Easy Seafood Soon Tofu (해물 순두부)

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Friday nights = I don’t cook nights.  With the exception of this past Friday night, that equation proves true.  We made a trip out to the Korean Market in Oakland a couple Saturdays ago and bought all the ingredients to make this Tofu Soup but for whatever reason, never got around to making Ken’s favorite soup.  Friday nights are always pizza and a movie night with the family and last Friday was going to be no exception, but I got a text message from Ken asking if we could have the Seafood Tofu Soup for dinner that night… I immediately thought to reply “of course not!  I don’t cook dinner on Fridays!” but then thought… well… I guess I could.  And that, my friends, is because this soup so easy and quick!

I already mentioned this soup is Ken’s favorite soup, and it’s also high up on the list for my kids as well.  They love Korean soups and like to dump their bowl of rice into their soup and eat it together, which is exactly what I did growing up, and is exactly what Korean moms feed their little toddlers after they start solids.  This tofu soup is a bit spicy but the kids didn’t have a problem finishing their food with a cup of water on hand.

Easy Seafood Soon Tofu (Korean Soft Tofu Soup)

  • 2 cups kimchi, finely chopped
  • 1 pack frozen seafood mix, 12 oz (or canned chopped clams, about 3 cans)
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
  • 5 packs silken tofu, 11oz each
  • 2-3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • vegetable or canola oil
  • finely ground red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • salt & pepper

Optional step: Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to hot, large pot and add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to make the spicy oil, then add the kimchi.

  1. Heat a large pot and add a teaspoon of oil.  Add the kimchi and cook the kimchi on med-high heat until it starts to become translucent, about 3-4 mins.
  2. Increase heat to high, add the frozen seafood and stir-fry until it is almost cooked. Or add the canned clams with the clam juice.
  3. Add the chicken broth and bring it to a boil.
  4. When the soup is boiling, add the silken tofu and break it up into big chunks with a spatula and bring to a boil.  Add the eggs and again bring to boil.
  5. Add a teaspoon of sesame oil and the green onions then season with salt and pepper.

Done!

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Super quick and easy. The only prep you need to do is to chop the kimchi and the green onions.  Tip: I like to wear food service gloves when handling kimchi so I don’t end up with orangey-red fingertips and a lovely kimchi smelling hand.

The soup tastes great with canned clams as well!  The clam juice in the canned clams make the broth really flavorful and gives it a stronger seafood taste.  Just add less chicken stock if you are using canned clams since the juice in the cans will count towards the liquid you are adding to make the soup.

Korean Soon Tofu is closer to a stew in the sense that your tofu chunks should not be swimming around in a lot of liquid, but if you like it with more soup then add more of the chicken stock, just don’t drown your tofu.

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The only “exotic” ingredient I used for this dish is the kimchi, and even that can be found at your local grocery store around the Bay Area.  I must confess, I buy my kimchi from the Korean market and don’t make my own.  But I have tried once!  Fun Fact: Did you know many Koreans have a separate Kimchi refrigerator that keeps their kimchi at their perfectly fermented state for months?  They actually sell these little (and sometimes, not so little) kimchi fridges.

Next time you’re at the grocery store, see if you can’t spot a little jar of kimchi! I bet you’ll see it, if you haven’t already.

As always, thank you for reading and hope you have a great week!

-Flora

Quick Chicken Wonton Soup

I’m an avid Trader Joe’s fan and of course I enjoy going to Costco just as much.  So it’s no surprise that most of the ingredients for this wonton soup are either from Trader Joe’s or Costco, with the exception of the rice vinegar, which I purchased at a local Korean grocery store.

The frozen wontons, chicken stock, and the soy sauce (refill) are from Costco.  Everything else, minus the rice vinegar, are from Trader Joe’s.  And don’t get me going on their frozen crushed garlic: They are just SO convenient and easy to use, and the same goes for their shredded carrots.

So it’s been cold here in the Bay area (as cold as it can get here in Nor Cal) and I have been craving a lot of hot soup to warm me up.  This is such a quick and satisfying soup that I have been making it quite often and just made some tonight to go with some fried rice (when husband’s not home for dinner, I like to keep dinner quick and easy).  It can definitely stand on it’s own for a lunchtime meal and makes enough for myself and my 3 little musketeers.  I originally got this recipe from my favorite book “The I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook”  (which I scored from my local library’s used bookstore for $2) and made some tweaks to suit our taste buds and has been and will continue to be my quick go-to soup.  Try it! You won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients

  • 1 quart (about 4 cups) chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cubes of Trader Joe’s frozen crushed garlic (or 2 cloves garlic minced)
  • 1 TB light soy sauce
  • scant 1 TB rice vinegar
  • chicken cilantro wontons (fully cooked, frozen from Costco) (about 2-3 handfuls)
  • handful of shredded carrots (Trader Joe’s)
  • quartered (or halved) baby bok choy
  • 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Directions

  1. Add chicken stock, garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar in a medium pot and bring it to a boil
  2. Add the frozen wontons, bring to boil, then simmer until ready 
  3. Put in a handful of shredded carrots and the baby bok choy and simmer until tender.
  4. Remove from heat and add the sliced green onions and the sesame oil
  5. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Cheers,
Flora


Ginger Tomato Beef Soup

After getting married, my mother-in-law picked us up from the airport and when we arrived at her house late at night with rumbling tummies, gave us some of this soup for us to eat.  I completely fell in love with this soup and she verbally gave me the ‘recipe’.  It became THE soup to expect when my husband would return home from a business trip and whenever I would leave him alone at home while I went to visit my family with the kids.  (THE soup and lasagna would sustain him for a few days)  Poor him.  ha.

It’s a really soothing, delicious soup and healthy at that.  Just eat it with some rice or bread and you’ve got you and your family a healthy and great-tasting meal.  This recipe makes a large pot of soup so it’s great if you have a hippo for a husband who drinks soup by the gallon.  😉  Gotta love my hubby.

Ginger Tomato Beef Soup
Ingredients
1 ½ lbs beef shank (or beef stew meat*)
1 ½- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
4-5 carrots, peeled and chopped
5-6 celery stalks, chopped
½ head of cabbage, chopped
1 qt chicken stock
1 qt creamy tomato soup (Trader Joe’s tastes best)
Salt and pepper
Tabasco(optional, gives it a really nice kick)
*if you use beef stew beef, then the soup base may be a little less hearty, and can substitute half of the chicken stock for beef broth
prep all your veggies by washing, peeling, and chopping
 That’s about how much ginger I use.  Peel and slice.
Add the beef and sliced ginger to a pressure cooker pot and add water just until the meat is almost submerged.  
Lock the pressure cooker lid and heat on high until it comes to a boil, then boil for about 30 mins on med-low heat.  Turn off the heat and allow it to cool and release all the steam. 

 You can skim off some of the fat/oil floating on the surface.  Once the steam is released and you are able to unlock the pot, remove the beef and cut it up into small cubes, trimming away and tossing the fat and the small bone in the middle.  Strain the liquid through a strainer, toss the ginger, and transfer the beef and the strained liquid to another large pot.

 Add the chicken stock, creamy tomato soup, and all the vegetables and bring to a boil, skimming the foam that rises.  Boil until the vegetables are soft then season with salt and black pepper.  

That’s IT!  Serve with some Tabasco, if you dare 😉