Today, Martine and I went to lunch at Galbi King. With the onset of cold weather in L.A., I felt like having some hot soup. And what can be hotter than extra spicy soon tofu? What is soon tofu? Here’s what one food writer on Chowhound.Com wrote:
Soon means “soft” in Korean, in this usage. So “soon tofu” is soft tofu. It’s quivery soft, like custard, but flavored with a savory broth filled with any number of good things from beef, to seafood, to pork. It’s just like the tofu in tofu fa, if you’ve ever had that.
At BCD and most other soft tofu joints in L.A. and OC [Orange County], the soft tofu comes bubbling in a stone crock to your table.
When the hot stone crock comes to your table, you break a raw egg in it—and prepare for a culinary paradise. I also spoon in some steamed rice to cool the fire. Mine was served with pork and was as spicy as the restaurant was willing to risk. As it happens, I am a certified chili-head, so I had no difficulty with the fiery broth. (Unless you too are one, don’t try this at home, Kids!)
Please note that not all Korean restaurants can make good soon tofu. I went to one Korean-owned place in the Patronato district of Santiago, Chile, and had a bowl that was sadly deficient in flavor. Even in Los Angeles, there are good Korean restaurants, and bad Korean restaurants.