hai everybadee! today we are going to make sundubu-jjigae, a korean spicy tofu stew!
I have to give full credit to maangchi, ‘youtube’s korean julia child’, for teaching me everything I know about korean food. with the addition of just a couple ingredients to your pantry, you can enter the world of maangchi too! for this recipe, you’ll need sesame oil, korean chili powder, some sort of asian cooking wine, and kimchi. all can be found at your local korean or east asian grocery store.
similar to mapo tofu, sundubu jjigae packs a whole lot of flavour in a short amount of time. small quantities of bacon make this dish flavourful, affordable and an easy weeknight option. serve with rice of choice.
Serves 2, 4 smaller portions
2 tsps. sesame oil
2 slices of bacon, thinly sliced widthwise
6 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, small diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. korean chili powder
~2 tbsps. sake, soju or cooking wine
1/4 cup kimchi + 1/2 cup juice
1 1/2 cups stock or water
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 pack medium firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
a handful of baby spinach
cilantro and green onions (weed), chopped
In a small pot, heat sesame oil at medium heat. Add bacon bits and fry until most of the fat has rendered out and the bacon is crispy, about 8 minutes. If there is too much oil, reserve about 1 tbsp. in the pot and pour out the rest into a designated grease can (any old, rinsed out aluminum can will do).
Add mushrooms and sauté at medium-high heat until brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add onions, garlic, kimchi, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. If the pan is dry, incorporate some of the bacon grease from earlier or add a touch of canola oil. Deglaze the pot with sake and let evaporate. Stir to release the fond that has developed at the bottom of the pot.
Add kimchi, stock, fish sauce, brown sugar and tofu to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Do not stir too aggressively as you don’t want to break up your tofu into tiny bits.
If you want the broth to be a bit thicker, add a cornstarch slurry. Finish with a handful of baby spinach, cilantro, and green onions.