This is one of my staple recipes, based on a dish you could get at the Korean food stall in the late, lamented Oriental City mall in north London, and a few recipes from around the internet.
2-3 tbl olive oil
At least 5 cloves garlic, sliced.
1 medium carrot, sliced.
1 medium onion, sliced.
1 sweet red pepper, or equivalent other vegetable of your choice.
1 block tofu, 300-400g.
4 spring onions
2 tbl water
For the sauce:
3 tbl kochujang
2 tbl rice syrup or 1½tbl sugar
2 tbl soya sauce
Fresh red chillies to taste
Up to 1 tbl sesame oil
Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. You’ll have to stir it well to get the kochujang to blend with the soya sauce. Add extra chillies if you want.
Using a wok or a large frying pan, fry the onions, garlic and carrots for a few minutes in the olive oil. You want them to soften, but not to start turning brown. Then add the peppers/other veg, the tofu and spring onions and gently stir in the sauce until all is well-coated. Add the water, stir again, cover and simmer for a few minutes until the vegetables are cooked through. Optionally mix in some sesame oil just before serving. Serve over rice.
Kochujang (sometimes transliterated gochujang) is a Korean paste which is basically a hot and spicy dark miso. It comes in bright red plastic tubs and is available from most Chinese supermarkets. A similar, but non-spicy, bean paste comes in tan-coloured tubs, should you not want the heat.