This vegetarian recipe is adapted slightly from a book by Judy Joo called Korean Food Made Simple (Joo has a Cooking Channel Show by the same name). Judy says, "The vibrant flavors of the glaze and the fragrant mix of leaves in the salad are a wonderful combination. I even like to just make the tofu to serve on its own--the dressing, with its slight spice and hint of honey, wins over your guests every time."
To roast sesame seeds place them in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir and toss for a few minutes, watching carefully, until they start to smell fragrant and turn light brown. Watch carefully that they don't burn.
- 14 ounces firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and sliced crosswise into 8 or 12 rectangles
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chile paste; see Note)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- t ablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds
- Kosher salt or sea salt
- 8 cups mixed greens, such as baby spinach and slivered romaine hearts
Gather the ingredients.
Spread out the tofu slices on a paper towel-lined plate, press another layer of paper towels on top, and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes to dry. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the mirin, gochujang (chile paste), honey, soy sauce, sesame oil and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil until smooth. Stir in the scallions, garlic, and sesame seeds and set the dressing aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Working in batches, if needed, gently slide the tofu into the skillet and fry until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Lightly season with salt.
In a large bowl, combine the greens with 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Divide the salad among four plates and top each with 2 or 3 slices of tofu. Spoon additional dressing over the tofu. Serve immediately.
Gochujang is a Korean hot pepper paste that consists of red chili pepper, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt.
Also, check out this Spicy Greens Salad with Gochujang Dressing! If you're new to using Asian ingredients, take a look at Asian Ingredients for the Pantry in which I roundup a bunch of different ingredients and explain how to incorporate them into tasty dishes. Then when you've mastered those, move on to More Asian Ingredients to Explore. There are also plenty of Asian noodles to try out, so take a look at this Asian Noodles roundup.