The next thing after making my own tofu was to think of a way to enjoy it. The idea of Mapo Toufu did came across my mind but I wanted to try something different. Sylvia passed me a link on Korean food and after checking her quite friendly website, I settled for Maangchi's Soondubu jjigae (soft tofu stew).
I love her stock base which is made up of kelp, ikan billis, mushrooms, garlic and onion. Put all of them together in a pot with 5 cups of water and about 30 minutes later you have the perfect stock for soup or stew. No other seasonings is added and each ingredient just sets off each other so well.
12 big ikan bilis in a stock bag
Boil it for 30 minutes with 5 cups of water, 2 shiitake mushroom, half an onion, 5 garlic cloves and 1/3 cup dried kelp slices
So once you've got the stock prepared, time to get on with other ingredients:
Ingredients for stew (3 portions)
100 grams of beef, sliced
3 crabsticks or surimi sticks (optional, you may use seafood if you like)
2 spring onions, cut into 3cm sections
1 green chili pepper, sliced
3.5 tablespoons of hot pepper flakes
1 block of homemade tofu (about 200-300g)
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
4-5 chinese lettuce leaves/napa cabbage
2 teaspoons cooking oil
sesame oil for drizzling
- Scoop the shiitake mushroom out from the stock and cut into squares.
- Heat up a deep pot or something like my lovely Le Cruset will do fine. Add the cooking oil.
- When it is sufficiently hot, add the beef slices and brown it before adding the mushrooms.
- Add the hot pepper flakes (you can see her website for the recommended amount for degree of spiciness).
- Add the stock and let it come to a boil before adding the vegetables.
- Add the tofu next when the stew is simmering, you don't have to cut it up at this point, it should break naturally into large chunks when you are stirring the stew.
- Let it simmer until the vegetables are tender, then stir in the green chili slices, spring onions sections and crabsticks if you are using at this point.
- Just before serving, crack an egg into the stew, stir it round or let it poach in the stew according to your preference. Drizzle some sesame seed oil over and serve it pipping hot with rice!