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Kimchi and Tofu: Stir-Fried Korean-Style Recipe

Korean food is best known for its liberal use of kimchi, and no other dish is quite so kimchi-laden as 'Dubu Kimchi'! This classic Korean-style stir-fry is often served with pork or beef, but we prefer to serve it up with a healthy portion of blanched tofu.

Kimchi and tofu are a delectable combination that you don't want to miss out on. Pairing these two Asian favorites in a delicious, healthy, yet tantalizingly spicy dish that you can prepare at home is one of our favorite recipes. Ready your tofu press, grab a bottle of Soju, and get ready for tofu kimchi stir fry! 

Makes 2 servings 

Dubu kimchi ingredients

  • 14 oz packet of tofu
  • 9 oz of kimchi
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 tsp of sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for tofu

  1. Remove your block of tofu from the packaging.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil on the stovetop and keep it on high heat.
  3. Place at least 1/2 a tsp of salt into the boiling water and give it a stir.
  4. Place the tofu block directly into the boiling water to blanch it. Leave for 3 mins in the boiling water.
  5. Remove the tofu from the boiling water and place it into a tofu press once it's cooled down. Press the liquid out of the tofu, so you're left with a firm, dry block.
  6. Take a sharp knife and carefully slice the block of tofu into thin rectangles. Keep the slices covered until you're ready to serve.*

*For the best dubu kimchi, the kimchi and vegetables are prepared separately from the blanched tofu. The tofu is only added to the dish at the end when you're serving.

Directions for kimchi stir fry preparation

  1. Slice your packet of kimchi into small pieces, no more than 1 inch in length.
  2. Chop your onion and slice your green onions using a sharp knife.
  3. Heat a tbsp of vegetable oil on medium heat in a wok or large skillet on the stovetop.
  4. Add your kimchi to the wok and stir-fry for 4 mins.
  5. Add your onions to the wok and stir-fry alongside the kimchi for a further 2 mins, again on medium heat.
  6. Once stir-fried, turn the heat off completely and add sesame seeds and sesame oil to the wok.
  7. Mix all the ingredients to finish your dubu Korean kimchi.
  8. Serve the dish with the freshly sliced tofu on the side for a delicious tofu and kimchi stir-fry!

Kimchi and tofu recipe FAQ

What sort of tofu do I need for dubu kimchi?

The best dubu kimchi is prepared using extra-firm tofu. The tofu complements the kimchi and vegetable stir-fry, so you should add it toward the end of cooking. The firmer your tofu is, the better the dish is going to be.

If the tofu is too soft, it's going to fall apart on the plate and turn the rest of the dish into a liquidy mush. For that reason, we don't recommend using soft or silken tofu for this recipe.

Do I need to press the tofu?

You also need to make sure that you press your tofu before serving it alongside your stir-fried kimchi. You can press the tofu before you blanch it and after you've blanched it.

Pressing the tofu removes excess liquid from the block and allows it to take on a firmer texture. Without pressing, it's going to be incredibly liquidy and won't be quite so delectable to eat alongside the stir-fried kimchi and vegetables.

If you don't have a dedicated tofu press, you can wrap the tofu block in paper towels and press down firmly on top with a heavy object, such as a chopping board. Using this method won't be quite as effective, though.

What else can I serve with kimchi and tofu?

You can serve kimchi and tofu on their own, but it also goes particularly well with rice on the side. Dubu kimchi lovers commonly prepare the dish alongside Soju, a classic Korean drink. Soju is a strong spirit, which is usually sipped straight, without any mixer. It's fiery, and the vibrant taste of the kimchi complements Soju well, while the blanched tofu takes away some of the pain of shotting straight alcohol!

What can I do with the leftovers?

If you have any leftovers at the end of your meal, we suggest placing them into a resealable container or a ziplock bag and storing them in the fridge. You can keep them in the fridge for at least 48 hours.

You should try and keep the tofu and the kimchi separate when you are storing them. When plating up, only plate up as much tofu as you're going to eat. Keep the rest separate and stored in a resealable box of its own. You can add water to keep it from drying out while it's in the fridge. When it comes to serving the leftovers, press the tofu again before serving, if possible. Reheat the kimchi and vegetables by gently heating them in a wok or skillet.

Enjoy homemade kimchi tofu stir-fry!

Dubu kimchi is a classic Korean-style stir-fry that's super easy to prepare at home when you have the right ingredients. You can serve kimchi tofu as a main dish or as a kimchi tofu snack. Most Koreans order dubu kimchi to eat while they drink beer or Soju. It's the perfect drinking partner, and our tofu kimchi recipe is all vegetarian too!

Save our Korean tofu kimchi recipe for the next time you're craving a Korean-style stir-fry!

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