Spice up dinner with a vegan version of a Korean classic, kimchi dubu.
I enjoyed my fair share of this dish as a student in Wudaokou, but every time I ordered it, I was faced with the pesky task of picking out the pork so I could sneakily place it on the plate of the person sitting next to me. Fortunately, this is SO easy to make at home and you’ll save a bit of money by cutting out the meat.
Step 1: Find good kimchi!
I suggest finding a Korean market (there’s one near the WDK subway stop on Line 13) or restaurant to buy this, as they tend to make it in-house or sell fresh. I am not a fan of the kimchi that comes in air-locked bags in the supermarket, I don’t like the taste as much, and goodness knows what kinds of 添加剂 go into the bag.
Step 2: Other ingredients
- 1 block firm tofu
- 1 cup kimchi (I have heard/read online that older kimchi is better, as it is a bit milder), for the kimchi, try and drain off some/most of the liquid before cooking for a milder taste
- 4 cloves chopped garlic
- vegetable oil
- pinch of sugar
- Korean ketchup, otherwise known as gochujang 고추장, this is available in most supermarkets in Beijing, but Sanyuanli market and the Korean market in Wudakou carry it for sure, it comes in green and red boxes with Korean writing on it, green is milder, red is more spicy, up to you! The picture below is of Korean ssamjang 쌈장, it works well in this dish as well.
- finely chopped scallions (小葱) for garnish
- Heat up 2-3 tbsp of oil in a wok
- throw in the chopped garlic and cook on low heat until garlic slightly starts to brown
- add kimchi and stir on low heat (it’s already “cooked” so you are just heating it up)
- add a pinch of sugar and a dallop of Korean ketchup (go easy on these to begin with so you don’t over salt the dish)
- taste and adjust sugar/Korean ketchup if needed, set aside
- boil tofu in pot of water, remove after 1-2 minutes
- slice tofu into 1/4 inch slices and arrange on plate, then pile up the stir-fried kimchi in the middle, add chopped scallions to the top for a bit of extra flavor