Spicy Soft Tofu Stew with meat



1/4 cup korean hot pepper flakes
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
125 g thinly sliced pork belly (you can use beef skirt or skinless chicken breast)
2 fresh shiitake mushrooms and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 cups unsalted chicken broth
2 tubes (300 g) soft tofu or silken tofu
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 spring onion, chopped
2 large eggs


1- Combine the hot pepper flakes, sesame oil and black pepper in a small bowl and mix well with a spoon until the hot pepper flakes absorb all the oil. Set aside.

2- Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir for 2 - 4 minutes, until the onion turns slightly brown and crispy.

3- Add the meat and shiitakes and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until the meat is lightly coloured.

4- Add the stock. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat is fully cooked and the stew is boiling vigorously.

5- Cut the tubes of tofu in half and squeeze them into the boiling stew. If using silken tofu, scoop or squeeze from the box into the stew.

6- Break up the tofu in the stew with a wooden spoon, the stir in the hot pepper mixture and the fish sauce. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until bubbling.

7- Carefully crack the eggs into the boiling stew and cook for another minutes. Gentle ladle the stew into two soup bowls without disturbing the eggs.

8- Scoop up each egg and place one in each bowl. Sprinkle with the spring onion and serve.

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