KIMCHI BEEF AND TOFU SOUP

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS This warming and traditional Korean soup gets tons of tangy flavor from kimchi, a spicy fermented vegetable condiment that uses cabbage as its base. There’s also a double dose of hearty protein from both beef and tofu. Make sure to save the kimchi brine when draining and measuring the kimchi; we used the brine to add extra zing to our broth. Note that the flavor and spiciness of kimchi can vary from brand to brand, and this will slightly affect the flavor of the soup. Sirloin steak tips, also known as flap meat, can be sold as whole steaks, cubes, or strips. To ensure uniform pieces for our soup, we prefer to buy whole steaks and cut them ourselves. For supple, tender bites of tofu, we chose firm tofu. You can also use extra-firm tofu.

Serves 4 to 6

Total time: 1 hour

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces firm tofu, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 pound sirloin steak tips, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • ½ cup mirin
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 3 cups cabbage kimchi, drained and chopped, 1 cup kimchi brine reserved
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin on bias
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

 

PREPARATION

  1. Spread tofu on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and let drain for 20 minutes. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown beef well on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Slowly stir in mirin, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in water, broth, kimchi, and kimchi brine and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until the meat is tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Off heat, stir tofu, scallions, soy sauce, and sesame oil into soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve.