Cubed Tofu and Broccoli with Miso and Kochujang (gochujang)
I have to admit that I almost didn't post this recipe, because - well, it's not the best looking dish ever, right? ^_^; But still it does taste absolutely great, and since I know many vegans and vegetarians are always on the lookout for tasty protein options, here it is! It's basically extra-firm tofu that's sautéed in a mixture of aromatic vegetables and miso and spicy kochujang (gochujang), with some broccoli thrown in there too. It's a great topping for rice, or can be eaten all on its own if you are doing low-carb. It keeps in the refrigerator for just a couple of days really, which is why I haven't listed it in the johbisai (staples) section. But still I'd recommend making at least one large tofu block's worth at a time, since it's really good. Vary the spice to your liking. To read more about miso as well as kochujang (it's pronounced so in Japan, but gochujang is more widely used), one of Korean cuisine's greatest contributions to the world, see the Miso Primer.
Recipe: Cubed Tofu and Broccoli with Miso and Kochujang
Yields about 5 cups, enough for at least 2-3 bento or regular meals
- 1 large (around 400g / 1 lb) block of extra-firm tofu
- 1 small head of broccoli, florets only
- 1 smal onlon
- 1 garlic clove or a small bunch of garlic scapes
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon miso of your choice (red miso is preferred you have it)
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon gochujang or kochujang (depending on how spicy you like it)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce or to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 2-3 tablespoons water
Drain and cut the tofu into small dice, about 1/3 inch / 1 cm or so square. Bring a pot of water to a boil and put the tofu cubes in, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain well. This boiling o the tofu ironically helps to rid them of some moisture as well as cooking them a bit, making the cubes firmer and less likely to fall apart. This is a handy and faster elternative to pressing moisture out of the tofu, especially if you are using it cut up into small pieces as you are here (see How to use tofu in bento-friendly recipes).
Blanch the broccoli florets until they're just cooked, drain and set aside. For this dish you can use frozen broccoli too.
Slice the onion very thinly. Finely chop the garlic.
Combine the miso, kochujang, soy sauce, sugar and enough water to form a thin paste.
Heat up a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sesame oil and onion. Saute until the onion is getting brown on the edges. Add the garlic, then after a couple of minutes add the tofu cubes. Saute until the tofu is getting a bit brown. Add most of the combined miso paste and stir around until the tofu is coated. Taste one and adjust the seasoning with the remainder of the paste if you think it's needed, or a bit more soy sauce. (Tip: If you plan to use it with rice or another grain, make the flavor a bit stronger; if you plan to eat it on its own, hold back on the paste a bit or it may be too salty.) Add the broccoli and stir around until it's heated through.
This will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. It does not freeze well since the texture of the tofu changes.
Try making this with miso only for a less spicy version.
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