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 yangnyumjang. The 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!
2 – 3 ounces spring salad mix
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.