Friday, December 10, 2010

Mae-un dubu

I wonder if I was Korean in another life.  There's something about Korean food, different as it is from most of what I grew up with, that is nevertheless just so appealing.  This is one of the simplest dishes you'll see on this blog, but also so delicious. 

It's based on a chicken stir fry dish, but firm tofu works beautifully here.

Here are the basic ingredients:

Mai-un dubu
serves 2

1 tbsp canola or peanut oil
7 oz firm tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup sweet potato, julienned
1/2 small onion, cut into large pieces
1/2 cup yard-long beans, in bite-sized pieces (you can sub zucchini or sweet green peppers)
2 packed cups Chinese cabbage, in 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp Korean chile paste
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar

Heat the canola oil in a wok over high heat and, when hot, add all of the ingredients up to and including garlic.  This is one of those recipes that will cure cowards like myself of the fear of stir frying over high heat.  If you don't turn the heat right up, the ingredients will stew, which you don't want.  Keep it on high, and keep flipping until the tofu has begun to brown and the sweet potato is tender, about ten minutes.

In between flipping, mix together the Korean chile paste (no substitutions, sorry), the soy sauce, sugar, and about 1 tbsp water.  Once the tofu-vegetable mix is just done, add this flavor mixture along with the green onions, stir well, and cook another 2 minutes or so.  Serve immediately over hot rice.

As I say, quick and simple, but very, very good!


  1. That looks delicious! I have a cold and need a spicy Korean infusion to get better, I'll give this a try! Your title had me there for a sec--'dak' means 'chicken' in Korean so the veg*n title would be mae-un dubu (dubu=tofu). I hope I don't sound preach-y :)

  2. Not at all preachy, and I've made the change. Thanks for helping me look smarter (in the future ;-) when I don't make this mistake again. Also, I did add a little hot pepper powder to mine, though the recipe doesn't call for it, because I like some extra heat. This would be nice food for a cold, I agree.

  3. The dish looks amazing! Thanks for sharing. :)

  4. I'd believe you were Korean in another life, judging by how good the food you make always looks.

  5. Thanks, Tiffany and Rose. I hope you make this dish, and enjoy it as much as I did. It's all a learning experience for me, but one thing is for sure and that is that my fridge is never going to be empty of Korean red chile paste...

  6. Koreans can do wonders with tofu! A suggestion:

  7. I also think I was Korean in another life - my family has never tried it, couldn't identify it if they saw it (they don't even know what kimchi is), and would never be willing to try it, but I absolutely love it. This looks delicious!

  8. This was delish, Ty for sharing!