March 22, 2007


Some Like it Hot : TUBU CHIGAE

Since becoming a vegetarian recently I have been eating a lot of tubu ( Korean for tofu ). Illustrated above is one of my favorite concoctions, Tubu Chigae, or Tofu Stew. The red pepper paste ( kochujang ) is to say the least pretty hot, but it is delicious. Korean food is rather convenient for vegetarians as it ordinarily used meat as a condiment and can be rather easily substituted with tubu or omitted altogether.

My one fear in turning vegetarian was that I would be hungry all the time, but I actually wasn't because the plant foods are high in fiber and I can eat as much as I want.

Some of my friends want to eat more tofu but are at a loss on how to cook it. For a healthy, delicious and easy to make soup the entire family can eat ( it's not spicy ), try the following recipe for Spinach-Tubu soup , which serves 4 :

2 bundles fresh spinach
1 package of soft Tubu
Miso, or bean paste ( season to taste ), or
chicken broth
3 cups water
2 Green Onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Black pepper

Wash spinach 5-6 times. In large pot, slowly mix Miso with water to form a paste. Start with 3 tablespoons miso and if not salty enough, add more. Add water, bring to a boil and add spinach, garlic, tubu, and green onions. Simmer until spinach is tender. I eat it with brown rice but my hubby wouldn't even dream of anything but white rice. Anyhoo, he's skinny so he doesn't have to worry about calories. It's still a mystery to me how Asians can consume all that white rice and not pack on the pounds.

So I'm just stuffing myself with all kinds of veggies, beans, brown rice, fruit, and occasionally, eggs and whole grain pasta. I drink Soymilk, which doesn't taste as bad as I had imagined it would. I feel SO healthy. I'm just waiting for a " melt-down " of the pounds I put on while suffering through the long Chicago winter and not being physically active due to my foot condition and surgery.

I haven't had meat in 3 weeks and I'm surprised to say that I don't miss it that much. I think summer will be even easier with all the fresh vegetables and salads. More on my adventures in veggieland later.


  1. Good for you! I was a vegetarian officially for 4 years, only introducing meat into my diet the past 6 mos. I think it's easy to do if you take it one day at a time. The days will turn into weeks, the weeks into months. The meat in my diet now (at least I try) is naturally raised and it makes me feel better. I love tofu and recently made a tofu burrito -- coating firm tofu with taco seasoning and cooking it up. Yum!

  2. I'm not a vegetarian, but I know it's really better for you. I wish I could be. There are days that I mainly eat veg. and fruit. In the summer we eat a little meat with our veggies. It is a hard habit to break. My husband is a meat and potatoes type, but we have cut back drastically on the types of meat that we consume.(doctor's orders!) Fish, chicken, turkey, are the main meats that we eat now.

  3. This looks like a great dish to
    try, Of course I grew up with this
    kind of dishes.



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