Kimchi Soup with Tofu

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Kimchi Soup with TofuFermentation is enjoying a renaissance moment in this country, in part thanks to kimchi, which is a key component in many Korean soups.

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Total Time: 25 Minutes


  • 2 tablespoons good-quality vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1½ cups kimchi (to make your own, see page 93),
  • chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup short-grain white rice
  • 12 ounces soft silken tofu, drained
  • Pepper
  • ½ cup chopped scallions for garnish
How to Make It
  1. Put the vegetable and sesame oils in a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add the kimchi and cook, stirring, for just a few seconds. Add 7 cups water along with the vinegar and soy sauce and bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles gently but steadily.
  2. Add the rice, stir, and once again adjust the heat so the mixture simmers. Cover and cook, undisturbed, until the rice is tender and the broth thickens, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Add the tofu and stir to break it into pieces with a spoon. Let the soup return to a boil, then remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more soy and vinegar if you’d like along with some black pepper. Garnish with the scallions and serve.
  4. KOREAN-STYLE MUSHROOM SOUP WITH TOFU With unfermented vegetables, you’ve really got to have mushroom stock here instead of water to make the best broth: Instead of the kimchi, use a combination of 1 pound sliced white button mushrooms and ½ pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced (caps only; remove and reserve the stems for stock). In Step 1, when you add them to the hot oil, keep cooking, stirring occasionally, until they release their liquid and the pot becomes dry again; you can even brown them a bit. When the mushrooms are ready, add 1 to 2 tablespoons gochujang or other chile paste or sauce and 2 tablespoons sesame seeds. Proceed with Step 2.

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