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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
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.
- 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
- Tear the tofu into bite sized chunks.
- Toss the tofu with oil and tamari until evenly coated. Sprinkle with cornstarch and toss again.
- Spread the tofu on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through.
- Meanwhile whisk the gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, cornstarch, and water together.
- Sauté the green onion, garlic, and gochugaru, if using in oil until slightly softened and fragrant.
- Pour in the sauce and simmer until thickened to your liking.
- Stir in the baked tofu, green portions of the green onion, toasted sesame oil, and sesame oil.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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)
- 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.
This is so good! I accidentally dumped in WAY too much gochugaru but I love spicy food so I’m sweatin a little bit it’s still so good. I also added in some oyster mushrooms that I needed to use up. Yum!
Glad you still liked it, Birdie! Go easy with the gochugaru next time! 😆
Made this last night, it was great, spicy, I did not use the extra dried spice. Loved the idea of tearing the tofu
Beautiful flavour! Love this recipe – making it tonight for the 3rd time in 2 weeks!
That’s awesome, Tyra!
One of the best tofu recipes I’ve ever made!
Thank you, Claire!
Made this a few times now. It’s SO good! This recipe is a keeper!
This was absolutely amazing! What a great recipe! The preparation for the tofu alone will be usable in many dishes. Thanks for your work – this is a keeper!
Glad it also turned out great for you as it always does for us, Rebecca!
This was absolutely delicious. Wow. So crunchy and the sauce tastes like restaurant quality but so much healthier. Yum yum. 10/10
Thank you so much for the review, Gabi!
Yum!!! Will definitely make this again!
So good! Very tasty specially the leftovers
I’m so glad to hear that, Martha!
Loved this so much! I’ve made it once and cannot stop thinking about/craving it! The flavors are wonderful. My husband and I fought over the leftovers and he is NOT a fan of tofu! We used the gochujang paste from Trader Joe’s.
I’m so glad you loved the recipe!
Oh my gosh. This was the best tofu I’ve ever eaten. I’ve been an air fryer tofu girlie through and through until I tried this oven-prepared recipe and it was life changing. The gochujang sauce tasted like a restaurant meal I’ve had before and was phenomenal. This will definitely be in our weekly dinner rotation now!
I’m so happy to hear that, Caitlyn!
This recipe is DELICIOUS, super easy and a budget-friendly to mix things up. Obsessed 😍
Wow! Thank you, Hollie!
Perfect! I’ll make it again for sure! I love your recipes that don’t require a lot of work. Thank you!
Thanks for the review! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂
I’ve been eyeing this recipe for a week and finally made it. I adjusted the quantities for two and it was a bit less saucy than I expected, but still enough to coat the crispy baked tofu. The effect was so close to Korean fried chicken (which I love) and I can’t wait to make it again! Served over brown rice with steam-sautéed broccoli and kimchi on the side.
Yay! Glad you liked it!
Ahh..made it a second time this evening and I think I forgot the 1/2 cup of water when I first made it. With the water it was much saucier and even better 😛
Glad it worked out, Jessie ♥
Made this for dinner tonight. So so delicious. I will definitely make this again. And again and again and…🙂👍
We’re glad you loved it, Karen!
This was great and pretty simple! I served it with brown rice and sautéed broccoli. The tofu was so flavorful! Will definitely make again.
Happy you liked it, Sara!
So delicious! I used frozen/thawed tofu for an even meatier shape/texture, and it absorbed the sauce so well. Can’t wait to enjoy it this week!
Thank you, Amanda! Enjoy! ♥
I really liked this recipe! It’s helpful to have tasty and easy options for vegan mains. This was enjoyed by me (veg) and my omnivore partner!
Glad you both enjoyed it, Lindsay!
Oh my word…this was delicious. I ate it over jasmine rice next to roasted brussel sprouts. Absolutely wonderful! Thank you for the recipe.
Glad you loved it, Carolyn!