turn pink. Add a heaping tablespoon of Gochujang to the tofu mixture followed by chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil and add mirin, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

You can add more gochujang if you preferred a spicier dish. If the dish turned out spicier than you can handle, add more sugar to dilute the spiciness.


*Gochujang can be found at Asian grocery stores.

13 comments:

Anh said...

I like tofu, but do not cook it often enough... Your recipe is very nice. I would love to try it out.

Helen said...

Great tofu recipe! And to answer your question about the coocnut honey, I make it myself:)

Lee Ping said...

Dear Mandy,

Gochujang, is it soy bean paste? Perhaps, if I see a photo of it, I will recognize it.

I like your story on the oil splatter. Just the other day, I was thinking someone should invent a face mask for cooks or ask my scientific husband to fry food that splatters for me. :)

MeltingWok said...

ouchh..tell me about it, I don't know how I get that on my feet y'day hahaha..geee, it's here and there :(
By the way, what's gochujang sauce ?

tigerfish said...

I love tofu and it is such a versatile ingredient. There are also different kinds of tofu - silken, soft, firm, extra firm, for different types of cooking (soup, stir-fry, deep-fry etc)

Mandy said...

anh,
thanks!

Helen, wow! How do one makes coconut honey?

leeping & melting wok,
gochujang is a kind of korean hot pepper sauce, it's sweet and spicy. It's red in color, not to be mistaken as da jiang (which is the soy bean paste)Koreans use it for bibimbap and other stirfry meat dishes too.

tigerfish,
Agreed!Love tofu! It's always in my shopping cart whenever I go grocery shopping.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Looks great! I love tofu too furthermore it's good for us. However, I have a picky eater hubby who doesn't really quite fancy tofu.

Amy said...

I've been looking for gochujang to make bibimbap but once I find it, I'm making this dish! Thanks for this great recipe!

Lee Ping said...

Gochujang is a kind of korean hot pepper sauce, it's sweet and spicy. Next time, I see it, I will know that it is good for making tofu dishes.

Amrita said...

Oh! Delicious! I can't imagine why so many people hate tofu..yumyum

Oh for the love of food! said...

Hi Mandy! Thanks for visiting my blog. I love your Korean style tofu stirfry, it's just the kind of dish my family loves. Oh, your pavlova looks amazing too! ;o)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Mandy, I've also used the oven glove trick when I fry fish ;P

Mandy said...

little corner of mine,
I didn't like tofu too when I was younger. I guess our palates will change over time.

amy,
you are most welcome!

leeping,
yes. And it's also good for meat too!And not to forget bibimbap!

amrita,
agree, agree!

oh for the love of food,
Thanks for visiting!

Happy home baking,
haha, I know! In fact, I have just used the trick again yestesday while frying fish!

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