Taco Tuesday: Korean BBQ Tofu

Even though I’m a bit under the weather today, I’m gonna share an extra special Taco Tuesday post with you. All the meds, hot tea, hot water, steams, and bad television have given me the strength to blog! This post is special in that I haven’t shared a Taco Tuesday post since Vegan Mofo, and this recipe is really delicious and fancy-looking.

The Korean BBQ taco craze has of course not hit El Paso, but we do have the Tacoholics food truck, which serves up both beef and tofu. I’m happy to report that the tofu is so popular, they usually run out. The only problem is that the truck isn’t very consistent on its excursions, but if they are out, they can usually be found at Black Market from about 10:30 pm until they run out. The planets aligned and I was able to try the tofu tacos several months ago.  They were really tasty, but I thought the tofu’s texture was too soft.

Korean BBQ Tofu tacos from Tacoholics (cellphone pic)

I had been craving these tacos, so I thought I would try making my own since I’m not sure when I’ll be hitting up the taco truck again. I wanted the tofu to have more texture, so I froze it. Freezing and thawing tofu draws out moisture, giving it a chewier texture. If you’ve never frozen tofu before, you’ll just need to drain the tofu first, place it in a freezer bag or other container, and freeze it solid. Eliza (commenter below) says you don’t have to drain it. She just puts the whole package in the freezer. She also reminded me that this works best with extra firm tofu. When you’re ready to use it, just thaw it and squeeze out the excess water. Don’t freak out when the tofu turns a yellowish color, it’s normal. The tofu will keep in the freezer for up to 5 months.

I hate pressing tofu and I’ll probably never buy one of those TofuXpress presses. I was happy to find an easy, lazy method that’s Korean approved. I found this method while browsing through Debbie Lee’s new cookbook, Seoultown Kitchen. She recommends setting the tofu on top of a few paper towels and draining for about 10 minutes, then repeating on the other side. The book is fun and colorful, featuring a Korean take on pub food, including several vegetarian recipes. El Pasoans can request the book at the library here.

1st attempt (dredged in corn starch)
2nd attempt (without cornstarch. I forgot to add it.)

Bulgogi Marinade from Gourmet

(I got this recipe from here. Read the article & check out the other recipes for kimchi fried rice & slaw)

1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained & sliced or cubed to your shape/size preference
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (my addition)
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
2 teaspoons mirin
2 teaspoons water

Combine all of the marinade ingredients. You can optionally sprinkle cornstarch over the tofu. Pour the marinade over the tofu and toss until coated. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Heat corn tortillas on a skillet or over an open flame. Serve with avocado, shredded red cabbage or Napa cabbage, cilantro, sesame seeds, and Sriracha sour cream.

Sriracha Sour Cream

¼ cup sour cream
2 teaspoons (or more) Sriracha
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon soy sauce

Combine until well blended.

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5 comments

  1. I usually put the whole container of tofu in the freezer. The morning I want to cook it, I place it in water in the sink. Then, when It is time to cook, I open the package and squeeze out the water like you described.

    I find that Extra Firm tofu is the only way to go with this method.

    I made awesome lettuce wraps by browning the tofu and removing it from the heat. Then I cooked garlic and onion in Asian seasonings, added mushrooms, and then added the tofu back in. Finished with some hoisin sauce and the lettuce wrap filling was complete!

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