Vegan Korean Hot-Pot (Dubu-Busut Jeongol)
Why I Love This Recipe
FEATURING: Pac choi, cabbage, peppers, carrots, onions, garlic, and scallions.
On our anniversary this year, Jim and I tried a Korean vegan Dubu-Busut Jeongol for the first time. Dubu (tofu) Busut (mushroom) Jeongol (hot pot/stew) is a spicy bright red popular Korea dish that is usually cooked/served on top of a butane stove directly on the dining table in a family gathering. In any case, we loved it as soon as we tried it and we've been meaning to make it at home ever since. Here's a recipe that I adapted last night, based on what I had at home. It comes pretty close in taste to the one we first ate but the colour wasn't there. To be even closer in colour and in taste to the original recipe, I would have had to use kelp powder as well as Korean red chili powder (gochugaru-www.trifood.com/gochugaru.asp)- but I did not have any. Still, our version is pretty tasty and definitely a meal that warms you up from the inside out- perfect on a cool day. Serve it over rice or eat it as a soup.
Note: You can also use gochujuang (red chili paste) instead of Sriracha or Korean red chili powder.
Ingredients You'll Need
1 package of medium or firm organic tofu, sliced in 1/2 inch thick rectangular pieces then cut in half as to get triangular pieces
3 cups of mixed mushrooms (any combination of king oyster, oyster, shitake mushrooms, sliced)
1 pack of fresh enoki mushroom (torn to separate into smaller chunks)
2 large onions (sliced)
2 green peppers, chopped
1-2 carrot, julienned
1 cup cabbage, chopped in 1 inch ribbons
1-2 head(s) of pac choi, leaves cut in 1 inch ribbons and stems julienned (1/2 inch thick)
2 scallions (chopped)
Approx. 6-9 cups of vegetable broth (or just enough to cover the vegetables)
SAUCE/BROTH (I made one and a half batch of sauce):
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp kelp powder (I left it out since I did not have any)
1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce****
1/2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
*** The real recipe call for 1-2 Tbsp korean pepper powder and it is what gives this soup a lovely bright red colour so use korean pepper powder if you can [Better to start with less than too much. If you want a simpler, clearer broth version of this hot pot, just cut down on the amount of pepper powder.)
1. Wash and prepare the bean sprouts and mushrooms (cut the stems off, slice the mushrooms, and tear the enoki mushrooms to separate them into smaller chunks). Slice the tofu and onions. Chop the peppers, carrots, cabbage and pac choi.
2. Put sliced tofu on the bottom of the pot.
3. Layer the sliced onions, mushrooms, peppers, carrots, cabbage and pac choi over the tofu.
4. Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl and warm in small pot over low-medium heat until the sugar dissolves. If using Korean chili pepper, you'll need to cook the sauce/broth for 10 minutes (this breaks down the pepper powder so the broth will be smoother. Be careful of the amount of pepper powder, it is better to start with less than too much.)
5. Add the cooked sauce and vegetable broth into the main pot so it barely covers the vegetables and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add some water if the broth cooks down too much.
6. Add chopped scallions and bring to quick boil.
7. Serve with rice!