Thursday, October 15, 2015

Slow Cooker Korean Tofu and Eggplant

Yes it is possible to have your Korean Bulgogi without the beef.   Substituting firm tofu really works. You will not miss the beef at all.  You do not even need to press out the liquid from the tofu if you are in a hurry. The slow cooker method of cooking allows the tofu time to absorb the awesome marinade.  You do not even have to worry that the tofu would turn mushy from slow cooking.  The tofu held its firm texture perfectly when I made this dish.  This is a no fail recipe. This is now one of my favorite go to recipes in my plant based eating repertoire.

The sauce or marinade is the thing or essence of the dish.  I did succumb to the temptation of using store bought Korean Bulgogi marinade which was possibly not plant based friendly. But do not worry I included a homemade Korean Bulgogi marinade recipe in this post which I have used before when I prepared the Slow Cooker Korean Baby Back Ribs from my pre-plant-based-approach-to-eating days.

I up the nutrition and texture of the sauce by adding eggplant to the ingredients.  I like the added soft texture and sort of thickness it conveyed to the sauce.

This dish is good over brown or white rice and also quinoa accompanied with fresh cut napa cabbage or your favorite cabbage slaw.  So good.  I just had to share this.

Slow Cooker Korean Tofu and Eggplant  

  • 1 block of firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup store bought Korean Bulgogi marinade or use the homemade one (ingredients shown below)
  • 1 Asian or ordinary egg plant, cut in 1 inch slices
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water
Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for 3 hours at high setting or 6 hours at low setting.  I used an Aroma Brand rice cooker/slow cooker and cooked it for 2 hours at slow cooker setting.  If you are using the Homemade Korean Bulgogi Marinade instead of the store bought one, just place all the ingredients in the recipe given below in the slow cooker with the tofu, eggplant and cornstarch.

Ingredients for the Homemade Korean Bulgogi Marinade
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped (I used red delicious apples but you can use any variety)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1/4  brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or according to taste)
  • 2 tbsp water

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