Every family has its own dialect. As a Chinese-American, I grew up speaking Chinglish and I remember that odd moment, when I realized not all the words I was using were really words. They were not English or Chinese or even malapropisms, but some remnant of baby talk and repeated mishearing. So it is with some trepidation when I introduce the concept of “freezer tofu.” You see, I’m not sure if it’s a real thing.
Freezer tofu is when you freeze a block of tofu, let it defrost, and then press the water out for a chewier consistency. You can probably buy the stuff, but I’m not sure what it’s called. Regular tofu, even the extra firm variety, doesn’t hold up to stir-frying.
The recipe is based on No Recipes. I’ve made an earlier version that has bacon in it. As I’m currently doing a meatless week — I kind of cheated with seafood — I replaced the bacon with tofu and a poached egg.To save time and reduce dish washing, I poached the eggs in the pasta water. But you can also fry an egg or omit it completely.
I love molten yolks on everything, and think of this dish as a fusion of east meets west. But if you wanted to go full Asian, you can always replace the spaghetti with instant ramen, soba, or whatever is in your pantry.
Kimchi Spaghetti with Tofu
- 1/2 block of freezer tofu, defrosted, pressed, and cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup of chopped kimchi
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons of gochujang
- 8 oz of spaghetti, or a pasta of your choice
- 2 eggs
- 1 green onion, sliced into rounds
First, boil a pot of water for the pasta and cook the pasta until al dente.
In a large pan or wok, stir fry the kimchi and garlic until fragrant. About a minute. Add the gochujang and a few tablespoons of pasta water to create a sauce. Add the freezer tofu and let it stew for a few minutes, until it takes on a pleasant reddish color.Using tongs, add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir. The pasta doesn’t have to be drained, and the little bit of water clinging to the noodles adds to the sauce. Sprinkle with green onions.
Using the old pasta water, poach the eggs one at a time for a few minutes or just long enough for the pasta to heat through. I always crack the egg into a bowl, swirl the water, and then gently ease the egg into the almost boiling water. I’m told the moving water helps the white wrap more tightly around the yolk.
Plate the pasta and create a small indentation in the mound for the egg to sit. Serve immediately.