Saucy Gochujang Tofu

GFGluten FreeGRGrain FreeVVegan
5 from 34 votes
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Saucy Gochujang Tofu is hearty, spicy, and packed with umami flavor. You won’t be able to resist this delicious plant-based protein! Gluten-free friendly. 

This Saucy Gochujang Tofu is made with crispy baked tofu then simmered in the perfect sweet and spicy gochujang sauce. Serve with your favorite rice and vegetables for the ultimate Korean-inspired weeknight meal or easy meal prep. 

Table of Contents
  1. The Origins of Gochujang (고추장)
  2. What You Need for Gochujang Tofu
  3. How to Make Gochujang Tofu
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. How to Store Gochujang Tofu
  6. Recipe FAQs
  7. Saucy Gochujang Tofu Recipe
saucy gochujang tofu served with broccoli and rice in a white bowl with chopsticks on the bowl for presentation purposes

The Origins of Gochujang (고추장)

Gochujang is a red chili paste that dates back several centuries in Korean cooking. Chili peppers were first introduced to Asian spice trades in the 16th century by Portuguese traders. The Portuguese originally valued chili peppers for their similarities to black pepper and their unique spiciness.

Korean Gochujang is a deep red condiment that’s sweet from the glutinous rice, savory from the fermented soybeans, and spicy from the chilis. It’s commonly used in a variety of Korean dishes such as Tteokbokki (Spicy Korean Rice Cakes (떡볶이)), Bulgogi, Soups, Stews, even marinating proteins or making dipping sauces. 

What You Need for Gochujang Tofu

This Korean inspired tofu is made with basic ingredients, plus a few note-worthy ones. Let’s talk about what you’ll need to make this Gochujang Tofu so special. 

ingredients for saucy gochujang tofu laid out on a marble kitchen countertop served in various bowls
  • Gochujang paste: Sometimes also called Korean red pepper paste. This ingredient can be hard to find in mainstream stores, but it’s becoming more popular and is popping up in large grocery stores. I personally love and use this gluten-free, high fructose corn syrup-free, Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce
  • Gochugaru: Essentially Korean Chili Powder. It’s typically made from sun-dried chiles that are coarsely ground into a medium spiced seasoning. This is another ingredient I typically source online, but you may have luck finding it at your local Asian market. If you can’t find it, it can be omitted! 
  • Extra firm tofu: As with all of my takeout-inspired crispy tofu recipes, you’ll want to use extra firm tofu that has been pressed and torn into pieces to give it a chicken-like look and texture. 
  • Soy sauce: Adds the perfect saltiness and umami flavor. If you are gluten-free, use tamari. 
  • Cornstarch: You’ll need cornstarch for making your tofu crispy and thickening your sauce. If you don’t already, you’ll want to keep this ingredient stocked in the pantry. It comes in handy in everyday vegan cooking.

How to Make Gochujang Tofu

side by side photos of oven baked tofu and tofu tossed in gochujang sauce
  1. Tear the tofu into bite sized chunks. 
  2. Toss the tofu with oil and tamari until evenly coated. Sprinkle with cornstarch and toss again. 
  3. Spread the tofu on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through. 
  4. Meanwhile whisk the gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, cornstarch, and water together. 
  5. Sauté the green onion, garlic, and gochugaru, if using in oil until slightly softened and fragrant. 
  6. Pour in the sauce and simmer until thickened to your liking. 
  7. Stir in the baked tofu, green portions of the green onion, toasted sesame oil, and sesame oil. 
  8. Serve warm in individual serving bowls as desired. 

Caitlin’s Cooking Tips

  • Make the tofu extra saucy. This gochujang sauce is so good you will want to spoon extra on top.
  • Use a large baking sheet. When baking crispy tofu, making sure there is enough room between the pieces is key to making it extra crispy. This is not the time to cram ingredients together on the baking sheet. 
  • Bake on the top oven rack. The location of your oven rack matters! The top oven rack is the hottest for two reasons: it is close to the heating elements and hot air rises. This is going to help crisp up your tofu as well. 
a zoomed in image of a serving spoon scooping up gochujang tofu from the pan

Serving Suggestions

This saucy gochujang tofu makes a great lunch or dinner served over rice and veggies. I love serving this tofu with my Instant Pot Garlic Rice, Garlic Green Beans and simple steamed vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, peas, and crunchy water chestnuts! 

