Delicious spicy braised tofu an excellent side goes with rice, noodles or as such.
My experiments with food began the day I Ianded in Japan; my efforts to lead a life as a strict vegetarian like my mom and grandma lasted only 4 days, as whenever I would ask for vegetarian they treat me with a bowl of salad. I even started to dream like a cow eating grass; so decide to venture into eggs and then into sea foods. Trust me the best sushi you can get is in Tokyo, I couldn’t get that taste anywhere else after that. My encounter with Korean food also came during my stay in Japan when I visited Nagasaki for a conference. There I had the tastiest Japache (sweet potato noodles) which I have tried to make it at home. I also tried Korean scallion pancake. This Dubu-jorim/spicy braised tofu recipe is from a book I got to review.
I have seen a South Korean movie where both hero heroine is only doing one thing, eating that too lot of dishes in a small bowl. Coming to the book, after going through it, I decided to try a few of the recipes, however only now I got a chance to try it .This Dobu jorim/spicy braised tofu recipe is from book Koreatown: A Cookbook by Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard. If you are Korean food enthusiastic then book is really good one (especially if you are a meat lover). First few pages are about ingredients, equipments about Korean cooking. Then there is a picture guide of Korean produce and also Korean small plates and sides”Banchan”.
The next two recipes are Kimchi’s and side dishes like Muchim of which I like to try, Sigeumchi muchim( soy and sesame spinach) and Kongnamul Muchim( crunchy bean sprouts). I tried Dubu Jorim which is side dish from this list which includes bubbling egg, potato salad and Kimchi pancakes, a lot of these looks interesting.
Then come rice, noodles and dumplings, starting with simple plain rice/Bap to Cast-Iron Ddeokbokki/ Toasted rice cakes of which there are 5 recipes. Then there is my favorite Japachae / Korean sweet potato noodle with shitakes. I tried Kongguksu, Soymilk noodle soup, but it tasted very bland to my taste buds. There are recipe of Instant noodles with cheddar cheese, Jjampong/ spicy seafood noodle soup, spicy cold buckwheat noodles in the list to try. Butter mandu (butter dumplings) recipe sounds interesting.
The next chapters are about Barbecue; Grilled, smoked and Fired, wherein you will find recipes of bulgogi, kalbi and some fun additions too, like braised hamachi, whole squid.
There is also a drinking food section with some spicy ones like fire chicken feet, whole roasted chicken and spicy-sweet shredded squid etc. You can also find the recipes of Hangover stew, spicy clam soup and Fish cake soup.
One of the chapters is about soups, stews and braises, where you can Kimchi stew, soft tofu stew and Bean paste stew which I found interesting. You can also find recipes for beef, chicken and pork stew etc.
then there is some interesting fusion recipes like kimchi triple cream grilled cheese, Korean fried broccoli and coca-cola and cochujang/ marinated chicken thighs.
The next chapter is about drinks with watermelon punch and 100 year punch etc. And the final chapter is about sweets and desserts with famous Korean street food, hodduk ( sweet fried pancake) and toasted rice ice cream.
Koreatown is good cook book for those who want to try Korean dishes at home if you can find the special ingredients. Not all the recipes have pictures that may be the problem if you are not familiar with Korean food. Also shape of the Hodduk in book is different from what you get from the streets of Korea. So use the recipe from the book and watch some video to make original shape.
I tried dubu-jorim (spicy braised tofu) in which tofu is pan fired first and then it is braised in spicy sauce and green onions. This dish is a little spicy, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s a delicious side dish for rice, noodles or porridge, and tastes meaty even though it’s a totally vegetarian dish.
Here is video which requires lot improvements.
It’s also a standard in Korean dosirak(lunchbox) and banchan's (side dishes) item because it keeps well until lunch time and it gives any meal a little kick.
*"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.