When Ms. Spicy Meets Mr. Sweet
Having a little heat is never a bad thing, especially when you will be rewarded with sweetness. Eating is never boring and I always love making food that me on a journey of different flavor profiles.
Originally this Korean tofu soup (Soondubu) is mostly spicy and savory - made up of extra soft tofu and a soup base made of chili and broth plus either kimchi, pork or seafood. However. I wanted to add a little spin and give it a little sweet aftertaste to balance the heat. The result, well you should try it for yourself and tell us what you think.
Mama Panda's Sweet & Spicy Tofu Soup with Grilled Pork
30 MINUTES AND COUNTING: Mix 2 tablespoons of Korean chili pepper paste, 1 tablespoon of miso paste, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, and 3 cloves of chopped garlic.
25 MINUTES AND COUNTING: In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in high heat. Add half of the kielbasa sliced and 3 cloves of garlic chopped to cook for 5 minutes. Add 5 mushrooms sliced and 1 tablespoon of mirin to sweat out the liquid for a minute. Add 1/2 cup of kimchi and 1 tablespoon of the kimchi juice and simmer for 3 minutes.
15 MINUTES AND COUNTING: Add half of the chili sauce mixture, 1/2 cup of water and 5 tablespoons of fish sauce. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
10 MINUTES AND COUNTING: In a separate saucepan, heat 2-3 cups of water (enough to cover the eggs) to rolling boil. Turn off the heat and add 2-4 eggs to sit for exactly 7 minutes, which will produce perfectly soft boiled eggs. Move eggs to cold water to stop the cooking process.
In the meantime, add a package of extra soft tofu and smash into the soup with the back of the cooking spoon. Keep doing that until the tofu is mostly smashed into smaller bites. Heat for the remaining of the time. Taste and season to taste.
Optionally, dress the dish with any other toppings you want or have in the fridge. In this case, I added some grilled corn for sweetness, grilled pork loin slices for texture, cilantro and fried shallots plus the soft boiled eggs. Serve with white rice and enjoy!