Korean-style Tofu

Korean Style Tofu

A couple days ago I made one of my go-to meals, Korean-style Tofu, and decided to create a brief 1-minute video showing how easy it is to make.

The dish is basically just seared tofu with a chili, garlic, and sesame dipping sauce.  I should mention this sauce is not for the faint of heart – it packs a strong punch, but it stands up well against the otherwise bland tofu.  I also added the broccoli as a side because I like how it acts as another vehicle to soak up the sauce 🙂

People often ask what the quintessential flavors of Korean cooking are, and I think some of the key players are really represented in this recipe:  red chili pepper, garlic, soy sauce, green onion, and sesame.

The recipe calls for Korean red pepper flakes, also known as gochugaru, which can be found in any Asian store like H-mart.  This is what is used to give kimchi its red color.  You can substitute the Korean red pepper flakes with normal red pepper flakes but I recommend using half or a quarter of the amount listed in the recipe as they tend to be spicier!  Use with caution 🙂

And now for a visual aid…

Korean-style Tofu

1 lb Firm Tofu (sliced)
2 tbsp Cooking Oil (I used grapeseed oil)
Salt + Pepper to taste

For the sauce:
1-2 cloves Garlic (minced)
1 tsp Sesame Seeds
1 stalk Green Onion (sliced)
2 tsp Korean Red Pepper Flakes (or 1/2 tsp regular Red Pepper Flakes – to taste)
2-3 tsp Sesame Oil
1/4 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2 tsp Honey or Sugar

To prepare:
1)  Dry the tofu slices well with a paper towel to prevent the hot oil from splattering.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.
2)  Heat a saute pan or cast-iron skillet (recommended) over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add the cooking oil and tofu slices.  Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown and crispy.  Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
3)  Make the sauce:  Combine minced garlic, sesame seeds, sliced green onion, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar.  Either heat in a microwave/saucepan until warm or serve room temperature.
4)  You can serve the sauce on the side for dipping or spoon over the tofu.  I recommend serving with rice and steamed broccoli.

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6 thoughts on “Korean-style Tofu

  1. Alicia Lingle says:

    Foods like this keep helping to convince me that moving toward a largely vegetarian meal structure is a good idea.

    • Monica says:

      Awesome! I also have had the same thoughts and have been trying to eat more vegetarian lately. I’ve discovered that there are a ton of really delicious and fulfilling vegetarian meals out there. I’m hoping to post more soon!

  2. Susan says:

    Beautiful video! I may just have to start liking tofu… 🙂

  3. Wow on the video and yum on the recipe! That easy and looks crazy delish!

    Gonna need to stock up on Korean chillies when next in Jakarta as aren’t so easy to track down in Mumbai. At least this time brought back low sodium soya – makes a big difference!

    • Monica says:

      Thanks! Let me know if you try it 🙂 I’m sure there’s a wealth of interesting spices to try in Mumbai!

      • Absolutely! Just funny how sometimes I crave Korean or Eritrean or something from Central America that isn’t so easy to get here. 😉 Thankfully trips to other parts of Asia are frequent, so those cravings get fulfilled…. but the balance have to patiently wait for trips to Canada.

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