Dubu Salad (Korean Tofu Salad)

 

Signs of spring are all around! Have I ever told you all I love working in Washington, D.C.? The city is especially enjoyable this time of year. Beautiful spring blossoms are everywhere. Right now, the abundant magnolia trees are in full bloom. Soon, the cherry blossoms will peak!

To welcome spring, I made a simple spring salad with tofu. Koreans commonly enjoy boiled or pan-fried tofu with a soy dipping sauce, called yangnyumjangThe pan-fried version was introduced in my dubu jorim (braised tofu) recipe, in which, instead of braising, I gave the option to simply drizzle the sauce over the pan-fried tofu.

Here, I made a boiled version. Korean firm tofu comes in 3 variations, usually labeled on the package as firm (for pan-frying, 부침용 ), soft (for stews, 찌게용), and silken (for eating fresh, 생식용). Note the soft or silken types here are not the same as sundubu (uncurdled extra soft tofu).  You can use any type of tofu, except sundubu, for this dish. 

The tofu and the sauce are usually all you need, but I like to add a spring salad mix to make the dish a little fancier and healthier. You can also use baby spinach, arugula, or any other salad vegetables.

The good old Korean yangnyeomjang (soy dipping sauce) deliciously complements the nutty tofu and slightly peppery and bitter spring mix. So, I recommend you add this Korean-style tofu salad to your spring salad list!

Ingredients:
1 package soft or silken firm tofu* 

2 – 3 ounces spring salad mix

Sauce (Yangnyumjang):
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon rice wine (or mirin)
1 teaspoon sugar 
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
1/2 teaspoon garlic
2 scallions chopped  

Mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Wash the spring mix and drain. In a medium size pot, bring about 4 cups of water to a boil and add the tofu. Cover and boil for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Carefully transfer the tofu to a colander to drain and cool. Cut the tofu into two blocks. Cut each block into about 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the tofu slices on a plate and add some spring mix on top. Drizzle the sauce over the dish when ready to serve.

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Comments

  1. After cooking and smelling chicken pot pie all day in the church kitchen, this looks absolutely refreshing, Hyosun! I want some!
  2. I know I will love this! Very easy & refreshing salad! Lots of great flavors in your sauce. Delicious, Hyosun!
  3. For some reason this reminds me of "dotori mook (acorn jelly)" I used to love. I like the idea of adding salad green.
    I miss the cherry blossom in DC, walking along the Potomac river, monument and memorials. Enjoy your beautiful spring in the capital.
  4. I used to eat that food daily at lunch. Im definitely going to attempt this.
  5. Aw... you make me miss my mom. I haven't eaten tofu like this, probably since I left her house. I had completely forgotten about it! Interestingly enough, growing up, I never knew there were different types of tofu except firm and soft (for stew). We would just buy whatever was in the store, they were "homemade" I guess b/c they would be in a big container filled with water and we would put a few in a carryout container to buy.
  6. Thank you so much for this dipping sauce recipe! I loove the flavor of that sauce but I always make it in the wrong proportions when I try to do it at home
    • You're welcome, Stephanie! I know you'll love it. I added a little bit of lemon juice to brighten up the sauce for the salad mix. Hope you like it. Thanks for coming by!
  7. Wonderful recipe! I am curious, why does the tofu have to be boiled? Is it so it can be eaten warm or does it change the texture of the tofu in some way?
    • Both! It's a warm dish so the tofu should be warm as well, and boiling softens the tofu texture. Try to make it. It's delicious.
  8. twobacas says:
    Hi I tried this recipe and it's very good. I have a question when you call out rice wine and you say that I can use mirin, this seems kind of strange since mirin is sweet and rice wine is not. Please clarify, I used mirin.