Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Seasoned Tofu

[Photographs: Julie Toy]

The spread of banchan that a Korean restaurant serves might not be the best judge of the meal to come, but I've found more often than not that you can tell a lot by the little dishes that are served before the main event. Kimchi is a given, but I'm always happy to see little crunchy little fishes, marinated bean sprouts, and especially seasoned tofu.

Briefly pan fried and bathed in a scallion-chile-sesame oil dressing, this tofu dish from Quick and Easy Korean Cookings by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee is a tofu dish that can convert even the most tofu adverse. Slightly crisp on the outside and soft within, this dual textured tofu is the ideal vessel for the super savory dressing. Little sliced scallions and sesame seeds lend a great crunch and the sesame oil and chile round it out, giving it an almost meaty flavor. But this tofu doesn't have to be served as a side dish—with a bowl of steamed rice it can make for a wholly satisfying vegetarian meal or a great addition to a vegetarian bibimbap.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Quick and Easy Korean Cooking to give away this week.

Adapted from Quick and Easy Korean Cookings by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee. Copyright © 2009. Published by Clarkson Potter. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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