Friday, August 12, 2011

Kickin' It Korean Style

Spicy Korean Tofu with Pear Slaw
Over Brown Basmati Rice Surrounded by a Broccoli Forest
      My mom used to get Vegetarian Times way back when in a pre 9/11 world, but I was always unimpressed with the recipes because they mostly replaced animal flesh for milk and eggs, mainly eggs. It wasn't until they featured my now deceased favorite restaurant Philadelphia's Horizon and some of it's recipes that I got to have a second look. I was impressed! They seemed to make an effort on the vegan front with maybe half or more of the recipes being vegan. Lately, they have been focusing on cooking techniques such as braising in the latest issues. I'm lucky enough to have an awesome mom, who subscribed me for two years so I have a slew of recipes that I'm looking forward to. Thanks, Mom!
Spicy Korean Tofu
Triangles Make The Tofu Taste Better!
     Originally, I made this the way I made the tofu like I did for the Peanut Sauce recipe for my Cooking With Bell Organic Post, which uses soy sauce and vegetable stock instead of oil, but I think it made the recipe too salty. I would pan fry this recipe in the future. If I had more time, i would try to locate gochugaru, which is a red pepper powder. The Pear Slaw was an interesting twist that balanced the heat, which I might turn up a notch.      
  Spicy Korean Tofu Recipe 
*****try to use organic and fair trade ingredients*****
1 TBS roasted sesame oil
1 package of extra-firm tofu (try to find one of the four bean brands HERE)
3 TBS low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 TBS gochugaru or (1 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes, I used the flakes)
2 tsp maple syrup (or fair trade sugar)
1 tsp rice vinegar 
2 green onions
2 cloves minced (about 2 tsp)

NOTE: If serving over rice, start it right away because the recipe comes together quick, maybe 20 minutes
1) Press the tofu, and cut into 8 or so rectangles and heat the oil in a pan, add tofu and cook 7-9 minutes each side until golden brown.
2) Whisk together soy sauce, gochugaru (or red pepper flakes), maple syrup/sugar, vinegar, and 3 TBS water in a small bowl. Stir in onions and garlic. 
3) Pour sauce around tofu, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 5-7 or until most of the sauce is absorbed. Flip tofu halfway through cooking
Pear Slaw
 Pear Slaw Recipe (from Vegetarian Times 2011 September Issue)

1 Bartlett Pear, sliced into matchsticks ( 1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp rice vinegar (I used apple Cider Vinegar)
1 tsp toasted black sesame seeds *

toss pear match sticks with vinegar and sesame seeds. ( I abandoned the match sticks and just cut them into pieces). Serve over tofu triangles, brown rice and whatever veggies float your boat and enjoy!

note: if your sesame seeds aren't toasted, put them in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant. With white sesame seeds it's easier to tell, but the black ones make it harder to tell.

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