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Tofu Chorim (Tubu Chorim)

Tofu Chorim (Tubu Chorim)
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

When I take friends to a Korean restaurant, I always feel I spend more time explaining than actually eating. Whenever a dish is placed on the table, everyone points and asks, "What's that?" as they wave their chopsticks cautiously about ... Read more

Total time: 25 minutes | Serves 8 to 10
  • 1 (18-ounce) package firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped, or 1 teaspoon Korean red chile powder, optional
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Step 1Rinse the tofu block in cold water then cut it in half, then into approximately 1/2-inch slices. Set the tofu aside on paper towels or in a wire-mesh colander to drain.

Step 2Combine the soy sauce, garlic, green onions and optional red pepper or chile powder. Set aside.

Step 3Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Working in two batches, carefully place the tofu into the skillet, making sure each rectangle rests flat on the bottom. (Be careful, because the water in the tofu will make the oil splatter.) You may wish to cover the skillet with a wire-mesh splashguard. Cook the tofu until it is lightly browned on both sides; don't overcook or it will lose its moisture and texture.

Step 4Reduce the heat to low and spoon the soy mixture over each tofu slice. Cover and cook until the tofu is slightly steamed and infused with the seasoning, another 2 or 3 minutes.

Note: A chori is any dish that has been simmered in a soy-based sauce until the liquid has reduced, allowing the seasoning to soak in. A chorim can be made from beef, chicken, tofu or any number of meaty vegetables. In making a chorim, the heat must be carefully adjusted so the liquid continues to boil but the ingredients don't scorch. Korean red chile powder is available at Asian markets.

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