Recipe: Tofu Kimchi (Dubu Kimchi 두부 김치)

Bread, rice and similar carbohydrates are often the standard contrasting base in most cuisines around the world but in light of all the bad rep they're getting these days, I'm surprised tofu isn't being used as a substitute more.

Of course, I don't follow nor care about any of those diets but health foods aside, I can't go off about how much I love tofu. I've yet to meet a dish with tofu in it I don't like (definitely had no problem with stinky tofu in Taiwan). The recipe today is actually one of my favorite tofu dishes.

Nowadays tofu kimchi is more associated as an anju (eats you have with drinks) in Korea but when I as growing up, I certainly didn't know it was associated with drinks- I was always a happy camper when my mom made this for us for dinner.

It's also very simple as it simply takes boiled tofu and pairs it with stir fried fermented kimchi with a few veggies and protein (usually pork). While the kimchi-based topping is quite savory on its own (along with pungent and sweet elements) it works wondrously with the soft, creamy, and smooth tofu in a harmonious pairing of contrasting flavors and textures.

My close friends know I don't usually dig into anjoos when drinking but if it's tofu kimchi on the table (and especially if it's done right) I certainly won't refuse to dig in! But drink talks aside, if you've got some tofu and fermented kimchi in the fridge and wanting a quick meal with rice, give it a go and dig right in!

Tofu Kimchi (두부 김치)
Makes 3 servings

You'll need: 
- 1 block of firm Tofu, washed and drained
- 1.5 cup of fermented Kimchi, chopped with juice (don't use fresh kimchi for this dish!)
- 1/2 an Onion, sliced
- 4-5 slices of Bacon (can be substituted with marinated or non marinated pork, such as the belly portion, or even a can of cubed Spam)
- 1 Chili Pepper, sliced (optional for more heat)
- 1 tbsp of minced Garlic
- 1 tbsp of Sugar
- 1/2 tbsp of Sesame Oil
- Sesame Seeds for garnish

1. Take your tofu block and place it whole in a pot of boiling water. Boil for about 3-5 minutes. Then drain water, add in cold water and let it cool as you prepare the kimchi.

2. Slice your onion, chop your chili pepper (if you're using them) into thin slices and chop your bacon into 1/2" or so slices.

3. In a very lightly oiled pan (the bacon will release a lot of fat on its own) on medium high heat, cook up your bacon for about a minute or two. If you want to make it vegetarian, simply omit the bacon/meat altogether.

4. Dump in your onion slices and cook everything for another minute.

5. Add in your chopped kimchi and cook it around for another minute before adding the minced garlic, sugar and the kimchi juice.

6. Continue stirring and cooking. As it cooks, the kimchi should take on a darker and richer color while the liquid thickens up considerably. Add in your chili peppers after about 4-5 minutes. During this time you can taste and adjust the seasoning of the cooking kimchi to your liking. If you like it sweeter you can add a bit more sugar or honey. Some choose to add a tablespoon of soy sauce but I find the cooked kimchi savory enough as is.

7. One minute before finishing cooking, add in the tablespoon of sesame oil and give it a final stir.

8. To serve, slice up your tofu into rectangle shapes. Add your cooked kimchi to the center of a serving plate and then arrange the tofu slices around it.

To eat, take a tofu piece, arrange a bit of the cooked kimchi mixture on top and eat together!

Tofu kimchi can be eaten with rice and side dishes as a meal or it can be a simple do-at-home anjoo which goes well with makgeolli.


  1. Omgosh. That looks absolutely divine!

  2. Thank you! Your blog looks great too! That porridge looks awesome :)


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