Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | recipe
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Soon doo bu, a spicy Korean stew with tofu, with chicken and kimchee Erin and I made soon doo bu jjigae, a Korean stew for the first time the other day, and had a blast cooking it up. Food is a foundation of culture, so we love enjoying different cuisines from around the world. People who follow our Twitter tweets that are marked "#twEATs" which are copied to our Facebook updates tell us we eat out too much, but what can we say? We love food! We don't just go out -- we eat in a lot more, to save money. We cook a lot of ethnic dishes at home: some Italian, Mexican ... the usual. And of course, Japanese food. But we haven't made Korean food other than cooking up pre-marinated bulgogi, the delicious thin-sliced beef that's my favorite at Korean BBQ restaurants. We just happened to have a gallon jar of spicy kimchee from my sister-in-law from Colorado Springs. Several times a year, she makes a jar of kimchee for us. We love it, though sometimes there's so much it goes quite sour before we can finish it. Koreans use old kimchee as ingredients in soups and stews, so that's what got us started. So we got this crazy idea last week to try making soon doo bu jjigae, a tofu stew that we love. We were turned on to it at a restaurant in San Francisco's Japantown called Doobu that specializes in the dish. Soon doo bu is a rich combination of a lot flavors and textures, starting with silky tofu in a spicy red chili broth, with meat, seafood and vegetables added. We thought this would be a terrific way to use some of a huge jar of kimchee that my Korean sister-in-law, Pok Sun, had given us.