Dubu Sobagi,  김치 두부소박이    

Bean curd, dubu in Korean, is an important and loved ingredient in the Korean kitchen and in kitchens throughout Asia.  Here, bean curd is stuffed with mushrooms, zucchini and kimchi, turning bland bean curd into a flavorful sandwich. This protein-powerhouse can be a delicious entrée, an appetizer or a side dish, according to the occasion. This recipe will not only please vegetarians and non-vegetarian, but also gluten free dieters and weight watchers. It is fast and simple to prepare.

Serves 4

30 minutes to cook

Ingredients:

2 18 ounce firm dubu, each sliced horizontally into 4 sheets

2 tablespoons fine sea salt, or kosher salt

For stuffing:

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

6 ounces onions, julienned paper thin

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces zucchini, julienned

8 ounces oyster mushrooms, thinly shredded by hand

3 ounces chives, snipped into 1-inch long

1 cup mature whole cabbage kimchi, white stem partly only, stuffing shaken off then julienned 1            ½-inch long and seasoned*

1 tablespoon dry vermouth or white wine

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon sweet rice flour or cornstarch

Salt to taste

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup sweet rice flour or all-purpose flour

1 cup olive oil

Directions:

On a cookie sheet lined with a paper towel, arrange the bean curd slices in one layer. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt. Cover with another layer of paper towels.  Paper will absorb the moisture and further firm up the dubu. Set aside. To make stuffing, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add onions in one layer and cook for 3 minutes, without disturbing, until the onions are caramelized. With a flat spatula, turn over and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add zucchini in one layer and cook for 2 minutes, without disturbing, until caramelized. Turnover and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to the bowl with the onions. In the same skillet, heat ½ tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, mushrooms and dry vermouth and sauté for about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl. In the same skillet, heat ½ tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the chives and sauté for about ½ minute. Transfer to the bowl. Rinse julienned kimchi once in cold water and squeeze dry with a paper towel. Transfer to the working bowl next to other vegetables. Drain all the liquid accumulated in the bowl into a small mixing bowl. Add sweet rice flour and ¾ cup water and mix well. Transfer all the vegetables to the skillet. Add sesame oil, sesame seeds and drizzle the sweet rice flour mixture. Toss ingredients and cook over medium heat for about 1 minute. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Transfer the stuffing back to the bowl and set aside. Remove the paper towels from the dubu and pat dry with new paper towels. Place one slice of dubu on a cutting board and with a pastry brush, spread a thin film of egg wash on the dubu. Spoon 2 tablespoons stuffing in the middle. Cover with a second slice of dubu. With a paper towel, seal the edges by lightly pressing the 2 slices together. Repeat with remaining dubu, making 4 sandwiches. Spread the flour on a large plate. And, on another plate, add a few drops of water to the egg batter and lightly beat. Dredge the sandwiches in the flour and then the egg batter. In another skillet, heat 1 cup olive oil over high heat, until very hot. Add two stuffed dubu and fry 1 minute per side. Transfer to a flat basket. Repeat the same process with the remaining 2 sandwiches. Let cool. Slice each into a triangle piece, making 2 triangular wedges per serving. Serve immediately with hot steamed rice.

*Note: To season kimchi, add 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon granulated garlic to 1 cup kimchi. Toss all well.