Saturday, April 28, 2012
Korean soft tofu stew
I have to say Korean cuisine is my second favorite just right behind my number one, which you can pretty much guess, Vietnamese food. Specially anything that cooked in a hot stone pot such as this soft tofu stew (SoonDuBu) or Bibimbap (which I will cover in another post). This steamy and savory soup is best served on a rainy, cold winter night. The combination of the silken tofu, seafood, mushroom and the spicy broth bubbling in the scalding hot stone pot sitting next to a bowl of white steamed rice is like match makes in heaven.
To kick up the spice and the flavor a notch I usually add some homemade kimchi to the stew and always have to top it off with a freshly cracked egg. The soup itself is not that complicate to prepare, but it is important to gather up the right ingredients to give this stew the authentic flavor that it deserves. If you happen to live nearby a Korean supermarket you won't have any problem finding the right stuffs to cook up this stew.
Although my boys are still too young too fully enjoy this delicious stew, my hubby is a big fan of it. On a small note, if you decide to serve this to your kids, just reserve some the broth on the side and omit the hot chili powder so they can still enjoy this amazing stew.
I found this great recipe at this Korean food blog, I made some modifications to match my taste buds accordingly. So next time when it's raining outside, feel free to give this wonderful stew a try, you won't be disappointed.
Ingredients: (Serve 6)
1. A hand full of small dried anchovies
2. 2 pieces of dried kelp, 1 small onion, 5 cloves of garlic and 1-2 oz of dried shiitake mushrooms
3. 3 tubes of soft tofu
4. 1 cup of chopped kimchi
5. 1/4 lbs of big whole shrimps with heads
6. Some clams with shells and scallops
7. 2-5 tsp of hot pepper flakes (depend on how spicy you want your soup to be)
10. Enokitake mushrooms, chopped green onions
11. 6 cups of water
In a medium pot, add water, dried anchovies, dried kelp, onion, garlic, dried shitake mushroom and bring to boil over high heat for 10 minutes
Lower the heat to medium low and simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove and drain the the broth, reserve the shitake mushroom for later and discard everything else.
Heat up the clay stone pots on high heat and add 2 tsp of cooking oil. Continually add in chopped kimchi, shitake mushroom and chili powder (2 tsp for mild, 3 tsp for medium, 4 tsp for hot and 5 tsp if .... you want to burn your tongue!!!)
Mix thoroughly and pour in each pot 1 cup of reserved broth, bring it back to boil and add in the mixed seafood. Season the stew with fish sauce, salt, sugar and adjust to taste.
Cut and squeeze out the soft tofu from the tubes and use a spoon to break up the tofu into chunks.
When it starts to boil bubbly, crack 1 egg on top of each stew. Add the Enokitake mushroom, drizzle some sesame oil, and sprinkle chopped green onions on top. Serve immediately with steamed rice and fresh kimchi on the side. Enjoy!