Made this last night, and had requests from a few friends for the recipe after I posted a pic on Instagram. Among them was the friend who hates to cook, and who started the new year in a new home with her sons, one of whom has been since the age of 5 a philosophical vegetarian. And the friend who has been eating hospital cafeteria food in Iowa for the last month, while she waits for her beautiful twin baby boys to get hearty enough to venture back to the East Coast. I made it just because it was a rainy night and my husband needed the dregs of a cold kicked out of his system. I think it would be good for any of these situation
I adapted the recipe from Bon Appetit, adding more vegetables and taking down the spice a bit (though you could certainly bring it back up).
serves 4, with some leftovers for breakfast.
1 16-oz package soft or silken tofu, cubed
1 tablespoon oil (canola or other vegetable oil)
1 16-oz jar of cabbage kimchi
1 tablespoon (more or less, to taste; fine to omit) Korean hot pepper paste
1 cup shredded napa cabbage
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
6 scallions, cut to 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup delicate greens (spinach, baby bok choy leaves, komatsuna, whatever), chopped
toasted sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds
1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil, drop in the tofu cubes, bring back up to boil for 4-5 minutes, until cubes are puffed up. Drain and keep tofu in a bowl.
2. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the drained kimchi and the fresh cabbage (and the pepper paste, if using). Sauté, stirring frequently just until the vegetables start to brown, but don't let them get dark.
3. Add kimchi liquid and 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until kimchi cabbage is translucent.
4. Add the soy sauce, the tofu cubes, and most of the scallions (hold back some for garnishing the bowls), and simmer for about 20 minutes, until tofu takes on flavor of the stew. Stir in the greens just so they melt into the broth.
5. Serve in bowls with a shake of sesame seeds, a small drizzle of sesame oil, a grind of pepper and a few scallions.