You could be eating this in less than ten minutes and using only one pot. We had one of those nights where the kids just needed to go to bed early (know how that goes?) and I ended up making this just for myself. It took me right back to my bachelor days, when I took a lot of pleasure in making a tasty dinner for one. Much of the joy in cooking is social, but when you are the only guest, you can take advantage of cooking exactly to your own taste.
[Quick aside: see that lovely new ad for ChefShop.com over in my sidebar? That is there because Tim Mar and his crew source some of the most amazing ingredients I've ever tried. Surf their site, you'll love it. And you'll be supporting Herbivoracious!]
Oddly enough, I didn’t even make rice for this meal. I just ate a lot of tofu. So sue me. But you probably might like some rice.
I wouldn’t dream of making this in anything other than my cast iron skillet.
Of course if you do have company for dinner, you can easily multiply this recipe as needed. It could also be embellished with sauteed shiitakes, finely shredded nori, a fried egg, or a handful of sugar snap peas.
Tasty vegetarian kimchi can be a little hard to find. You have to look closely at the ingredients to see if there is shrimp paste etc. in it. One brand I like is Dae Han Tofu Company, or if you are in Seattle, keep your eye out for the non-traditional but delicious Firefly Kitchens booth at the Farmer’s Markets. Good stuff.
Tofu and Kimchi Dinner for One
Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/3 pound extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1/2″ dice
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- toasted sesame oil
- 2 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
- toasted sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup vegetarian kimchi
- 1 tablespoon ssamjang or 1 teaspon kochujang, or 1 teaspoon sriracha
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over a very high flame. Add the oil, and 5 seconds later, the tofu and a great big pinch of salt. Fry, tossing occasionally until golden brown. Add the onion and grated ginger and fry for 30 more seconds.
- Mound the tofu into a bowl. Drizzle on a little sesame oil, and garnish heavily with the green onions and sesame seeds. Add a nice pile of kimchi and the hot sauce of your choice. I really love ssamjang because it is only moderately spicy, with a lot of flavor complexity, so you can use quite a bit of it.