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Author Notes: Subtle is rarely a word used to Korean food and this dish is no exception. Piquant, peppery and robust- the tender tofu juxtaposed with crisp bacon lardons and a spicy green onion salad is a Korean inspired "mapo tofu". This dish is easily vegan and vegetarian friendly by omitting the bacon. —The Shared Plate
- 2 pieces bacon
- 1 tablespoon tablespoon fermented bean paste (Korean dwen jang or Japanese miso are suitable)
- 2 tablespoons tablespoons fermented pepper paste (Korean gochujang)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon gochugaru + 1 pinch (Korean red pepper flakes)
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, small dice
- 3 pieces garlic, sliced thin
- 14 ounces firm tofu, 1/2" cubes
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
- 3 pieces green onion
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- Slice bacon into lardons, place in nonstick skillet and cook on medium heat until crisp and fat is rendered- about 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl add: fermented bean paste, gochujang, soy sauce, honey, coarse black pepper and kosher salt. Stir to combine, set aside. Cut onion into a small dice, slice garlic, and cube tofu- set aside.
- Once the bacon is cooked, drain on a paper towel and drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan. On medium high heat, add the onion and garlic and sweat until translucent.
- Add tofu to the pan and turn heat up to high, lightly frying the tofu in the bacon fat. Toss and brown until heated through- about 3 minutes. Add the spicy sauce and 1/3 cup of water to the tofu, stirring gently to prevent breaking up the tofu. Cook on high for 4-6 minutes until sauce has thickened and coated the tofu. Turn off heat and drizzle tofu with sesame oil.
- Slice green onions on a bias and place in a small bowl. Dress the green onions with a pinch of gochugaru (red pepper flakes) and 2 teaspoons of rice wine vinegar.
- Spoon tofu into a shallow bowl and garnish with dressed green onions and crisp bacon. Serve with white rice and devour immediately.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipes with Tofu