I told you I would make this, and I finally did. And it was fan-f*cking-delicious. Yeah, it was that good. I hasten to add once again, this is by no means a definitive recipe, nor is it “authentic” or even what you might like. I liked it. You might not. But seriously it was good. REALLY GOOD. Slightly sour/vinegary, a nice kick to it, creamy in texture from the tofu, and really, when piping hot and eaten plain or over a scoop of white rice… absolutely perfect, soothing to my very core, warming me up. (This week, not so much; but when I made it, it was really, really cold out.)
In the above picture, you see: a tub of gochujang or Korean red pepper paste; a block of soft/silken tofu cut up (I broke it up further with my spoon later), (toasted) sesame oil, a mini prep bowl of minced garlic (a couple of cloves; I love garlic) and minced anchovies, and a bowl of “shredded pork” marinating in some soy sauce and cornstarch.
I used anchovies because that’s what I had on hand from making Caesar dressing the night before – I had maybe half a flat tin of these left, so I just took them all out and went over and over them until they were nothing more than a bit of paste. Many recipes I found online call for anchovy stock (made using dried anchovies and boiling water), so this was my substitution with what I had on hand. Do either. Do both. Whatever, it’s to add a background umami (savory) taste, so it’s really up to you. I liked my way just fine.
As for the shredded pork – there’s a supermarket here that has a meat section, and they offer “striped pork” (which is really pork strips). You can do this yourself by buying whatever cheap cut of meat and slicing it thinly – I like to freeze my meat a little before I cut it thinly – or you can substitute ground pork, or ground beef, or sliced up chicken or sliced up beef… whatever strikes your fancy. The cornstarch was to improve the texture of the meat – it makes the meat feel silky in your mouth and is actually what a lot of takeout Chinese places do to your meat if you’ve ever wondered why the meat tastes a little silky but never does when you make it. There you go. Ancient Chinese secret revealed on the Feisty Foodie 😉
This is a close up of the gochujang, hot pepper paste. I couldn’t tell you if this is a good brand (I don’t believe it is, because when I got home and inspected it, it said MADE IN CHINA which pissed me off so bad, I considered throwing it away), I just walked into a Korean supermarket and grabbed blindly. It smelled OK and tasted fine, so I don’t think I did too poorly.
Heat a little bit of sesame oil in the bottom of a pot. I used a small-ish “soup” pot that I use to make stuff for one. Add garlic, stirring to prevent too much browning. I would add the anchovies here, though I didn’t add them until later. I think it would be better to add them here so they can heat up and break down a little bit.
Add your meat including any extraneous “marinade” from the bowl. Stir around a little bit to prevent sticking.
Add a tablespoon or two of gochujang to taste. I added two big tablespoons and it was a bit too spicy but tempered out after a day or two. Stir it around to coat the meat.
Deglaze with stock. I think this is an important note: I used homemade turkey stock. It added a lot of flavor. I’m sure you can use whatever stock you’d like or have on hand, but the stock really adds a background world of flavor.
Bring to a rolling boil. Let it roll for a few minutes. Add the cubed up tofu, breaking up further if desired. Then, add a beaten egg or two (I used two) to the pot, stirring the whole time.
Add chopped green onions. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Serve over rice.
Holy crap, that was some kind of delicious. In fact, if it gets really cold again, I’m making this tonight.
Enjoy & happy eating!!!