A Korean Stew to Soothe Any Cold (Jaden Hair’s Spicy Korean Tofu Stew)
At Food Blog Forum Orlando last weekend I won an amazing prize: Jaden Hair‘s The Steamy Kitchen: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner.
When I got home my little J came down with a fever and cough. My own followed. I wasn’t in the mood to cook, let alone sample new dishes.
Or at least I thought I wasn’t.
While on the couch cuddling with a Diego-entranced snotty J, I flipped through The Steamy Kitchen thinking, “Even if I don’t feel like it, I should make something so I can post about it next week. Ho hum. Blah.”
My eyes stopped at the Spicy Korean Tofu Stew. A big bowl full of meaty comfort (yes, tofu, but also seared beef and eggs poached amid a shitake mushroom and soy doused broth) with enough heat to knock some air into my stuffy nose.
I emailed a grocery list to the hubs (not even the call of shitake could get me off the couch and to the store) and set about dozing to the ever-inspiring “Say click, take a pic. Say click, take a pic. Soy click la camera, I can take a pic.”
That evening hubs helped sick-little-me cook and photograph. He brought me a bowl of stew that warmed me up like my Baba’s Chicken Soup and gave my cold a real kick in the nose.
My not-sick-hubs lapped it up quickly and went back for seconds. He took more to work the next day along with a raw egg in the shell. (He claims that cracking it into his stew before microwaving worked well.)
Here’s Jaden’s recipe (shared with her permission). Below you’ll find some little variations that I had to make since I don’t follow instructions well. Note that as great a job as the hubs did with the pics, the one in the book is even better.
Spicy Korean Tofu Stew
Jaden calls this a “blow-your-socks-off spicy dish that will have even your eyelashes sweating.” She’s right! As a vegetarian option she suggests skipping the beef and using a variety of mushrooms. She sometimes adds shrimps and clams at the same time as the egg.
Serve with short-grained steamed rice.
“Serves 4 (with rice)
- 1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 lf (250 g) very thinly sliced beef
- 4 cups (1 liter) homemade or store-bought Vegetable, Beef, Pork or Chicken Stock
- 4 to 8 shitake mushrooms
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Korean chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- One 18-oz (550 g) block or tube of silken tofu, cut into large cubes
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 green onions (scallions), sliced on the diagonal into 2-in (5-cm) length
Set a pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beef slices and fry for 1 minute until browned. Pour in the stock, add the shitake mushrooms, chilli flakes and soy sauce. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
Carefully add the tofu and return the stew to a rolling boil. Taste the stew and add additional chilli flakes or soy sauce if needed. Crack the eggs into the pot and let the eggs cook until the egg whites are white but the yolk still runny. Turn off heat, drizzle with the sesame oil and finish with the sliced green onions. Serve in bowls on top of the rice.”
My little variations:
- We used an entire 3.5 ounce pack of shitake mushrooms (17 of them) and I removed the stems before adding them.
- When we added the mushrooms we also threw in some green beans (2 cups, trimmed and cut into 1 inch lengths).
- We used regular crushed chilli flakes and only 1 teaspoon of them. That little bit made my eyelashes sweat so I can’t even imagine 3 tablespoons! My mom loves heat though so I bet she’d like it.
- We used a 14 ounce pack of extra firm tofu.
- Because I had a cold and my stuffy head was dreaming of chicken noodle soup, we put cooked Chinese noodles (mein) in our bowls instead of rice before adding the stew. They added a bit slurpable comfort to this true cold-busting stew.
Don’t forget to comment on my Food Blog Forum post with a cooking or blogging tip by 11:59pm on April 26th, 2011 to win some food blog swag.
Coming Up Next: Cook the Story takes Jaden’s advice and finds a niche…enter The Roast Chicken Chronicles.