Gochujang Tofu Recipe

Gochujang, a spicy and umami-packed Korean chili paste, can transform a plain block of tofu into an addictive meal that will have you craving more.

Gochujang Tofu Recipe

This easy gochujang tofu recipe delivers big, bold flavor in under 30 minutes using pantry staples you likely have on hand.

Once you try it, it will quickly become a regular component of your weekly meal prep routine.

How to Choose the Best Tofu for Crispy, Saucy Perfection

A key component of tasty gochujang tofu is starting with the right type of tofu. For the ideal crispy outside and tender inside, opt for extra firm or super firm tofu. These dense varieties will hold their shape when tossed in sauce and develop a satisfyingly crispy crust when pan-fried.

Softer silken or medium tofu will fall apart when cooked and won't have the same mouthfeel. Before cooking, it helps to press the tofu to remove excess moisture for improved texture. Simply wrap your tofu block in a clean towel and weigh it down with something heavy like books or pans for at least 15 minutes.

Coat and Crisp: Achieve Maximum Crunch

Now that you have pressed and drained your tofu, it's time to coat it in a crispy layer that will transform into deliciously crunchy edges and sides when cooked. Cornstarch is commonly used, combined with seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.

Toss your tofu pieces or cubes in the cornstarch mix until evenly coated on all sides. Some recipes call for double dredging in cornstarch for extra crunch. When pan-frying, make sure the oil is hot enough by using a neutral oil with a high smoke point like avocado or grapeseed oil.

Craft the Perfect Gochujang Marinade or Sauce

Gochujang paste creates the addictively sweet, salty, and spicy backbone of the sauce, while other pantry items like soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger round out the flavor profile. Start with 1-3 tablespoons of gochujang depending on desired spice level.

Maple syrup, brown sugar, mirin, or agave lend a touch of sweetness to balance the chili kick. Many recipes also incorporate ketchup or tomato paste for added body, shine, and a hint of tang. Whisk together sauce ingredients over medium heat until thickened and silky.

Bring It All Together for Saucy, Satisfying Tofu

Once your tofu is golden brown and crispy, and your gochujang sauce is bubbling away, it's time to combine them for the finished product. Carefully add the fried tofu to the sauce and stir gently to coat. Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes for the flavors to meld.

Green onions, toasted sesame seeds, and lime wedges make excellent garnishes with a pop of color and crunch. Serve the saucy gochujang tofu over a bed of steamed white or brown rice with a side of kimchi or lightly sautéed vegetables.

Store and Reheat Leftovers for Easy Meals All Week

The beauty of a recipe like gochujang tofu is that it lends itself perfectly to meal prep. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, simply place in a skillet over medium heat or microwave until warmed through, adding a splash of water if the sauce seems too thick.

The tofu may lose its crispiness when reheated but will still taste delicious. For extra crunch, you can quickly pan-fry the tofu again before saucing. This flavor-packed tofu will have you looking forward to leftovers all week long.

Experiment with Different Sauces and Vegetables

Once you master the basics, get creative with your gochujang tofu recipe. Although gochujang has an iconic flavor profile, you can also use hoisin, sriracha, sambal oelek, ponzu, teriyaki, or peanut sauce in place of or in addition to the Korean chili paste.

Swap out the usual broccoli, peppers, green beans, and carrots for veggies like snap peas, bok choy, cabbage, eggplant, or water chestnuts. Rice can be substituted for quinoa, soba noodles, or crispy rice cakes. Make this recipe your own!

Frequently Asked Questions About Gochujang Tofu

Is gochujang gluten-free?

Most brands of gochujang paste are naturally gluten-free but always verify by reading the label.

What's the best way to make tofu crispy?

Pressing out moisture, dredging in cornstarch, pan-frying in hot oil until browned, and baking at a high temperature will all help achieve crunchy tofu.

Can I use soft or medium tofu instead of firm or extra firm?

It's best to opt for very dense, firm tofu varieties to get the right crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside contrast of textures. Softer tofu will fall apart.

How long does leftover gochujang tofu last in the fridge?

Properly stored in an airtight container, leftovers will be kept for 3-5 days in the refrigerator before losing quality. Reheat gently before serving.


This saucy, crispy gochujang tofu is irresistibly moreish - meaning it will leave you eagerly wanting more after the first bite.

The sweet and spicy sauce coats each piece of fried tofu in a complex umami flavor.

Enjoy this high-protein meal anytime with rice and veggies for a quick yet restaurant-worthy dinner.

This recipe will become a regular in your weekly meal prep routine once you give it a try.

Gochujang Tofu Recipe

Gochujang Tofu Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 block extra firm or super firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water

For serving:

  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


  • Press the tofu: Wrap tofu block in a clean towel and place something heavy on top, like a cast iron skillet. Let sit for 15 minutes to press out moisture. Cut pressed tofu into 1-inch cubes.
  • Coat the tofu: In a large bowl, toss tofu cubes with cornstarch, salt, and pepper until evenly coated.
  • Pan fry the tofu: Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu cubes in a single layer and fry for 3-4 minutes per side, until lightly browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the gochujang, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, cornstarch, and water.
  • Cook the sauce: Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes, until thickened.
  • Add the tofu: Return crispy fried tofu cubes to the skillet and gently toss to coat in the sauce.
  • Serve: Place rice in bowls and top with gochujang tofu. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
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