So tasty and beautiful yet so, so misunderstood.
Tofu's kinda like the "unpopular, seemingly ugly" girl the starting quarterback falls in love with in those chick flicks. Once you dress it up a little bit, it's actually a beautiful
thing food. And before you get any wrong ideas - no I don't like to watch that stuff. C'mon, every guy's been forced to watch a chick flick in agony at one point.
Good tofu has an inherent nuttiness that's often mistaken as "tasteless" by many people. And if you've had bad tofu (and there are a lot of badly made tofu out there in the grocery stores), I can see why people would see it as a bland, tasteless block of gray matter. But I'm here to tell you now that tofu does have flavor and it can be... delicious!
One of the simplest, easiest and most importantly - fastest - way to dress up tofu is to steam it and eat it with a spicy, garlic soy sauce. Because the sauce is so simple to make, it can be done while you're steaming the tofu or made in advance to pull out a quick weeknight meal. You do need some gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper) to make this and you should be able to find it in your Asian supermarkets. Look for vibrant, bright red flakes that's preferably made in Korea. And no matter what any website tells you - no you may not substitute for cayenne.
This sauce works well with fried tofu as well. Give it a try sometime this week!
Dubu Jjim/두부찜(Steamed Tofu)
"Recipe" from My Mother
"Recipe" from My Mother
- 1 block of soft tofu
- 1 tablespoon of green onions, diced, white and light-green parts
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 teaspoons of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon of Korean gochugaru, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of fresh black pepper
- green part of green onions, diced for garnish
1) Remove excess liquid from the tofu and pat dry. Prepare a steamer and place the tofu on a plate that can go into the steamer. If you don't have a steamer, just put some water into a wok and place a plate with the tofu on top. Close with a lid and bam - you have a steamer.
2) Steam for 10 minutes until the tofu is soft and tender.
3) While the tofu is steaming, make the sauce by mixing together everything else besides the green part of the green onions which we'll use later as garnish. Or just throw it all in there - it's up to you.
4) Remove the steamed tofu after the 10 minutes and pour over the soy sauce mixture on top of the tofu.
5) Serve immediately with some fluffy, steamed rice and find new appreciation for the highly misunderstood tofu.