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Sunday, March 11, 2012

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 spring season makes D.C. especially enjoyable this time of year. The 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. The most common way that Koreans eat tofu is to boil or pan-fry the tofu and serve 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. You can use any type of tofu for this dish. Typically, softer firm tofu is used for boiling and stews, while harder firm tofu is used for pan-frying and braising. 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 yangnymjang (soy dipping sauce) deliciously complements the nutty tofu and slightly peppery and bitter spring mix. I hope 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

*Korean firm tofu comes in 3 variations, usually labeled on the package as firm (for pan-frying), soft (for stews), and silken (for eating fresh). Note the soft or silken types here are not the same as sundubu (uncurdled extra soft tofu). 

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.

12 comments:

  1. After cooking and smelling chicken pot pie all day in the church kitchen, this looks absolutely refreshing, Hyosun! I want some!

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    1. Kay - I wish I could deliver it to you. You must be so tired after all that! Hope you get good night sleep.

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  2. I know I will love this! Very easy & refreshing salad! Lots of great flavors in your sauce. Delicious, Hyosun!

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  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.

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    1. Thank you, Holly! I love dotori mook as well!

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  4. I used to eat that food daily at lunch. Im definitely going to attempt this.

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    1. Thanks, Emily, for coming by! Enjoy!

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  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.

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    1. hi Soyon! I remember that too. That's how it used to be growing up. Here, we only have commercially packaged options. Thanks for visiting!

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  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

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    1. 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!

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