A good rice bowl is a plant-based staple that can be flavored in almost unlimited ways. This Korean Tofu Bowl starts with a base of brown rice. Topped with roasted broccoli, crispy sugar snap peas, tangy gochujang barbecue sauce, sautéed tofu, and sour, fermented kimchi, the dish becomes a tapestry of flavor.
What is Kimchi?
Kimchi is a spicy, salty, probiotic-rich vegetable garnish that brings a pickle-like brininess to classic Korean dishes. Typically made of Napa cabbage or radishes, a wide variety of seasonings, like gochugaru, spring onions, garlic, ginger, or jeotgal, give it a unique flavor.
But, before we get to the garnish, let’s talk about how to get the crispiest tofu for your Korean Tofu Bowl.
Three Steps to Getting Crispier Tofu
When it comes to tofu, there is a distinct variation of textures. From super soft silken tofu to dense consistency that makes a great main. When using tofu in a main dish, crisp to the desired final form before adding to your dish.
Remove Excess Moisture
To get any food crispy, moisture is the enemy. For tofu specifically, drain the blocks of tofu well. Depending on how much time you can spend, wrapping the tofu in a paper towel, draining on a wire rack, or pressing in a towel can remove even more wetness and lead to crispier tofu. If your final dish requires crumbled tofu, consider crumbling it first and then draining it prior to cooking.
Use High Quality Oil
There are many people who avoid oil entirely in their cooking, instead leveraging non-stick materials and tiny amounts of water to steam foods.
I am not one of those people. Food needs fat: it is delicious. It also helps to facilitate cooking by lubricating foods, crisping them, and locking in flavors. That said, there are a ton of very crappy oils out there that can lead to inflammation. This recipe utilizes grapeseed oil, which adds a healthy dose of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E.
To get the crispiest tofu possible, be sure that your oil is hot before adding the tofu.
This is a tip just for general cooking, not just cooking tofu. Most people stir way too much, way too often. To get effective browning, you have to let the food sit undisturbed. After adding your tofu to the pan, give it a few minutes to cook, check it, and flip only when that side is browned.
Ready to Cook the Korean Tofu Bowls?
Get started with this recipe. Love it? Give a review below and comment on how exactly you cooked the recipe.
I adapted this recipe from a recipe from Purple Carrot, my favorite vegan meal delivery box. Grab a box and make eating plant-based a whole heck of a lot easier.