Korean Night: Bulgogi and Braised Tofu

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It’s been awhile since I’ve done a post, but last weekend I managed to get all my post sorted for the next few weeks so we’re good to go. Just like any other day, I was thinking about what to eat for dinner. My bf wanted to cook some Korean food for weeks now, but he still hasn’t touched the kitchen. To be fair, we passed by the Korean supermarket on Sunday but it was closed as everyone was probably in church. So, I took it upon myself to cook some Bulgogi and braised tofu, Korean style, as I have been craving it for a long time now. Thus, below find my recipes for your Bulgogi and (spicy) braised tofu.

 

Note, I have two dishes as Koreans always have a ton of side dishes. As I was a bit too lazy to cook three of more side dishes, I stuck with the braised tofu as I have been loving this as a snack, on my salad or just as a main meal.

 

Bulgogi

 

If you heard of Korean food, you probably heard of Kimchi and Bulgogi. I am personally not a big fan of kimchi, but fell in love with Korean food after I tried some Bulgogi nearly 10 years ago. Bulgogi is simply thinly marinated beef cooked on a barbecue or more commonly at home stir fried.

 

 
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Cooks for: 2

Equipment

Stir fry pan
Blender

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 Medium Yellow Onion
2 cm Fresh Ginger
3 Garlic Cloves (use around 5 if you like the taste of garlic) 
2 medium pears
500 grams of Thinly sliced beef (I used lean beef as that was the only thing I had on hand that wasn’t frozen)
2 Tablespoon Sugar (I used 2 tablespoons of honey)
2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
A cup of spring onion (I didn’t have any on hand so I skipped this, but definitely add it for some extra authentic flavour)

 

Method

1.     Cut half the onion and roughly chop it, thinly slice the other half for later.

2.     Blend all the ingredients except the thinly sliced onion, spring onion and sesame oil.

 
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3.     Marinade the beef with the blended mixture. Because you’re using thinly sliced beef you don’t need to marinade it for that long. A minimum of 30 minutes to two hours will be sufficient.

 
 

4.     In a stir fry pan, heat up some olive oil and cook the thinly sliced onion until translucent. Then cook the beef for 2 to 3 minutes, near the end add the spring onions and sesame and you’re all done with you’re homemade bulgogi.

 

 

 

(Spicy) Braised Tofu

I’ve been eating this quite a bit as a snack or even with my salad as a substitute for beef. I personally like to cook it a bit spicy but since my boyfriend can’t handle food that is too spicy, you can always adjust the spiciness level to suit to your liking.

 
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Cooks for: 2

 

Equipment 

Large frying pan 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 pack of firm tofu
1 clove of garlic (add 2 – 3 if you like the taste of garlic)
1 small yellow onion
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 to 2 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 cup of chopped spring onion
4 – 5 tablespoon of olive oil or peanut oil

Sauce:

1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar (or 1 teaspoon of honey)
1 tablespoon of Korean hot pepper paste (if you don’t have access to hot pepper paste, add some sliced fresh chili or dried chili pepper, the amount depends on how much you like)
250 ml water

 

Method

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1.     Start off with cutting the tofu in think squares (around 1 cm in thickness) and fry the tofu with the olive oil or peanut oil until nice golden brown. Depending on the size of your tofu, it takes around 5 to 8 minutes per side. Once done, place the tofu on a plate and set aside. I always like to place a paper towel on the plate before placing the tofu so it absorbs some of the oil. Leave a bit of the oil in your pan for later.

 
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2.     Mix all the ingredients for the sauce into a bowl

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3.     Dice the onion and slice the garlic and fry this into your pan until translucent. Add the tofu, sauce, sesame seeds, spring onion and sesame oil and cook the mixture until the sauce has thickened.

 

That’s pretty much it, it’s very simple and takes about 30 minutes to make (excluding the marinade time) and you can eat this with rice, salad or with lettuce leaves and some sauce like the Koreans do it. It’s best to cook the Bulgogi right before you want to serve it, because if you reheat it or leave it too long to cook, it wouldn’t taste as a good. So there you have it, happy cooking!

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Sam Hodgett