Korean Banchan: Pickled Tofu

Contains:  Soy.  Is:  Gluten-free, vegan.  

Korean, recipe, banchan, marinated tofu, vegan, onion, shiitake

The marinated tofu is at upper left. Serve with rice, rice noodles, or a similar dish. Or perhaps a plating of veggies.

The Korean people typically serve lots of small sides along their main course, and along with rice.  These they call banchan.  Now, typically I make one or two dishes for a meal, especially if I am eating alone, and call it good.  But the upside of banchan is that you can make a lot of each of these dishes, and they’ll last to accompany several meals.  Many if not most are served cold, too, so one does not need to re-heat to serve this.

tofu, recipe, Korean, marinated tofu, banchan

Tofu pieces, sliced and pan frying to a light golden tone.

Prep Time: 15 minutes.
Cook Time: 40 minutes.
Rest Time:  Marinate six or more hours.
Serves:  About 6, depending on how many other banchan dishes you have.
Cuisine:  Korean.
Leftovers?:  Should last a week in the fridge.

Korean Banchan:  Pickled Tofu

  • 1 package firm tofu, cube into 24-32 pieces.  Extra firm should crumble less than mine did.  (16 ounces / 4.53 grams)
  • 3 ounces / 90 mL low sodium gluten-free tamari
  • 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/6 cup / 8 teaspoons / 40 mL rice (or, apple cider) vinegar
  • 0.75 cups / 180 mL water
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 small apple, de-pitted, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Cooking oil (I use high-heat avocado, or grapeseed oil

For the main, and this is per person as I prefer to make this part up fresh each time I’m cooking (you can use actual rice instead, or another type of noodle):

  • Rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon of the brine from the above 
  • 1 green onion/scallion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil 
  • Optional sprinkle of toasted sesame seed.

Sauté the tofu (pat it dry first) with just enough cooking oil, and wait until all sides are lightly browned.

In a suitable pot, add the soy, vinegar, garlic, apple, shiitake and water.   Boil for ten minutes, then reduce and lightly simmer for another 30, covered.

Strain the liquid and remove solids, reserving and chopping the shiitake.

In your storage container, place the tofu, onion slices, and the shiitake.  Pour the brine over this, and refrigerate once chill enough.

I’d marinate for at least six hours, to let flavors meld.  The hot brine will cut down on the rawness of the onion.

Serve as a side (banchan as this is known in Korea); it goes along well with rice or noodles.  Mixing in some of the brine with the rice or noodles is recommended at the time you serve.

For the main, I made rice noodles (according to the instructions on my package), drained them, added a little chopped green onion/scallion, added a tablespoon or so of the brine, and drizzled about a teaspoon of sesame oil over the noodles.  Some of this banchan was eaten alongside the noodles.  Ideally, you’d have several banchan available  to select from!  Including, of course, some kimchi (which I don’t currently have…)

The only suggestion I’d make to improve this, is a zap of Korean red pepper, to taste, gently mixed to your individual portion of marinated tofu banchan just prior to serving.

tofu, tofu marinate, shiitake, Korean, recipe, gluten-free, vegan

This is the full dish, not yet divvied up for servings. Will store nicely in the fridge.

Resource:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3B-ro8ZepQ

Have a wonderful Fiesta Friday, hanging out at this week’s link party there.  Lotsa good recipes appearing…  And this week your co-host is Laurena @ Life Diet Health.

And for a new link party, here’s a Meatless Monday connection.


About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
This entry was posted in Asian & Asian Influenced, Cooking, Vegan and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Korean Banchan: Pickled Tofu

  1. Yummy! A new tofu method for me to try! I’ve never added apple to tofu, nor have I cooked it first then marinated it… so excited to try! Thanks so much for sharing at Fiesta Friday! 😀

  2. I have never seen this method either, what fun! I will try it. Unfortunately I am the only person in our household who loves tofu but I will give them some chicken instead (maybe use the same marinade).

  3. Laura says:

    What a great way to jazz up tofu – I love this idea!

  4. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #258 – Fiesta Friday | 7440 – Typical Miracle

  5. helenfern says:

    This sounds amazing!! I’ve never heard of it! Thanks for sharing at the Meatless Monday linky!! Have a wonderful week – and Happy Valentine’s Day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s