Diary of a Foodie

Warm Tofu with Spicy Garlic Sauce

Diary of a Foodie: Season Three: Korea: Ancient Food, Modern World

Serves8 (as part of a Korean meal)
  • Active time:10 min
  • Start to finish:20 min
March 2009
This gently simmered tofu topped with a stir-together sauce is a common banchan. It would also make a great vegetarian main course served with rice. The sauce—speckled with chopped garlic, scallion, sesame seeds, and Korean hot red-pepper flakes—couldn’t be simpler or more satisfying. You will want to eat it on everything.

Watch a clip of this Diary of a Foodie episode and view its accompanying recipes. Plus, explore all episodes and more recipes from the show.
  • 1 (14- to 18-oz) package soft tofu (not silken)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallion
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted (see Tips) and crushed with side of a heavy knife
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse Korean hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Carefully rinse tofu, then cover with cold water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then keep warm, covered, over very low heat.
  • Meanwhile, mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Stir together with remaining ingredients (except tofu).
  • Just before serving, carefully lift tofu from saucepan with a large spatula and drain on paper towels. Gently pat dry, then transfer to a small plate. Spoon some sauce over tofu and serve warm. Serve remaining sauce on the side.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before using.
  • Tofu can be kept warm up to 4 hours.
  • We’ve also got a Web-exclusive recipe using the leftover Korean hot red-pepper flakes.
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