Author Archives: Korean Tofu House

The Hype About Korea’s Red Pepper Paste

What is Gochujang?

Most if not all Korean restaurants and homes have this dark red Korean chile paste stocked in their refrigerators. It’s called gochujang (pronounced go-chu-jung) and it’s worth having this flavor-enhancer because just a spoonful of it adds sweet umami-packed spiciness to soups, marinades, sauces, and more. It’s made from chile peppers, sticky rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. It can be found at any Korean market, Whole Foods, or on Amazon.

Popular in Korea for centuries, as far back as the 9th century, it first appeared in the west about 100 years ago. Demand for this unique condiment has increased significantly in the past thirty years. This fermented, rice-based condiment has a garlic and chili flavor that makes it an ideal sauce for both Korean and non-Korean dishes. The original gochujang was something like pepper paste, but after the introduction of chili peppers to the region in the 16th century, this Korean staple got a boost.

So what’s the recipe for preparing gochujang?

The standard ingredients in most varieties include fermented soybean paste, red chili powder, glutinous rice, water, garlic, salt and a sweetener, either honey, sugar or corn syrup. Soy sauce and seed malt may be added to some variations, and special types may even include pumpkin, sweet potato, whole wheat kernels or barley. The variations depend on the region where it is produced, as well as the ingredients available.

How is it used – traditionally in Korean rice bowls called bibimbap, it gives kimchi its red color, in soups in place of tomato paste, toss with jarred tomato sauce to add complex flavor to pasta dishes, or mix with ketchup to create a gochujang dipping sauce for fries. It also melds well with barbecue flavors or stirred in with marinades.

Is gochujang gluten-free?

Not always: sometimes it has added wheat, so it’s best to check the label. Gochujang paste is not the same with store-bought Gochujang sauce, which might have additional ingredients mixed in. It will last up to two years in the refrigerator. Sriracha can be a substitute for gochujang, although thinner and has much more garlic flavor.

A single serving is about 20 grams or represents 45 calories. Nutritional benefits are from its base ingredients, though most are in small quantities. But studies have found that it also contains certain probiotics and the compound capsaicin, along with small amounts of fiber, sodium, and protein. Health benefits? They include its beneficial effects on gastrointestinal health, the immune system, energy levels, stress, and cardiovascular health.

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Savoring Chili Flavors in Korean Dishes in U-District

Have a boost of chili flavors when dining at Korean Tofu House near UW Seattle. We have everyone’s favorites just here at the University District.

Every Kind of Tofu You Can Imagine

Not All Tofu Are The Same

Tofu is a staple in many homes and at many restaurants. It’s made from mashed soybeans that are pressed into a block, giving it its distinctive cubed shape. Tofu-making includes coagulation that drains the soybean curds of excess liquid. It’s 100% plant-based and comes in varying degrees of firmness and texture.

But there isn’t just one type of tofu. Depending on how much liquid is extracted from the soybeans during coagulation, there are different types. The firmer the tofu, the less water it has; soft and silken tofu are bloated with liquid, giving it its soft, jiggly texture. Tofu can be fried, baked or smoked to make them extra delicious. Here’s a guide to follow.

Firm tofu holds its shape well, contains little water and still can absorb lots of flavors. So it’s ideal for pan frying, baking, and making tofu steaks. Vegetarians will love firm tofu.

Medium and soft tofu don’t retain their shape as firm tofu and not as dry, but they can still hold delicious sauces. They are used in miso soup, tingly mapo tofus, and gently fried agedashi tofu. They don’t do well baking in the oven.

Silken tofu is rich and creamy, perfect ingredient in vegan mayonnaise and dairy-free cheesecakes. It can be blended for dips and sauces, whisked with sugar to make fluffy “whipped cream” or mousse, or eaten delicately, drizzled with a ginger syrup for dessert. Traditionally, it is served cold with grated ginger, bonito flakes, and soy sauce.

Tofu skins are the skins that form on the surface when soy milk is boiled. They are delicately extracted and can be used fresh, dried, and even fermented. They taste like regular tofu, just thinner. When layered and seasoned, they can imitate the flavors and textures of chicken and duck which can be alternatives to meat. They are used to wrap rice and dim sum and create tiny, delightful tofu packages.

