This dish is totally fine just with the onion and scallion, but this recipe also uses mushrooms and a chili pepper. You can also add a little bit of thinly sliced Korean radish to the bottom of the pot before adding the tofu.
For the liquid, I usually use anchovy broth. Dashima broth is a good option for a vegetarian dish, but water works well too. If available, a little bit of salted shrimp (saeujeot) will give an extra boost of umami.
The perilla oil, which is distinctly nutty with a hint of minty flavor similar to that of perilla leaves, makes this dish extra earthy and rustic.
|Spicy braised tofu (dubu jorim) (Korean Bapsang)|
1 package tofu (about 400 grams)
1/2 medium onion
2 to 3 small king mushrooms
1 small green or red chili pepper
2 tablespoons gochugaru, Korean red chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon gochujang, Korean red chili pepper paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons liquid salted shrimp (or use 1 more tablespoon soy sauce)
1 tablespoon corn syrup or oligodang (or 1/2 tablespoon sugar)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup water or anchovy broth
2 tablespoons perilla seed oil or sesame oil
1/4 sesame seeds
Cut the tofu into 1.5-centimeter thick slices. You can further cut the slices in half crosswise if you like smaller slices. Slice the onion, scallion, mushrooms and chili pepper.
Combine all of the braising liquid except the perilla oil (or sesame oil).
Spread the onion slices at the bottom of a small pot. Arrange the tofu on top, and then pour the braising liquid over. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining vegetables, and drizzle the perilla oil (or sesame oil) over. Continue to boil for 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
For more recipes, visit www.koreanbapsang.com.
By Ro Hyo-sun