Korean Tofu Bowl

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A good rice bowl is a plant-based staple that can be flavored in almost unlimited ways. This Korean Tofu Bowl starts with a base of brown rice. Topped with roasted broccoli, crispy sugar snap peas, tangy gochujang barbecue sauce, sautéed tofu, and sour, fermented kimchi, the dish becomes a tapestry of flavor.

What is Kimchi?

Kimchi is a spicy, salty, probiotic-rich vegetable garnish that brings a pickle-like brininess to classic Korean dishes. Typically made of Napa cabbage or radishes, a wide variety of seasonings, like gochugaru, spring onions, garlic, ginger, or jeotgal, give it a unique flavor.

But, before we get to the garnish, let’s talk about how to get the crispiest tofu for your Korean Tofu Bowl.

Three Steps to Getting Crispier Tofu

When it comes to tofu, there is a distinct variation of textures. From super soft silken tofu to dense consistency that makes a great main. When using tofu in a main dish, crisp to the desired final form before adding to your dish.

Remove Excess Moisture

To get any food crispy, moisture is the enemy. For tofu specifically, drain the blocks of tofu well. Depending on how much time you can spend, wrapping the tofu in a paper towel, draining on a wire rack, or pressing in a towel can remove even more wetness and lead to crispier tofu. If your final dish requires crumbled tofu, consider crumbling it first and then draining it prior to cooking.

Use High Quality Oil

There are many people who avoid oil entirely in their cooking, instead leveraging non-stick materials and tiny amounts of water to steam foods.

I am not one of those people. Food needs fat: it is delicious. It also helps to facilitate cooking by lubricating foods, crisping them, and locking in flavors. That said, there are a ton of very crappy oils out there that can lead to inflammation. This recipe utilizes grapeseed oil, which adds a healthy dose of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E.

To get the crispiest tofu possible, be sure that your oil is hot before adding the tofu.

Stop Stirring

This is a tip just for general cooking, not just cooking tofu. Most people stir way too much, way too often. To get effective browning, you have to let the food sit undisturbed. After adding your tofu to the pan, give it a few minutes to cook, check it, and flip only when that side is browned.

Ready to Cook the Korean Tofu Bowls?

Get started with this recipe. Love it? Give a review below and comment on how exactly you cooked the recipe.

I adapted this recipe from a recipe from Purple Carrot, my favorite vegan meal delivery box. Grab a box and make eating plant-based a whole heck of a lot easier.

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Korean Tofu Bowls

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield:2 Servings

Ingredients

1 7oz container organic extra firm tofu

1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided

1 clove garlic, minced

1 thumb size piece of ginger, grated on a microplane

1 tablespoon gochujang

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1 tablespoon tamari

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons warm water

4 oz. sugar snap peas

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice

1/4 cup kimchi, finely diced

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Open and drain tofu and wrap in a clean towel to remove excess moisture.
  2. Place broccoli on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan, and drizzle with grapeseed oil. Roast in the oven until crispy in places, about 12-15 minutes.
  3. Whisk garlic, ginger, gochujang, peanut butter, tamari, coconut sugar, sesame oil, and water together in a small bowl.
  4. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add grapeseed oil. Once hot, add the cubed tofu and cook until crispy on all sides. Once crispy, add the gochujang sauce and sauté for another 3 minutes.
  5. Once the water is boiling, add the sugar snap peas and cook until bright green and tender, but still crispy. About 2-3 minutes.
  6. Divide the brown rice between two plates and top with tofu, broccoli, sugar snap peas, and kimchi.

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