Day: December 6th, 2006

Natural tofu at Seoul Garden

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006 | All Things, Eats, Friends

One of my favorite things is Doufu fa, which translates literally (if somewhat inexplicably) to “tofu flower” or less poetically, to “bean curd dessert.” The silken soy-based dessert — similar in texture to a very soft, creamy gelatin — spooned fresh from a deep, steaming steel or wooden pot and served with a slick of sweet ginger syrup seems to me one of life’s great, simple pleasures. Of late, I’ve been getting my fix from the Tofu Man — for lack of a better descriptor — who sets up shop(ping cart) on the West side of Centre Street, just South of Canal. Tofu Woman runs a similar operation at Chrystie and Grand Streets, in front of the B/D subway entrance.

On the savory front, I like the quintessential Sichuan dish Mapo Doufu — silky chunks of creamy tofu with a scattering of ground pork in a spicy, peppercorn sauce. (When are we going back to Spicy & Tasty?) The New York Times ran a piece on fresh tofu last year in which Julia Moskin described what struck me as a Korean iteration of this dish in soupier form: the Soon Dubu. Since then, I’ve been a bit obsessed with sampling the different versions from the Koreatown purveyors along 32nd and 35th Streets.After spending the day holed up in the apartment, a big bowl of steaming spiciness sounded like a perfect remedy on this chilly day. I met the B brothers at Seoul Garden, a 24-hour restaurant whose signature dish, “natural tofu” soup (on the menu as Soon Tofu ) is available in 4 levels of spiciness.

Small Plates

Kun Mandoo (Fried Beef dumplings):


Tofu Dol Sot BiBimBap:

Tofu BiBimBop

Seoul Garden’s pride: the Soon Tofu — which arrived bubbling and bursting with steam in its stone pot (dol sot).

Soon Dubu

Stomach-warming and sinus-clearing, if not cancer-preventing. Thanks, HYB!

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