Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 hearty servings
1 package tofu (firm), 1 TBS oil
1 pear, 1/2 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1" chunk ginger, 3 TBS tamari (to taste), 2 TBS brown sugar, 1 TBS sesame oil
1 cup white jasmine rice, 1 1/2 cup water, salt
a dozen radishes, julienned
1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar
3 carrots, thinly julienned
1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 TBS gochujang
4 young zucchini, julienned thickly
1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1 TBS honey, sprinkle sesame seeds, pinch of salt
lettuce (chopped into chunky ribbons), mung bean sprouts
4 eggs (optional) & oil for frying, gochujang and sesame seeds (to garnish)
Drain the tofu and press it to release the excess water while you prepare the other ingredients. Start by coarsely chopping the dry marinade ingredients (pear through ginger) and add them to a food processor with the soy sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Pulse until smooth and set aside. Next get your rice on. Rinse the rice grains, bring them to a boil in salted water, cover with a lid, and reduce it to a simmer for 20 minutes.
While the rice cooks, prepare the pickling liquid from the radishes (water, vinegar, sugar) and the carrots (water, vinegar, and gochujang) and set the vegetables in their respective liquids to pickle. Next get a heavy pan over medium high heat with a tablespoon of oil to cook the tofu. When the pan is hot, loosely crumble the tofu in. Be careful as this will cause a little splatter. Give the pan a good toss and break up any big chunks of tofu. Then let the tofu fry, undisturbed, for several minutes. In the meantime, prepare you zucchini by melting the honey, sesame oil, and salt together and pouring them over the sliced zucchini. You can keep this raw or saute it ever so quickly (60 seconds in a hot pan is plenty). Give the tofu a good toss, then get a pan on for the eggs. A runny yolk is desirable, so sunny-side up or over easy is ideal. As the eggs cook, toss your tofu. When the tofu is nicely browned and crunchy add in the marinade. Saute for a minute or two more, then remove the pan from the heat. By now all of your elements should be about ready. As with most "bowl"style dishes, it plates up nicely in discreet little piles, but ultimately ends up all tossed together, so plate as you like. Don't forget the mung bean sprouts, gochujang, and sesame seeds to top!