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5 from 1 vote

Dinner Banchan Ideas

Need Dinner Ideas? Pan-fried Garlic Tofu, Wood Ear Mushroom Salad Squid-Vegetable Fritters
Course: Easy
Servings: 2 people


Pan-fried Garlic Tofu

  • Tofu - 1 Block 300 grams, Medium-Firm or Firm
  • Garlic - 3 cloves

Soy Sauce Dipping Sauce

  • Soy sauce - 1 Tablespoon
  • Sesame oil - 1 dab or ½ teaspoon
  • Vinegar - 2 squeezes
  • Sesame seeds - shake optional

WoodEar Mushroom Salad

  • WoodEar mushrooms - 20 gram
  • Cucumber - 1 whole size of your forearm
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon to sweat the cucumber
  • Sesame oil - a dab or ½ teaspoon

Balsamic Vinaigrette Sauce

  • Balsamic Vinegar - 2 Tablespoons
  • Minced garlic - 1 teaspoon
  • Salt - 2 shakes 
  • Sugar - 1 teaspoon

Squid-Veggie Fritters

  • Squid - ½ a whole use all the tentacles + ½ of tube
  • Button mushrooms - 2
  • Onion - ¼ a whole
  • Carrot - ⅕ a whole measure up to second crease on pointer finger
  • Spring onion - 1 stalk forearm length
  • Eggs - 2 
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon
  • Flour - 5 Tablespoons


Pan-fried Garlic Tofu

  • Drain tofu from package. Slice block in half and then cut into 8 pieces.
  • Put a few paper towels on a plate. Then place each tofu blocks over it. Grab a few more paper towels and gently pat-down each tofu piece - get rid of the excess water. 
  • Cut each garlic clove into thin slices.
  • Put a neutral tasting oil (e.g. vegetable oil) in a frying pan. Put it on a medium heat. Once its hot, place garlic pieces in. It will begin to infuse its flavors into the oil. When garlic pieces get a nice browning, briefly take them out and set aside. (We will use later for garnish)
  • Then place the tofu pieces into the infused oil. Fry tofu on both sides until you get a slightly crispy skin. Then set tofu pieces aside on a plate with a paper towel - let it soak up the excess oil. Then plate tofu pieces on a clean plate. Place cooked garlic pieces over the top.
  • Make dipping sauce: Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar and sesame seeds.
  • Dip tofu pieces into soy sauce and enjoy!

WoodEar Mushroom Salad

  • Place dried woodear mushroom into a bowl with cold water. Let it sit and rehydrate in water for 30 minutes.
  • Cut cucumber in half. Then cut into thin slices. Put slices into a mixing bowl. Pour salt over the slices and give a quick toss. Set it aside for 10 minutes and let the salt sweat out the cucumber.
  • After 30 minutes, drain the wood ear mushrooms. They will have grown in size. Bring a pot of water up to boil. Blanche the mushrooms for 1 minute. Then drain and rinse under cold water.
  • Remove the middle root portion from the boiled mushrooms. Then tear any extra-large pieces into smaller pieces.
  • Now use your hand and squeeze out the water from each mushroom.
  • Now back to the cucumber: Rinse the salted cucumbers under some running water - wash off all the salt. Then use your hands again to squeeze the water out of the cucumbers. Set them aside.
  • Make Balsamic Vinaigrette Sauce: Mix all of the listed ingredients. 
  • Take out a large mixing bowl. Place the mushrooms and cucumbers in. Then put in the vinaigrette sauce and give it a nice toss. Finish the salad by adding in the sesame oil. Plate and enjoy!

Squid-Veggie Fritters

  • Clean the squid (reference video) first. Then dice each tentacle and ½ of the tube into small, bite-sized pieces. Give the pieces a quick rinse under running water. Set aside.
  • Dice mushrooms, onion, carrot and spring onion into small cubes. Set aside.
  • Place the squid squid and vegetable pieces into a mixing bowl. Then crack two eggs in. Put salt in. Give it a very good mix. The egg mixture will look foamy.
  • Then add in the flour and give it a good mix. 
  • Put your frying pan on a medium-low heat (Note: Do not fry on high heat!). Pour a good amount of oil in. Once it is hot, place spoonfuls of batter into the frying pan. Let each piece fry until you start to browning on the bottom.
  • Then flip each piece over and let it cook. Then flip each back over. Set aside on a plate with a paper towel. Plate and enjoy!


  • See video below for more details