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!
Delicious, frying the tofu is a key step in my option for the texture it gives to the tofu that I find very appealing. I make a spicier version of this using long peppers instead of the Shishito Peppers. I am not typically a mushroom consumer, but really love them in this dish.
On my third endeavor cooking this, I decided to add some thin cut beef during the cooking process. However found I did not much care for how it changed the taste. Finding the original recipe tastier.
I currently am trying to changing my eating habits (more veg and protein less carbs.) It's an uphill battle trying to change bad habits I have picked up over the last couple of years. Corvid, stress and more have effected my eating habits for the worse. Leading to me ping ponging down quite a few pounds this last year. Only to gain it back plus 4 to 5 on top of it. This was a great recipe to add to my cooking options. Thank you.
Very tasty, though the shishito peppers were too hot for me. The sauce and procedures is great and easy to modify. Next time I'll use green peppers instead.
Please thank your mother-in-law for sharing this recipe with you, and then thanks to you for sharing it with us. I made it tonight and it was fantastic. I served it with multigrain rice .
How long will this last in the refrigerator?