Vegan's Chronicles + [Vegan]

Chuseok tofu platter & dipping sauce
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One of the main dishes in my family's Chuseok meal was this platter of pan-fried tofu topped with dae-chu (jujube) spirals. I was inspired to make this dish after seeing it on this Korean blog, but we created our own soy-sesame oil dressing for dipping.

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This dish is actually super simple and does not include many ingredients. Essentially, it's just pan-fried tofu with a basic Korean sauce, but the addition of tiny daechu flowers make it look more elegant than it really is. The clean presentation also makes you appreciate and savor each bite all the more!

For the tofu:

  • 1 block of firm tofu
  • 1-2 Tbs corn starch
  • 1/2 Tbs veg oil
  • 5-6 daechu (dried jujube)

Cut the tofu into slices, about 1 cm thick. Lay the slices out on a clean paper towel and to soak up some of the liquid. Next, pat both sides of the tofu slices into some corn starch on a plate. Heat some vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook the tofu, flipping halfway, til both sides are lightly browned. Remove from the pan and assemble on a plate.

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To make the daechu spirals, use a chef's knive to carefully cut the skin and flesh away from the seed, rotating the fruit as you go.

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Tightly roll the daechu flesh and then cut horizontally into thin slices, kind of like making kimbab or sushi rolls.

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Daechu flowers! Some say that daechu is an acquired taste and I also used to dislike the flavor, but now I'm a huge fan. It's supposed to have all kinds of health benefits as well and is frequently used in Korean herbal medicine. In this dish, the daechu adds a sweet yet slightly bitter flavor to the tofu, which is then complemented by the salty sauce.

For the sauce, just whisk all the following ingredients together:

  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp crushed toasted sesame seeds

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You can either dip the tofu into the sauce, or drizzle spoonfuls directly onto the slices. Enjoy!