The type of tofu used for this hot pot has a texture so smooth it is almost like custard. A spoon is used to scoop irregular chunks of tofu into the very spicy soup. It is sold in thick tube-shaped packaging in Asian grocers. We used soft or silken tofu that is available at any market. You will find this on the menu on almost every Korean restaurant menu. The clams cooked in the fiery broth add a briny component to the stock. This is the equivalent of Korean comfort food.
Tofu and Clam Hot Pot (Sundubu Chigae)
By Taekyung Chung & Debra Samuels, The Korean Table
3 teaspoons dark sesame oil
2 oz (40 g) boneless pork cutlet, cut into thin strips
2 cups (500 ml) Beef Stock or water
12 oz (350 g) soft tofu
1 tablespoon Seasoned Red Pepper Paste
6 fresh clams
Green tops of 2 green onions (scallions), sliced on the diagonal, into 2-in (5-cm) pieces
Sea salt or kosher salt to taste
1. In a medium pot or stovetop casserole, with a lid, add 2 teaspoons the sesame oil. Add the pork and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the stock or water and cover the pot. Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. With a soup spoon, scoop pieces of tofu from the block and add to the bubbling soup.
2. Add the Seasoned Red Pepper Paste in a small bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the hot soup and mix until the sauce has dissolved. Add the thinned sauce to the soup pot and mix thoroughly. Add the clams to the pot and cover. Cook over medium heat until the shells have opened. Discard any clams that did not open during cooking.
3. Crack the egg into a small bowl and then carefully slip it into the hot soup. Do not stir. Sprinkle on the scallion tops, the remaining 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and cook over high heat for 1 minute, or until the egg is just set. Taste and add some salt to season if needed.