One of the tough challenge I am facing these days in Buenos Aires has to be the grocery shopping for Korean food items. There is Korean town on the other side of the city. It takes about 1 hour to get there. I don’t mind driving that far, but the obstacle is that there is absolutely no place to park no matter what time of the day I go. Streets are very narrow and all occupied with cars. It is frustrating and discouraging.
Last weekend I had to take my husband to drop me off right in front of the store so that I can grab some Korean groceries as fast as I can while he drives around a few more blocks until he comes back to pick me up.
But with all the hassle and bustle of getting there and shop everything I need for a very short amount of time, I always love getting one important food item.
It is the freshly made TOFU!!!
Would you believe if I say this plain tofu can be so tasty? I could just spoon up and eat the way it is with some kimchi.
It has been such a long time since I had freshly made tofu and it tastes so much better than the packaged kind. I bought 3 blocks of them. I wanted to buy more but I don’t think my family would be that happy to the idea of eating tofu every single day.
So here is one recipe where the tofu shines of all – Beef and Tofu Stew (소고기 두부찌개, sogogi doobu jjigae)! It is slightly spicy stew with deep earthy flavor from the delicious stock. You gonna love it.
Now, give me some applause, please! Both I and my tofu deserve a little lift-up.
First, this beef and tofu stew needs a GOOD stock to start with. Don’t use just plain water. It won’t taste good at all. I used dried anchovies, pollock fish, and shrimps. If you can’t find them all, using two or even one of them is far better than just plain water
I like to use thinly sliced beef. The thinly sliced beef for Bulgogi would be just perfect. Add soy sauce, garlic, sugar, and black pepper; toss altogether to mix well. Set aside.
Make the seasoning paste by combining Korean chili flakes, garlic, Korean soy sauce for soup, and green onion. Set aside.
Slice your tofu. I also like to add some zucchinis and onion. It adds nice green to the stew and you can tell your mama that you ate your vegetables.
Assembly is required. Spread out the tofu, zucchini, and onion in a manner that please you.
You want something shallow to cook this stew. Any 9-10 inch skillet you have would be just fine. I use my beautiful cast iron skillet.
Add the seasoning paste you made and pour the stock over just to barely cover the tofu or vegetables. Don’t fill all the way up to the rim of the skillet. Otherwise it will overflow when boiling and I have a feeling that you gonna hate me as you clean up afterward.
Boil it up! Then simmer for 5 minutes at low heat. You want to spread the meat around to cook evenly.
Serve with rice, and indulge the goodness of tofu in the flavorful stock with the tender beef. So satisfying!
All my frustration over the grocery shopping last weekend has melted down with this stew and I felt so much better. It was comforting. Yes, it was. And I hope this stew can bring the Korean way of comfort to you and your family, too.
For the next post, I will share another tofu recipe that you will love. Until then, Hasta luego!
Beef and Tofu Stew in a Skillet
- 5-6 large dried anchovies
- 10 dried shrimps
- 3-4 dried pollock pieces
- 3/4 lb beef sirloin thinly sliced
- 1 pkg soft tofu 16 oz sliced in 3/8" thickness
- 1/2 zucchini sliced
- 1/2 small onion sliced
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 garlic cloves finely minced
- dashes black pepper
For the seasoning paste:
- 2-3 tablespoon Korean chili flakes
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 2 tablespoon Korean soy sauce for soup
- 1 green onion finely chopped
- In a pot, pour about 4 cups of water, add the dried anchovies, shrimps and pollock pieces. Bring to boil and let them simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a mixing bowl combine beef with soy sauce, sugar, 1 garlic cloves minced, and black pepper. Toss together to mix. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix all the seasoning paste ingredients.
- In a 9-10 inch skillet, arrange tofu, zucchini, and onion on the bottom. Place beef and the seasoning paste on top. Pour over the stock until the the tofu slices and the zucchinis are barely covered, about 2-3 cups of stock.
- Bring the stew to boil on high heat as you spread the meat and the seasoning paste around to cook evenly, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Season with more Korean soy sauce for soup according to your taste.
- Sprinkle more green onion on top to garnish. Serve hot with rice.