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fried tofu with gochujang glaze over rice
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Korean Fried Tofu

Crispy tofu tossed with Korean gochujang based sauce that's spicy, sweet, with a hint of tangy fermentation. Korean fried tofu has the perfect combination of tender tofu, crispy crunch, and a tastebud popping sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian Inspired
Keyword crispy tofu, fried tofu, vegan dishes
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 504kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • ¾ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  • Wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel. Press using a heavy cast iron pan or heavy canned goods between two plates for 1 hour. After pressing, remove from the towel and cut into 1" to 1½" cubes.
  • While the tofu presses, make the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Heat over low heat for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the brown sugar, gochujang, soy sauce, and water. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  • Coat the tofu pieces in cornstarch, covering all sides. I like to use a storage container or zip bag for this and then shake off the excess in a strainer.
  • In a large deep sided skillet or cast iron pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Drop one tofu piece in the oil to check the temperature. It should be rapidly bubbling on the sides of the tofu. Add the remaining pieces, spreading throughout the pan so they are not touching if possible. Turn the pieces every 2 to 3 minutes, cooking for about 10 minutes until golden brown on all sides. Transfer to paper towels to drain excess oil. In a large bowl toss with the sauce and serve.

Notes

  • After tossing the crispy tofu with the sauce, there may be a little extra sauce in the bowl.  Depending on how spicy and saucy you like things you can serve it alongside the Korean fried tofu or leave the extra sauce in the bowl.
  • As mentioned before…press your tofu! You can use firm or extra firm tofu.
  • Use cornstarch or arrowroot powder to coat the tofu cubes. Cornstarch is my go to and what's usually always available in my pantry.
  • My favorite mess-free way to coat the tofu is to place the cubes in a large Tupperware or starge container with the cornstarch and shake it. You can also do this in a zip bag. Just leave air in the zip bag so it mixes easily. Then dump in out into a strainer and shake off the excess cornstarch.
  • Important - use a large nonstick or cast iron pan for pan frying the tofu. Something where all the tofu can go in at once and isn't on top of each other. If you fry with the cubes on top of each other they'll get stuck, which isn't the worst thing I suppose because two nachos stuck together equal one nacho right? But, seriously, having space in the pan allows for even cooking on all the sides.
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Nutrition

Calories: 504kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 263mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 2mg