Monday, January 02, 2006

Tofu Bulgogi

I love tofu. Even before I became a vegetarian, tofu was a regular part of my diet thanks to my Korean mother. I enjoy it in all of its incarnations, but I do realize that the soft texture and mild flavor of common preparations isn't for everyone. With that in mind, the following recipe is great those who haven't had tofu before, as well as avowed tofu-haters. It's based on Korean marinated beef, bulgogi. The combination of thorough marination and prolonged dry heat create a tofu dish with a taste and texture unlike any other.

Ingredients

2 pounds of firm tofu
2 cups of soy sauce (this is a lot of soy sauce, but you can freeze leftover marinade. It will keep indefinitely. If you're certain that you'll be able to marinate overnight, you can do 1 cup soy sauce and 1 cup water, as the marinade will completely infuse the tofu and make the dish too salty for some people's tastes)
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp sugar
4 cloves of garlic, minced (more if you like)
1 inch x 1inch piece of ginger, minced
1 tsp black pepper

Preparation

Set the blocks of tofu under a plate and a weight for an hour. If your tofu is exceedingly firm, you can skip this step.


Cut each block of tofu into 8 slabs. Place the 16 cutlets in a large oiled baking dish. Mix the remaining ingredients well, then pour over the tofu.


Let it marinate for at least an hour, but it's even better to let it marinate overnight. Turn the cutlets over once during their marination. Pre-heat oven to 350 Fahrenheit and cook for 20 minutes.



Remove from oven and turn over, then return to the oven for another 20 min. Serve with lots of rice and kimchi if you have it.

Tofu Bulgogi served with brown rice.


* All pictures except for the final one were from a previous batch of tofu bulgogi. The earlier batch was marinated for only an hour or so, while the batch I made last night was marinated overnight, resulting in the deeper color.

10 comments:

Melissa CookingDiva said...

Verdant, hope you are doing well! It is amazing how many different and delicious dishes can be prepared with tofu. I specially like to make desserts and shakes and sauces with the soft kind. I haven't had firm tofu in a while. Maybe it is time to take my first trip of the year to the asian store! Hugs,
Melissa

Samatha said...

Hi Verdant:

I started reading your blog when I found the link on Mahanandi's blog.

Unlike a lot of Indians, I love Tofu. I substitute that with Paneer in a lot of Indian dishes. I also marinate it in some Indian spices and pan fry it for some dishes.

I will need to try your recipe out. It looks yummy!

Sam

Garam Masala said...

Verdant -

I came by following a link from Mahanandi as well. I like your detailed presentation of different recipes.

Thr complaint I have with tofu is that... it doesnot taste of anything. But your recipe may change all that. I guess we can use the resulting tofu in stir-frys as well.

Lera said...

Wow,your tofu post sounds great,Thanks for sharing! guess, henceforth, tofu will be replacing paneer in all my Paneer based recipes .

Verdant said...

Melissa -- Tofu-based desserts are great! Oh, and if you're heading to an Asian market, keep on the look out for "Fu Nu." It's tofu that has been marinated with anise and pressed longer than any other type of tofu that I know of. Right out of the package it's as firm as the cooked tofu bulgogi.

Sam -- Glad you like tofu! My friend Nikita, who taught me how to cook Indian food, was not too fond of it. When she did eat it, she would drown it in thai hot chili sauce. One of my favorite tofu dishes is kadhai paneer with fried tofu instead.

GM -- Thanks for the compliment! And yes, the resulting tofu can be used in all sorts of recipes. I've used it in vegetarian sushi and vegetarian caesar salads.

Lera -- Thanks for coming by! You'll have to let me know how it compares.

sailu said...

Verdant,wondering how this recipe would taste if I were to replace it with paneer?

Nupur said...

Oh that looks sooo good! I am always looking for new tofu recipes, so thanks for sharing!

Becky Wood said...

wow! this looks lovely. and did you study cooking at Harvard?? ;)

I can't wait to try out your tofu recipes...I haven't figured out how to cook tofu aside from baking and using in stir fry.

Anonymous said...

When baking it is the pan dry or is it the same pan used to marinate with the marinate mixture still in it?

Verdant said...

I used another pan. But there's no reason you can't use the same one as long as you wipe it clean, then grease it.