Fried tofu are squares of tofu fried and pre-packaged. It has a spongy, airy texture perfect for absorbing sauces; not as crispy, compact or crumbly as firm tofu. Just throw them into pad thais or stir-fries.

Seasoned tofu comes pre-seasoned and prepackaged, typically savory, steeped in soy sauce, garlicky marinades, and sesame flavorings. The Korean chili tofu is this type that’s made fresh, speckled with green onions, and sold at most Korean grocery stores.

Tofu spread are eaten with crackers, spread on sandwiches, and used as dips. They are available in a variety of flavors: garlic and herbs, garden vegetables, sun dried tomatoes, and even smoked salmon. Tofu spread is an alternative to cream cheese and other dairy goods.

Braised tofu is a ready-to-eat, well-seasoned tofu, typically uses firm tofu and poaches the soybeans in a soy sauce-heavy marinade before vacuum sealing it in its braising juice. Use as a tofu steak or served over rice for a quick vegan meal.

Baked tofu is prepared slightly differently than braised tofu. Instead of poaching the tofu in its flavoring, baked tofu is baked, and then left to soak up its marinades in its packaging. It’s also made from firmer tofu retain its texture in the baking process. It’s also ready-to-eat straight from the package.

Tofu pockets are a variation of fried tofu that can be sliced and filled, like a pocket. Traditionally, they are filled with rice and sprinkled with furikake. They are an alternative to flour-based wraps and bread and can be stuffed with favorite ingredients. Like a burrito – beans, rice, and cheese. Like a BLT – smoked tofu, tofu mayo, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Now you know a lot more about tofu. Tofu is not just your delicious, healthy food choice but a meat alternative that’s available in a variety of tastes and flavors. Truly versatile.


Enjoying Different Tofu Flavors in the University District at UW

At your UW Korean restaurant, Korean Tofu House, you’ll find that we treat tofu in a variety of ways – all nutritious, delicious and flavorful.

The Amazing Kimchi and its Health Benefits

Benefits Are In The Nutrients

How nutritious is Kimchi? It is a vegetable probiotic food that has low calories, low fat but is rich in vitamins. It has vitamin C and beta-carotene, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals and Lactobacillus and Lactobacillus brevis. With these nutrients, it offers a lot of health benefits.

What is Kimchi Good for?

Kimchi maybe be beneficial for weight loss. The dish is known to help those suffering from weight problems. The bacteria present in kimchi can suppress the appetite, likewise, the fiber content enables early and longer satiety so the feeling of fullness prevents one from eating more. Kimchi can also reduce blood sugar levels which tend to spike after eating meals. Some experts even claim that eating kimchi can help obese people shed pounds.

Kimchi is a cholesterol regulator. It can normalize high cholesterol levels, useful for people who want to regulate their cholesterol levels. Studies show that kimchi really lowers total cholesterol levels, especially LDL cholesterol. LDL is bad cholesterol and harmful to the body. Hence, eating kimchi reduces the risk of cardiac disorders like strokes and heart attacks derived from high bad cholesterol.

It’s also is an anti-aging food. We know that the aging process of our bodies is brought about by inflammation. Kimchi’s antioxidant content plus its vitamin C are able to regulate inflammation, which is said to speed up the aging process. A study has demonstrated the anti-aging effects of kimchi on the human body, particularly in the cellular level.

Kimchi is an immune system booster. Its wide range of flavonoids and phenolic compounds provide the antioxidant effect plus some immune system promoting boost. The peppers, garlic and ginger are also known to have a positive effect on the immune system. Hence, these make kimchi able to fight common infections like colds and flu.

With kimchi’s rich components and nutritious elements, why shouldn’t it be an accompaniment in every Korean and even non-Korean meals. Food this healthy should be a way of life.


Healthy Meals and Healthy Lifestyle at UW Seattle

When visiting UW Seattle, be sure to drop by Korean Tofu House and enjoy all our best-selling Korean selections. Get loads of our delicious kimchi and live healthy.