Sunday, June 27, 2010

Korean Tofu with Soba and Kimchee

I've been eating a lot of raw foods lately. I do that a lot in summer, I think it's kind of natural. I'm a huge fan of massive smorgasbord salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. I've been reading a lot about raw foods (and been making a bunch of stuff as well) but the thing that really sunk in was kimchee. One of my favorite blogs, Green and Crunchy (a link is available on the sidebar) is a HRAV (high raw, all vegan) blog. I was reading her back posts and she cronicled her kimchee making experience. It looked SO tasty to me that it induced a massive craving! I had never even ate any before, but I knew I would love it. I wan't willing to make my own yet, but I started looking around for it. I was frustrated because the only kind I found (in the vegetarian and organic produce section of my favorite store) was full of shrimp and anchovies. It's like seriously heartbreaking with they put something full of non-vegetarian ingredients in the vegetarian section. I gave up hope. Then, one day at a rare trip to WalMart (I live in Missouri, sorry guys), I looked over next to their tofu. I couldn't believe it! Not only was it real kimchee (fermented, not pickled!), but it was the "spicy" flavor, and 100% vegan!!! I nabbed it up and then dwelled about the perfect dish to eat it with.

I found a really cool, authentic Korean food blog (WARNING: not completely vegetarian. There are tentacles) from a chick who makes some awesome food. Her blog is http://www.maangchi.com/. I look forward to browsing the website for more Korean dishes to veganize!

Anywho, the sauce is based on her sauce for tofu (wanted to give credit where credit is due), but the rest of it is all mine, based on what I think Korean food is and what was in my pantry. Mind you, the only Korean food I had was when an exchange-student friend of mine from South Korea gave me a piece of ginseng gum, so I hope this is pretty close (and it's MUCH tastier than ginseng gum!).

This dish is also really quick to make! Like lightning, man!

Tofu with Vegetables:
1/2 block extra firm tofu, cubed
1/2 bag of broccoli slaw
2 stalks celery, chopped
About 10 baby carrots, cut into matchsticks
1/2 head bok choy, chopped

Stir-fry Sauce:
2 Tb. tamari
1 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper or 1 tsp. chile flakes
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 green onion, chopped (Note: I used my garden onions, so it was equivalent to about 5 regular green onions, lol)

Buckwheat soba noodles
Sesame seeds, toasted
Kimchee

1. Press tofu about 15 minutes and cut into cubes. Since the recipe only calls for half a block, you can cube the rest and place it in a covered bowl full of water in the fridge. It's handy to be chopping the veggies at this point and getting them ready for the skillet.
2. In a large skillet or wok sprayed with cooking spray, saute the tofu cubes on medium-high until golden.
3. Meanwhile, combine all the Sauce ingredients and set it aside.
4. Bring a pot of water to boil, and once the tofu is as golden as you like it, add the vegetables to the skillet and the soba to the pot.
5. Cook the soba in simmering water for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, stir-fry the veggies in the skillet. After about a minute, add the sauce to the stirfry and turn up the heat a little bit.
6. Drain the soba and take the stir-fry off the heat. Both the stir-fry and noodles get done at the same time. Awesome.
7. Serve the soba with the veggies. Add the kimchee to the plate and sprinkle everything with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Also, this made kind of a lot, so if you decide on a 1 cup serving of the vegetables (and figure in the noodles and kimchee), this will make about 4-6 servings. Quick cooking + leftovers = one happy me!

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