Korean Tofu Tacos


I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned my obsession with tacos. Hands down, the most enjoyment-worthy food around. Their popularity spanning along the US west coast - Washington, Oregon, and California. A very recent introduction to the bustling streets of Toronto. A few establishments in Vancouver and Victoria offering their own version. Oh yes, I have done my research. I judge a city in order of importance, based on whether or not they offer a worthy taco. My harsh criticisms and specific desires in a taco has gotten me into a argument or two. Before moving to Seattle, unbeknownst to me that these tiny tacos were the epitome of a true culinary delight. My first discovery, in a tiny bar on the corner of a bustling street in Siem Reap Cambodia, eating fish tacos and drinking Angkor beer, immediately becoming my favorite food. I'm not sure if it was the comparison I made to white rice and vegetables, which I had been eating for many months prior, my recent emergence from Laos, surviving on a diet of sticky rice and wild leaves, but my mouth was in heaven, and my body feeling nourished. 


In Seattle, I have a few favorites. Pecado Bueno - crispy cod and their traditional white sauce. An array of salsa and toppings to be explored. Pike Street Fish Fry, Anthony's Fish Bar, and at the top of my list (by a large margin) - Marination's tofu tacos. I've been trying to recreate their total taco success, their famous Nunya sauce, crispy tofu, and tangy slaw for months. On Thursday, I did the unimaginable. Some may agree, some may not. My in-laws were the only ones who got to sample, and since they haven't tried Marination to compare, I am left with only my own opinion. Regardless, I adore them. Gochujang, a fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, rice, fermented soybeans and salt. It's a spicy red paste, and I speculate that it is the secret ingredient in the Nunya sauce. I marinated the tofu in a few flavors, let it sit for 30 minutes. Fried it to crispy perfection. Whipped up some Nunya sauce, prepared the tangy slaw. I grabbed a pack of corn tortillas from Trader Joes, which I'll admit, are a bit different from the tortillas that they use at Marination. As long as you can find some good fresh tortillas, you are set. I do hope that you try this recipe. It has got to be one of my favorites. And I hope you can join me in my love affair with tacos. 



KOREAN TOFU TACO RECIPE (print)
makes 8 small tacos

TOFU MARINADE INGREDIENTS
1 - 14 oz package extra-firm tofu, drained and chopped (not silken)
1 clove garlic
1 tsp ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp Mirin
1/2 tsp Sriracha
1/4  - 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp canola oil for frying

DRESSING INGREDIENTS
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 tbsp gochujang
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp lime juice
3 tbsp canola oil

TANGY SLAW INGREDIENTS
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp sugar

8 small corn tortillas
sesame seeds

In a food processor, add the garlic and ginger. Whiz until pureed. Next, add the soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, mirin, Sriracha, and 1/4 cup water. Pulse until combined. Drain the tofu and wrap in a towel to soak up the water. Cut the tofu into small bite size pieces. Place the tofu into a shallow bowl or baking dish. Drizzle the marinade over top, making sure that all of the tofu has been covered. If the tofu is not covered, add an addition 1/4 cup of water. Let the tofu sit for 30 minutes to marinade, tossing every 10 minutes. 

While the tofu is marinading, add the garlic and onions to the food processor. Whiz until pureed. Add the gochujang, mayo, sugar, mirin, lime juice, and canola oil. Pulse until smooth and liquid. Add more oil if needed. Set to the side. 

Place 2 tbsp of canola oil in a frying pan. Heat on medium. When the oil is hot, add the tofu with the marinade sauce. Fry for 10 minutes, flipping every once in a while, or until tofu becomes nice and crispy on the outside. 

In a small bowl, combine the mirin and sugar. Finely chop the cabbage, and then drizzle the mirin and sugar over top. Toss. 

Heat the corn tortillas in the microwave. Scoop a generous serving of tofu into the taco, top with tangy cabbage slaw, drizzle with the dressing, and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. 


16 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe!! It combines so many of my favorite things. I can't wait to try it.

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    1. You are welcome. It is my absolute favorite recipe.

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  2. Well, this has certainly got me hungry for tacos! What a glorious fusion recipe.

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  3. Beautiful! What camera and lens do you use? :-)

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    1. I use a Canon EOS 60D and I alternate between a Canon 24 - 105 mm and a fixed Sigma 30 mm.

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  4. I don't usually prepare tacos at home, not because I don't like them, but because I never think about it... Now, after reading your fantastic marinated tofu recipe, I wonder why I don't make tacos more often...

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    1. I agree. I often forget about them myself.

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  5. Oh wow! These look incredible! I cannot wait to try this out. Yummmmm!

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    1. Thanks Courtney. My favorite recipe in a while.

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  6. These were seriously amazing! I'm in love. I added some kimchi too :D

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    1. I am so glad you like them. They are one of my favorite recipes. And kimchi is a great idea.

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  7. Delicious but not the same flavor an Nunya sauce. (I am not connected with Marination but live in Seattle and eat there regularly). I think it's too much Gochujong and like, and not enough mayonnaise?

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    1. Feel free to increase the mayo. Personally, I prefer this recipe. :)

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  8. Bobby Gourmet04 June, 2013

    My favorite lunch truck has Korean tofu tacos and after having them today I was determined to find a comparable recipe to make at home. This was my first attempt and it was a complete success!! Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe. My 6 year old son and I just devoured these tacos for dinner like it was nobodies business haha! Oh, and I did not have mirin so i used rice vinegar and i worked very well. Also added the step of dry frying the tofu without oil for a few minutes after pressing as it helps get additional moisture out before marinating and also adds a better consistency to the end result. Thanks again!

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  9. Just visited Marination myself and posted on it; linked here for those who can't make it to Seattle.

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