Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Tofu Tuesday - Korean Kimchi, Pork & Tofu Noodle Soup

I have a dirty stinkin' cold. Not only do I have the holiday blues, wishing the sand were still between my toes, I have the lurgy. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't take illness well. I moan, sniffle, grumble and sulk my way through it.

This soup seemed the best way to go in an attempt to clear out the sinuses. Kimchi is a pungent and spicy fermented vegetable, native to Korea. There are a few different types, such as cabbage, cucumber, radish, mustard leaf etc - I used cabbage. It is said to loaded with vitamins A, B and C so I thought this might be a good ingredient to get me back to my good humoured(ish) self. It's quite spicy and flame-red with the flavour of sesame and has a very pleasing crunch to it.

The average Korean apparently eats around 18kg of the stuff a year - it must be good. I cheated and bought it, as the recipes I've seen for it look lengthy and complicated. As for the tofu element, I used fresh silken tofu to contrast the crunch of the kimchi. I thought it would be super soft and a lot harder to handle than other tofu I've used, but it was very manageable, even for a heavy-handed oaf like me.

Korean Kimchi, Pork & Tofu Noodle Soup
For 2

1 small pack of cabbage kimchi (roughly 200gr)
200gr pork belly, cut into chunks
3 stalks of spring onion, chopped roughly, whites and greens seperate
2 slices of ginger
A handful of thin flat rice noodles (I think they're Laksa noodles, but any rice noodles will do), rehydrated if dried
400mls boiling water
1 chicken stock cube (or use 400mls of chicken stock)
1 red chilli (optional)
1/2 a pack of silken tofu, sliced

Dry fry the pork belly to render some fat out. Discard the fat, and put the pork to one side. Bring the stock to the simmer and add the ginger. Add the pork belly and the whites of spring onion and simmer for 45 mins.

Remove the ginger, add the kimchi in bite-sized pieces and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Spoon the noodles into your bowls. Ladle the soup stock, pork and kimchi into the bowls and toss with the noodles. Lay the slices of tofu on top, scatter with the greens of the spring onion and cover with a plate for a few minutes. The tofu is quite fragile, so adding it to the soup pot and then ladling it into the soup bowls spelled a distaster, so this way the tofu warms up intact.

My sinuses are no less bunged up, but it was still pretty tasty.

3 comments:

ginger@dinnerdiary.org said...

Where did you get your kimchi from Lizzie? Fred and I used to eat at a Korean restaurant in Golders Green and loved it but haven't seen it for sale anywhere.

Lizzie said...

Hi Ginger,

I got it at New Loon Moon supermarket in Chinatown http://www.allinlondon.co.uk/directory/1162/20897.php I get most of my Chinese (and thai) ingredients from here.

ginger@dinnerdiary.org said...

Ah ok, we always go to New Loon Moon too so will look out for it next time - thanks :)