Recipe: Braised Tofu?


I found it difficult to name this dish because I don't know what the actual translation would be of the Korean word. For all your speakers out there this is my version of 두부 조림.

I took a sort of Japanese take on one of my favorite Korean side dishes. The process takes a while but it's not difficult at all. If you've never been a big fan of tofu then this is definitely the way to try it.

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Rest Time: 6 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 pack firm tofu
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp high quality soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic
1 green onion some reserved for garnish
a dash of toasted sesame oil
red pepper flakes or sriracha to taste

The reason this dish takes as long as it does is that you have to remove as much water from the tofu as possible. I do this by taking the whole block of tofu with paper towels on both sides and putting it between two cutting boards with a can of tomatoes on top for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

That's it for now, just let it rest and you can get the rest of the ingredients ready. Coursely chop up the garlic and makes little rounds with the green onion. Put the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and green onion along with 1 tablespoon of water into a small bowl and set it aside, you'll be using this later.

Remove the tofu and cut it in half making two blocks of tofu the same size as the original piece just half as thin. Now cut those in half width wise and making 4 smaller rectangles. Now cut those four pieces in half again making 8 pieces. Now cut along a diagonal making 16 triangles. Shoot me a message if that doesn't make sense. Pretty much just try to make the shape I have in the picture.

Now put the canola oil in a nice non stick pan or well seasoned cast iron and bring it up to heat on medium heat and drop in the tofu all on the same side. You may have to work in batches. Evenly brown all 5 sides of your triangles and remove the tofu onto a plate and let them cool to room temperature.


The last and final step is the part that I guess is like a quick braise. I know that's kind of an oxymoron but I just don't know what I'd call it. In a medium sauce pan make a layer of tofu with your fried tofu and spoon over your soy mixture from before. Now put another layer of fried tofu on top of that and spoon over some more of your soy mixture. Repeat this process until you've put all your tofu in the sauce pan and you have used up all your soy mixture. Now put the pan on the stove on medium heat and heat the tofu through spooning the mixture over top of the tofu from the bottom of the pan. 10 minutes later you'll have a nice salty/spicy tofu dish that'll be great with a side of rice and kimchee!

Hope you like the dish. It's a bit much for some tofu but I find pleasure in the dishes that take me a long time to make.
--Joe Kwon

Recipes: Potato Chips (VEG)


So I finally got that white Christmas I've been wishing for my whole life. Problem is, it came after it got dark. Beggars can't be choosers I guess. In any case, I got snowed in because I am afraid of driving in the snow and was rummaging through my pantry to find something to eat and my Em was telling me about how she had so much food at her mom's and that fresh chips were coming out of the fryer. *DING DING* That was it, the spark of genius I had been waiting for. This recipe is so easy I just thought I'd put together a quick post and get it out to you all. Hope you enjoy!

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 2-3 minutes per batch

Ingredients:

2 large russet potatoes washed/scrubbed
1 quart canola/vegetable oil (peanut oil is best but not as "good" for you)
salt to taste

Fill a large bowl about half way with cold water. If you have a mandolin this next step will take you 5 minutes. If you don't have a mandolin go buy one. Sorry, but it's just one of those kitchen tools that makes your life so much easier. Using the mandolin slice the potatoes lengthwise directly into the bowl of water. Once you are done with both potatoes drain the water and fill the bowl back up with clean water. You're trying to remove the starch from the potatoes. Drain the water one more time and let your potatoes rest for 20-30 minutes. In the mean time heat up your oil in your favorite cast iron pan or deep fryer. Bring the oil to 365 degrees. Now drain the potatoes and fill the bowl up with water one more time.


Thoroughly drain the potatoes and move them onto a dry towel. Working in small batches and making sure not to cook your arm off with splattering oil, fry the potatoes until they are your desired texture. I like mine a bit darker and crunchier. Remove them from the oil and sprinkle with salt or any desired spice. Repeat this step till all the potatoes are done.


A little eco-friendly tip I learned from my buddy Leon (@doublelg); when removing the chips from the oil place them on a used paper bag from the grocery store. They work better than paper towels and hold much more oil!

You can really use all sorts of seasoning with this recipe. For garlic chips, toss them with some finely minced garlic and a little extra virgin olive oil. Or for a bit spicier kick, try cayenne pepper and a cider vinegar.

To store the chips I put them in an air tight container and with a disposable tea bag filled with uncooked white rice.

Inspiration is everywhere!
--Joe Kwon

Recipe: Fava Bean Salad (V)


This is a quick vegan/vegetarian side dish I learned from my Syrian buddy Bilal. I don't know what it is about this dish, but to me all the flavors that I want in a nice bean salad are there and nothing is lacking. This recipe is sure to be a big hit at your next supper club.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 ~14oz Can Fava Beans
2 oz onion thin diced
2 tbsp minced fresh flat leaf italian parsley
4 oz quartered grape tomatoes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Drain the fava beans and put them in a sauce pan on medium heat. In the mean time combine all of the other ingredients in a bowl. When the beans are heated through add them to the bowl and mix to combine all the ingredients. It's as simple as that. Serve it with some warm pita bread and a side of hot pepper sauce.


Fava beans are pretty hard to find fresh. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen them in the grocery store or farmer's market in my area but, these canned ones will do the job.

Cheers,
--Joe Kwon