If the most famous street food in South Korea is TteokBokkI (Spicy Rice Cake Dish, 떡볶이), in North Korea, it is DuBuBap (Tofu Rice, 두부밥), which I would like to introduce to you today. This North Korean food that I stumbled across on TV made me think that I should make and eat it someday. After studying how the North Koreans make this on the Internet, I made my own delicious recipe. I made some changes to this that I wanted, but the finished food is very satisfying. Despite the fact that tofu is not a personally preferred ingredient for me, this tofu rice is so delicious that I keep eating it. Filled with seasoned rice in a tofu that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and served with delicious seasoning, the taste is the best. Be sure to make this tofu rice someday. I bet my vegan or vegetarian subscribers will be so happy to try this.
Yield: 24 Pieces
Short Korean Lesson
- NamHan (남한) = South Korea
- BukHan (북한) = North Korea
- 1 Pack Firm Tofu (14 oz) (⅛–¼ tsp Salt)
- 1 Generous Cup Cooked Short Grain Rice (½ tsp Sesame Oil, ½ tsp Sesame Seeds)
- ¼ Cup Korean Frying Mix (or Normal Flour and/or Cornstarch)
- 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- 3 Tbsp Green Onion, Finely Chopped
- 1½ Tbsp Soy Sauce
- ½ Tbsp Water
- ½ Tbsp Hot Pepper Powder
- ½ tsp Garlic, Minced
- 1 tsp Sesame Seeds
- ½ tsp Sugar
- ¼ tsp Sesame Oil
Obtain 1 pack (14 oz) of firm tofu. I normally buy a Korean brand if I can go to a Korean store, but these American brands seem pretty good too.
This step is optional, but if you want, rinse the tofu in water once.
Then gently tap the surface of the tofu on some paper towels to remove some of the liquid. This helps to make the tofu crispier when it gets fried later.
Cut the tofu twice in half to divide it into quarters like this.
Then, cut each piece in half again to make triangle pieces.
Now, put the triangular tofu on a cutting board like this, and cut it into three pieces. It will be roughly ½ inch thick.
Gently wipe the tofu with a paper towels once more.
Sprinkle some salt (⅛-¼ tsp depending on your tastes) on the tofu to season it. Let it set for about 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, put ¼ cup of Korean frying mix into a bowl and coat the tofu with the flour evenly.
I love the flavor and texture of the frying mix for this recipe, but you can also use normal flour and/or cornstarch instead. Use the same process for the rest of the tofu.
Add a generous amount of cooking oil (2 Tbsp) in a heated nonstick pan. It looks like that they deep fry the tofu in North Korea, but I think that pan frying it will waste less oil and still be tasty.Put all the tofu pieces in the heated pan, and fry for 5 minutes on medium.
Put all the tofu pieces in the heated pan, and fry for 5 minutes on medium.
After 5 minutes, flip them over and fry the other side for another 5 minutes, or until both sides become nice golden brown like this.
While the tofu is frying, add 1½ Tbsp soy sauce, ½ Tbsp water, ¼ tsp sesame oil, 3 Tbsp finely chopped green onion, ½ Tbsp hot pepper powder, ½ tsp minced garlic, ½ tsp sugar, 1 tsp sesame seeds in a small mixing bowl. Mix everything together.
When both sides are done, fry for 2 minutes on each side of the triangle. Don’t use too high of a temperature for frying these so that they become crispier.
Take them out of the pan and let them cool down little bit.
In this step, season about 1 generous cup of rice with ½ tsp each of the sesame oil and the sesame seeds. Mix it gently. It is better to handle the rice for this recipe when it’s freshly cooked and still warm and soft. (Oops … mine got a little hard while I was filming this video. hehe)
By now, the fried tofu will be cooled down, so you can carefully cut open the middle of the longest side of the triangle forming a pocket with a knife. That way you can stuff the rice in the middle. Use the same process for the rest of the tofu.
Open the tofu and put about 2 tsp of rice in it. It is easier to do this step if you form the rice into an oval like this before putting it in the tofu.
It is kind of fun to make this tofu rice and they are very cute. I think they make this tofu rice bigger than mine, more like the size of a half sandwich, but I wanted to make this in bite-sized pieces because it is easier to eat. It’s up to you. If it’s bigger, it will be even easier to make this.
Once all the processes are done, you can put some sauce on top of the rice. Since the sauce is in a little salty, you need to be careful about how much you put on top.
It looks interesting and delicious. Please try this North Korean style DuBuBap someday, and if you do, take some pictures and share it with me on Instagram or Facebook. I always love~ to see your food pictures.