Braised Tofu (Banchan) - Recipe

Braised Tofu

On a weeknight, a quick banchan can be a lifesaver.  Even though we usually have some pre-made banchan in the refrigerator, I always try to add at least one freshly made banchan to our dinner.  It can be tough, since I'm always in a hurry after work, but luckily there are many delicious banchan that do not require much cooking time.

I also love tofu.  Tofu is versatile, delicious, and healthy to boot!  Growing up, my non-Asian friends would get grossed out by tofu, and I would be puzzled by their reaction (on the other hand, I totally understood why they made faces at kimchi smiley).  My mom would put tofu in just about everything, and I remember gobbling them up even as a child.

Tonight, I decided to make braised tofu, since it's quick and virtually foolproof.

First, cut up tofu into slices that can be pan fried.  There are different degrees of firmness for tofu, but for braised tofu, you want firm.  You can certainly use softer tofu, but it might break up while you are frying it or flipping it over.  After you slice them, sprinkle some salt and let it drain on paper towels.

While the tofu drains, make the marinade (for 1 package of tofu):

  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce (I used light soy sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon red chili pepper (gochugaru)
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • a dash of black pepper

Mix the marinade together and have it ready.

Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan and place the tofu slices.  Be careful since it can splatter when they hit the pan.

Fry for about 5-7 minutes until it gets a little golden.  Flip to the other side.

Pour the marinade over the tofu slices.  

Add 3-5 tablespoons of water and cover.  Lower the heat a little and cook for another 7-10 minutes.

Then you're done and ready to eat!

I added a little more green onions and sesame seeds once I plated the tofu.

We also had soybean stew that I made yesterday and couple of different homemade kimchi from my mom.  On rice, I added furikake and cod roe.

Braised tofu is a great addition to a well balanced meal, but it's also delicious by itself over hot bowl of rice.  Enjoy!

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