Soon tubu is one of those wonderful foods that you just cannot replicate at home. It’s never as good! I’ve tried a few recipes and even some store bought soup bases but nothing comes even close to the soon tubu at a good soon tubu restaurant. Many standard Korean restaurants have it on their menu but it’s usually just so-so. You need to find a place that focuses completely on soon tubu. When Kaju Tofu opened in Boston, my soon tubu loving soul rejoiced. On a cold, wet day, this is the perfect meal! It will keep you warm and full for hours. If you’ve never had soon tubu, it’s a stone bowl of spicy soup loaded with chunks of silky, soft tofu that’s served boiling and nearly overflowing. While it’s still bubbling, you crack in your egg to let the heat of the soup cook it. Then you dig in and inevitably burn your mouth. It’s like swallowing lava. But you keep going because your mouth is already burnt and it’s just too delicious to wait for it to cool.
For ages I got the vegetable soon tubu since I’m not a big meat eater. It came with broccoli which made me laugh the first time I ate it but it was tasty. But then I moved on to the beef soon tubu and there was no turning back. The flavor is so much deeper and richer with the beef. I just scoop the extra beef I can’t eat into my Mr’s bowl. His favorite is the kimchi and beef. I stick with a regular order of soon tubu but he likes to get a combo. You get a slightly smaller bowl of soon tubu with a plate of meat such as bulgogi or kalbi. Works out to be a good sized meal.
There have been a few times when I’ve actually polished off a bowl in one sitting (I was uncomfortably full for hours) but I usually have some left over to take home. I love having the leftovers for breakfast with some rice mixed right in with the soup. I’ll have dragon breath for the rest of the day but it’s worth it. A day that starts with leftover soon tubu is going to be a good day.
Kaju Tofu has a couple of locations. The one I usually go to is in Allston. It’s smaller and they don’t take reservations so you often have to wait in line outside. Their newer location in Harvard Square is much bigger so if the weather is crummy and you don’t feel like waiting in the rain for a seat at the Allston location, it’s worth the trek to Cambridge. Both have friendly, fast service!
Kaju Tofu – Allston
58 Harvard Ave
Allston, MA 02134
Kaju Tofu – Harvard Square
57 John F. Kennedy St
Cambridge, MA 02138