Dubu Kimchi (Tofu with Stir-fried Kimchi and Pork)

(photo added 3/6/2013)

Don’t know what to do with that aging kimchi in your fridge? Here is one of many traditional Korean dishes that use old kimchi. Spicy kimchi is stir-fried with pork (you can omit the pork to make it a meatless dish) and served with sliced tofu that has been either boiled or pan-fried. kimchi and pork is a classic combination in Korean cooking. The taste is intoxicating, with the pungency of kimchi and the rich flavor of fatty pork. The crunchy texture of the kimchi and the meatiness of the pork complement the naturally soft tofu. This dish can be a side dish or a main dish served with a bowl of rice. In Korea, dubu kimchi is a popular drinking snack or appetizer, especially with Korean rice wine (soju).

(Some more ideas for using up old kimchi include: kimchi jjigae, kimchi jeon, kimchi mandu and kimchi fried rice to name a few.)

2-3 servings
Ingredients:
2 cups fully fermented kimchi
1/2 pound (230 grams) sliced pork or pork belly
1/2 onion
2 scallions
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 – 3 tablespoons gochujang
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
pinch pepper

1 18-oz (500 grams) package tofu

Cut kimchi and pork into bite sizes. Thinly slice onion and scallions. In a large bowl, combine kimchi, pork, onion, scallions and the remaining ingredients and mix well. Let it stand for 15 minutes.

In a medium size pot, bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium high, and add the tofu. Gently boil for 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the tofu to a colander to drain. Cut the tofu into two blocks. Cut each block into about 1/2-inch thick slices.

Heat a large pan over medium high heat and add the kimchi and pork mix. Cook until the kimchi becomes soft, the pork is cooked through, and most of the liquid generated during the cooking process is evaporated, about 5 – 6 minutes.

Arrange the tofu slices nicely on a plate leaving an open space in the middle part. Place the stir-fried kimchi and pork in the middle and serve.

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Comments

  1. I would love to try this sometime. The combination of pork, kimchi and tofu sounds so appealing! :-)

  2. Ooo, this looks SO good. I don’t really like kimchi that much (I know… and I call myself korean?!) but I do like it cooked like in kimchi bokkeum bap. THIS dish looks absolutely delicious. I’d totally eat this for days on end!

  3. I always make kimchi bokum with my leftover kimchi. Great blog post on what to do with that kimchi that is just a little too ripe!

  4. I love this dish. As you stated above it is intoxicating(in a good way). Thanks for the great post!

  5. Anything kimchi I eat. And I love this recipe. Makin my mouth water as I write. And just recently my son has taken a liking to kimchi and now asks for it.

  6. This sounds so appetizing! Kimchi and pork really goes well together. I also love the addition of the tofu :)

  7. Oh my goodness!! Such a treat to have tofu and kimchi in the same dish – I love it!

  8. I was going to make kimchi jigae, but then saw your recipe and since I had all the ingredients, decided to try it. It was so good! My Korean husband liked it too. Your recipes are very similar to how my mother-in-law cooks. Thanks!

  9. Jean, Roxan, Fun and Fearless, Susan, Lisa, Biren, and Denise – Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your love for this dish.

    Michelle – Thanks for trying out my recipe. I am glad to hear you and your husband liked it. Also, It’s nice to hear my recipes are similar to how your mother-in-law cooks. She must be a talented home cook as I am. (ha ha)

  10. Hi Hyosun, This looks like a dish I would really enjoy as I love kimchi. I recently found a kimchi brand that isn’t very spicy yet has just enough of a flavor kick. What is your favorite brand? Or do you make your own? How do you know when kimchi is old? Does it turn sour? How long does it keep in the fridge? So many questions, huh? :)

  11. Judy – Yes, I make my own kimchi. I guess I am one of those typical Korean moms who make a lot of kimchi at a time and supply to their grown-up children. kimchi can last several weeks or months in the fridge. The flavor will develop over time and reaches its peak around 2 to 3 weeks after kimchi is made. You’re right it turns sour at some point, but that’s the best kind for kimchi stew (jjigae), pancakes, dumplings, etc.

  12. Judy – One more thing. Kimchi brands vary depending on where you are. There are some national brands too, but since you’re in LA, the best city for Korean food, there should be a lot of good local brands. Sometimes the best kind is the one that is made right there at the market. Hope this helps.

  13. wow, amazing photo and recipe!
    good job!

  14. Confession~ I’ve never made kimchi! But I’d be willing to try it to eat this!

  15. i love food like this, especially with a bowl of white rice. very comforting and delicious!

  16. YUMMO. I had a similar dish @ A Korean restaurant a few days ago.. and gee it was yummy! I am not usually a Tofu fan.. but having it with yummy Fried Kim-chi was such a treat!

  17. This sounds and looks so appetizing! Another great way to use older kimchi :)

  18. Thank you! I made this as your recipe instructed. DELICIOUS! Thank you!

  19. Bliss Bunny – I am glad to hear it turned out well for you. Thanks for giving it a try!

  20. I’ve made this at least twice now and I really enjoy it. Thanks for sharing all these lovely recipes!

  21. Thank you, Jasmin! I am very happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes. Cheers!

  22. I just made this tonight for the first time and it was delicious! My hubby and I finished the whole plate. Thanks!

  23. This was really really good (and addictive!). One little question: when we ate it in the restaurant, it was a bit more saucy. How do you achieve that kind of consistency? A bit more water or the kimchi juice? Thanks for great recipe Hyosun! Yeni

    • Hi Yeni – I am happy to hear it turned out well for you. Yes, you can add a little bit of water or preferably juice from kimchi to make it saucy. Also, I like it almost caramelized, but you can cook a little less to keep some of the liquid generated during the cooking process. Happy cooking!

  24. I love this dish! So yummy!

  25. This reminds me of one of my favorite Korean recipes…can’t wait to try it at home and invite my Korean mother in law. :)

  26. Steven H says:

    I enjoyed the overall taste of this, but it came out too saucy for me. When the meat mixture was cooking there was a lot of liquid so a lot of steam produced, and it was very soft vs more caramelized. How can I prevent this?

    Could this recipe be adapted for a more Chinese stir fry process? Where I would cook the pork most of the way, transfer to plate, and vegs and then pork again. I am not quite sure the best way since you have the meat and vegs both mixed in the gochujang, soy, and sesame.

    Thanks for tips!

    • Hi Steve – Thank you for trying out the recipe! There’s really not much liquid in this recipe. Did you heat the pan hot before adding the kimch/pork mixture? Did you cook over medium high heat? If you did, try to use high heat next time, at least for the first couple of minutes. Then, reduce the heat as necessary. Also, if the pan is not big enough, cook in two batches. The pan may not be hot enough if overcrowded.

      I don’t recommend cooking the kimchi and pork separately. The kimchi tastes much better cooked with fatty pork.

      Please try it again and let me know if this helped. Cheers!

    • Thanks! I’ll give it another try. My Wok did seem a bit crowded. I’ll cook it in batches next time and use higher heat.

  27. I usually forgo meat because I don’t have the money for it. >_< But I made with with some eggplant, and the flavor was really amazing. Thank you so much for the recipe!