The basics of the dish: you take firm tofu, slice it, pan fry it (which changes the texture), and then braise it in a soy, sesame, water, garlic liquid. What you end up with is a rich flavored, wonderfully textured slice of tofu -and incidentally, Daughter #1 can eat more than 1/2 of a traditional pack of tofu prepared this way, all on her own! It is relatively fast, and since you are braising tofu and not beef or chicken, the braising part is actually finished in less than 15 minutes.
Braised Tofu (두부찜)
1 pack of firm tofu, cut in half lengthwise, and then sliced into 1/2 inch slices
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use canola or safflower)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (gochugahloo - less or more depending on your spice tolerance.)
1 teaspoon crushed toasted sesame seed
In a heavy fry pan, heat over medium heat and add oil. Carefully add tofu slices (it can splatter so watch out!) and do not overcrowd the pan. Carefully fry tofu until it is crisp and golden brown on one side, and then flip it over to cook the other side. About 2-3 minutes per side. When they are golden, remove them from the fry pan and put on a plate. Continue until all the tofu is cooked. (This photograph is not the BEST representation of my fried tofu, but I was dealing with a sick child when I took this, so I "overcooked" some...you want golden brown not crunchy brown)
In a medium sized pot, add soy sauce, water, sesame oil, green onions, chopped garlic and chili powder. Give a quick mix. Carefully lay tofu slices into the pot.
Continue until you have added all the tofu. I try and place the tofu in a circular fashion. Do NOT worry that the braising liquid is not covering the tofu - during the cooking process it will eventually cover all of it. (Tofu releases some liquid and boiling causes the tofu to get covered.)
Place the pot over medium heat. Cover. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat.