Dubu Bokkeum - Korean Spicy Stir-Fried Tofu.
It was Katie’s mom who first introduced us this delicious banchan!
We took the last train down to Busan from Seoul – and made it home a little past 11.
We were exhausted and ready to sleep...
But it was obvious that she had prepared a meal for us - and wanted to catch up with her daughter.
I had no thoughts of eating – but she nudged me on to try her spicy stir-fried tofu...
I can't deny my mother-in-law - heh... so I made my way over to the kitchen
But after one taste, I was pleasantly surprised... and my tasted buds woke up!
The stir-fry sauce was amazing – spicy, savory yet “light”. It didn’t have that heavy oyster sauce flavor found in most stir-fried dishes.
Plus, the gwali peppers in between bites offered just the right amount of kick.
While chit-chatting about life with Katie and her mom, I realized I had eaten half the plate myself.
I was surprised that I ate so much ... when 15 mins ago, it was hard to even open my mouth.
The power of flavor – heh!
The next morning, I asked her for the recipe in written form and now... I share with you!
(Katie’s mom told me that the original recipe was from Al Toran 알토란 - Korean cooking TV show)
Cooking tips for Spicy Dubu Bokkeum
Use approximately 500 grams of tofu.
Cut into bite-sized cubes. We'll then pan-fry the pieces until they're cripsy on all 4 sides.
Note: The tofu may splatter when you place them in the pan (from the residual moisture) - don't panic, simply reduce the heat if it splatters too much.
After frying the tofu, don't add-in ALL of the stir-fry sauce at once - instead, use a spoon and add-to-taste (we used ¾ of the sauce)
Finally, remember to add in 1T of sesame oil at the end - it will bring all of the flavors together.
I hope you get to try this out at home! If you do, tag us on IG.
We love flipping through your dishes in the morning 😉
(P.s. If you’re cooking alone, don’t get bored. Consider listening to our latest podcast episode while you cook!)
- 500 grams Firm Tofu
- ½ Tablespoon Kosher Salt (to remove water from tofu pieces)
- 15 Kkwari Peppers (꽈리고추) (aka Shishito Peppers)
- 1 Mild Red Chili Pepper (used for color, not spicy)
- 8 Button Mushroom
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil (Garnish at the end)
- ½ Tablespoon Sesame Seeds (Garnish at the end)
Spicy Stir-Fry Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Diced Spring Onion
- 4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1 Tablespoon Gochugaru Flakes
- ½ Tablespoon Gochujang Paste
- 2 Tablespoons Mirin
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
Prep Tofu & Ingredients
- Cut a block of tofu (~500g) into bite-sized cubes. Place the cubes into a paper-towel lined bowl or tray. Sprinkle some salt (~½ Tablespoon) over them - this will help them release water.
- Wash 15 Kkwari Peppers (Shishito Peppers). Then pluck the stem off each pepper. Next, use kitchen scissors (or a knife) and cut each pepper into thirds.
- Then cut or dice one RED MILD chili pepper into thin slices (note: this red pepper is used for its color - it should not be spicy!)
- Next, wet a paper towel and use it to wipe off any impurities from 8 Button Mushrooms. Slice each mushroom in half - then set aside.
Make Stirfry Sauce
- Take out a mixing bowl and add-in: Diced Spring Onions (2 Tablespoons), Soy Sauce (4 Tablespoons), Water (2 Tablespoons), Gochugaru Flakes (1 Tablespoon), Gochujang Paste (½ Tablespoon), Mirin (2 Tablespoons), Sugar (1 Tablespoon), Minced Garlic (1 Tablespoon).
Pan-Fry Tofu Crispy
- Place some cooking oil into the frying pan - enough to cover bottom.
- Once the oil is hot, place the tofu pieces in. (Be careful, as there may be some oil splatter from the residual moisture left on the tofu)
- Pan-fry the tofu pieces all sides until it gets a nice light golden, crispy texture.
- Once its light golden... add-in the mushrooms, Kkwari peppers and red chili pepper slices.
- Stir-fry everything for a few minutes, until the mushrooms start to sweat and the peppers start to blister.
- Then use a spoon and place in the spicy stir-fry sauce - no need to add-in everything at once! (Note: We ended up using about ¾ of the sauce).
- Use two wooden utensils and toss everything in the stir-fry sauce. The sauce will start to thicken in the heat as you continue to toss.
- After the ingredients are well tossed, finish by drizzling on Sesame Oil (1 Tablespoon) as well as few shakes of Sesame Seeds (1 Tablespoon).
- Serve this delicious banchan with rice... or a refreshing cup of beer!