Korean Quarantine Cuisine - Kimchi-jjigae
I was cruising through Facebook posts recently (aren’t we all?) and picked out for you my favorite meme, below right. It is amazing how creative bored people get. Then I happened upon a funny meme about no one liking vegan food/tofu - below.
Tofu isn’t super high on my list of favored proteins, but can be great when done well. Like in this Korean stew, where it’s simply an addition that lightens up an already hearty dish.
2 pounds fresh pork shoulder, cut in 2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups kimchi, with juice
3 tablespoons Korean red pepper paste (gochujang) or hot sauce
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
8 cups beef broth
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
8 ounces extra firm tofu8 scallions, chopped, for garnish
If you don’t have fish sauce (you really should get fish sauce - Red Boat from Amazon), throw in a couple of anchovies. If you haven’t tried kimchi yet, wade into the shallow end with Kimchi-Sauerkraut. It’s a more familiar taste.
Drain the tofu package and put the block on a bed of paper towels. Cover it with more towels and place something heavy on top, to extract some of the moisture.
Put the pork in a bowl. Add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and fish sauce. Toss well to coat and let marinate for at least 10 minutes.
Set a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Melt butter, then add pork mixture and let it cook gently for 5 minutes.
Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium high and add kimchi, gochujang and pepper flakes. Let mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
Add broth and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a brisk simmer and cook for 1 hour.
Taste broth and adjust seasoning. Test tenderness of pork - you can simmer longer to get the amount of doneness you like.
Just before serving, remove tofu from the towels and cut into roughly 1-inch cubes.
Add tofu to the pot and stir gently to combine. When tofu is heated through, ladle into bowls and garnish with scallions.
You’ll likely want to have some of your favorite bread to soak up the brothy goodness of this stew.
I had some Naan that was perfect with it.
You know what else I had that was perfect with it? Champagne!
You should celebrate - after all, you just enjoyed tofu.