If you’re looking for more delicious tofu recipes, you’ll also love this Vegan Cashew “Chicken”, Vegan Kung Pao Tofu and this Crispy Orange Tofu! If you’re looking for more ways to use Gochujang paste, my Vegan Tteokbokki is a must make! Or, check out these 30+ Amazing Vegan Tofu Recipes

How to Store Gochujang Tofu

This tofu dish will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. When storing, always allow the dish to cool to room temperature before hand. This will prevent condensation from building in the container – particularly important when freezing. 

Leftovers reheat best in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave until warmed through. 

chopsticks holding piece of tofu over bowl of gochujang tofu

Recipe FAQs

Is gochujang vegan friendly?

Yes. Gochujang is a Korean red chili paste and is made 100% from plants, but it is not always gluten-free. If you are both vegan and gluten-free, always double check the label for wheat.

Is gochujang similar to sriracha?

Gochujang is similar to sriracha in the sense that both get their spice from chili peppers and add umami flavor to dishes. Sriracha, however, originates from Thailand and Gochujang originates from Korea. Gochujang is also a more intense flavor and packs more of a punch.

Where is gochujang in grocery stores?

Gochujang is typically stocked in the international food aisles of larger chain grocery stores. If you have no luck there, check your local Asian market or order online!

What is the best temperature to bake tofu?

This really depends on what you’re using the tofu for but for crispy tofu, you’ll want the oven temperature no lower than 425F. Any lower and the tofu will steam as opposed to crisp! Check out my Guide to Tofu for Different Types + Recipe Ideas.

Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊

Saucy Gochujang Tofu

5 from 34 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Saucy Gochujang Tofu is hearty, spicy, and packed with umami flavor. You won’t be able to resist this delicious plant-based protein! Gluten-free friendly.

Ingredients
 
 

For the Tofu:

  • 1 14 ounce block extra firm tofu pressed*
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or another high-heat cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cane sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon gochugaru optional
  • 3 green onions chopped; white and green parts separated
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • rice and vegetables for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • Prep: Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Tear the tofu into bite-sized chunks for a more meat-like shape and texture, or cut into small cubes.
  • Tofu: Add the tofu to a medium bowl and add in the oil and tamari. Toss with a spatula until evenly coated, then sprinkle the cornstarch on top and toss again. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread out the tofu pieces so they aren’t touching. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through.
  • Sauce: Whisk the gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, cornstarch, and water together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Aromatics: Add the avocado oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the white parts of the green onion, garlic, and gochugaru, if using; sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Make it Saucy: Pour the sauce into the pan and bring to a simmer, stirring well. Cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened to your liking.
  • Final Touches: Turn the heat to low, then stir in the baked tofu, green portions of the green onions, toasted sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Divide the tofu between serving bowls and serve warm, with vegetables and rice or as desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 10gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 835mgPotassium: 275mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 254IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: gochujang sauce recipe, vegan gochujang recipes, vegan gochujang tofu, vegan tofu recipes
Course: Main, Main Course
Method: Oven, Stovetop
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Dreamy sauce, I kept it separate and it lasted a good while. I forgot to use scallions and used maple syrup, fantastic. Another great recipe, Caitlin, Thank you!!!

  2. 5 stars
    Tofu texture was perfect (I tore the tofu into pieces) and sauce was a little spicy and delicious! Served with broccoli and cabbage over rice. My husband didn’t realize it was tofu. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    One of the recipes I keep coming back to! It’s always really tasty, super customizable sauce, and great for meal prep. I often will make two batches at once since most of the time comes from drying and baking the tofu. I’ve even brought a batch and some pre-cut veggies on a camping trip for a crowd-pleasing and easy dinner!

  4. 5 stars
    Hands down one of the best tofu recipes I have ever had! Spicy but yet flavourful, definitely will make again🤤 I had broccoli and cauliflower, this delicious tofu and boiled potatoes, super excited for leftovers now!!

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve now made this recipe a couple of times. It’s delicious! I love that it’s customizable, not too many ingredients, and feels like a full meal. I made some coconut rice and steamed broccoli to go with the tofu. Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made this twice in 1 week now and LOVE it! It’s so simple, I already loved tofu but this method just makes it so crunchy and yummy. I served it with rice and some pickled cucumbers!

  7. 5 stars
    I made the sauce from this recipe and it was addictively good. I was surprised by the spice level but I will definitely make again. Delicious 😋