Spicy Gochujang Tofu – Connoisseurus Veg

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This fiery gochujang tofu is like a party in your mouth! A delicious Korean-inspired vegan main dish that’s loaded with flavor and can be on the table in about 20 minutes!

White wooden surface set with skillet, chopsticks, and a plate of Gochujang Tofu.

Let’s talk about gochujang. It’s a sauce, sort of. Maybe more like a paste. In any event, it definitely falls into the seasoning/condiment category.

But it’s one of the few seasonings/condiments that I could make a meal of. Is that wrong? Well maybe I don’t want to be right.

Okay, really, gochujang is way to spicy to make a meal of, but I love it. So instead I decided to make a meal that heavily features it: let me introduce you to gochujang tofu.

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, gochujang is a spicy fermented Korean red chili paste. It’s featured in lots of Korean dishes, and I’ve already used in in a handful of recipes on this site, like my vegan bibimbap and kimchi fried rice.

This particular recipes isn’t authentically Korean. Its something I made up that features lots of my favorite flavors and is relatively simple to throw together. It’s absolutely perfect when you’re craving a scrumptious meal but have limited time to put it together!

Jump to:

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Gochujang paste. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to find gochujang in the international aisle of your regular supermarket. If not, try an Asian market, or buy it online.
  • Maple syrup. Another liquid sweetener can be used if you’d like, such as agave or coconut nectar.
  • Soy sauce. Tamari or liquid aminos can be substituted if preferred.
  • Rice vinegar.
  • Toasted sesame oil.
  • Cold water.
  • Cornstarch.
  • Peanut oil. This is for frying the tofu, and just about any neutral high-heat oil can be substituted. Corn oil, vegetable oil, canola oil and coconut oil will all work!
  • Tofu. The recipe calls for super firm tofu. It has a great texture and is really easy to work with. All you need to do is drain the excess liquid, then dice it. If all you can get is firm or extra-firm tofu, that’s fine! You’ll just need to press your tofu before cooking.
  • Garlic.
  • Scallions. Also known as green onions.
  • Toasted sesame seeds.

Tip: In addition to the ingredients above, you’ll also want to pick up some accompaniments for your gochujang tofu. Cooked rice or quinoa, steamed or stir-fried veggies like broccoli, cabbage, or carrots, or Korean sides like vegan kimchi are all great options.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

Gochujang sauce in a measuring cup with whisk.

Do your prep work before you start cooking. Dice your tofu, mince your garlic, and mix up the ingredients for your gochujang sauce: gochujang, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, water and cornstarch.

Tip: Using cold water will help your cornstarch to fully dissolve when mixing your sauce. If you can’t get it to dissolve, cool the mixture down a little more by adding a small ice cube or placing it in the freezer for a few minutes.

Tofu cubes cooking in a skillet.

Heat some oil in a nonstick skillet and add your tofu cubes. Cook the tofu for a few minutes on each side until the pieces are golden brown.

Minced garlic cooking in a skillet with tofu.

Push the tofu back just enough to make some space for your garlic. Add the garlic to the skillet and sauté it for about a minute, until it becomes very fragrant.

Tip: Check out my tutorial on how pan-fry tofu if this is a new cooking technique for you.

Hand pouring gochujang sauce into a skillet of tofu.

Pour the sauce into the skillet with your tofu and garlic. Be careful, as the sauce can sputter when it hits the hot cooking surface.

Tofu cooking in gochujang sauce in a skillet.

Mix everything up, bring the sauce to a simmer, and cook the mixture until the sauce thickens up. This should only take a minute or two.

Gochujang Tofu in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

Take the skillet off of the burner and top your gochujang tofu with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.

Close up of Gochujang Tofu on a plate with broccoli and rice.

Serve it with rice, vegetables, or your choice of accompaniments.

Dig in!

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover gochujang tofu will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days. Reheat it in a saucepan or skillet on the stove, or in the microwave, adding a splash of water if the sauce becomes too thick in storage.

More Easy Tofu Main Dishes

Like this recipe? If so, please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this one!

Plate of Gochujang Tofu with broccoli and rice.

Spicy Gochujang Tofu

This fiery gochujang tofu is like a party in your mouth! A delicious Korean-inspired vegan main dish that’s loaded with flavor and can be on the table in about 20 minutes!


  • 3
    or to taste (Note 1)
  • 2
    maple syrup
  • 2
    soy sauce
  • 2
    rice vinegar

  • cup
    cold water
  • 1
    toasted sesame oil
  • 1 ½
  • 1
    peanut oil
  • 1
    (16 ounce/454 gram) package
    super firm tofu,
    cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2
    garlic cloves,
  • 2
  • 1
    toasted sesame seeds
  • Cooked rice or quinoa
  • Additional accompaniments of choice, such as steamed vegetables


  1. Whisk the gochujang, maple syrup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, sesame oil, and cornstarch together in a small cup or bowl.

  2. Coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with the oil and place it over medium heat.

  3. Once the oil is hot, add the tofu. Cook the tofu for about 10 minutes, flipping it once or twice, until the pieces are golden brown.

  4. Push the tofu to the side of the skillet and add the garlic. Sauté the garlic for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, until very fragrant.

  5. Carefully pour the sauce into the skillet. Stir everything up so that the sauce coats the tofu. Bring the sauce to a simmer and continue cooking everything for about 1 to 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

  6. Remove the skillet from heat and top the tofu with chopped scallions and sesame seeds.

  7. Serve with rice or quinoa and additional accompaniments of choice.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can use anywhere from 1 tablespoon of gochujang for a relatively mild sauce, to 5 tablespoons, for a very spicy sauce. Start with less and taste-test the sauce if you’re not sure how much you can tolerate.
  2. Nutrition information does not include accompaniments.

Nutrition Facts

Spicy Gochujang Tofu

Amount Per Serving

Calories 309
Calories from Fat 150

% Daily Value*

Fat 16.7g26%

Saturated Fat 2.5g13%

Sodium 792mg33%

Potassium 75mg2%

Carbohydrates 19.1g6%

Fiber 1.3g5%

Sugar 13g14%

Protein 18.1g36%

Calcium 184mg18%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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