Traditional Korean Braised Tofu
Entrées,  Recipes,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Traditional Korean Braised Tofu

I love Korean cuisine. I even got to take a Korean cooking class back in July for my birthday. I have quite a few Korean ingredients in my kitchen, and some, like the red pepper powder, come in really large quantities, so I’m always happy to find a new recipe to use them in.

This was really tasty! I loved that I could do all of the prep in the morning and it was ready when we were ready for dinner. We agreed that we’d prefer it slightly warmer than straight out of the fridge – I think room temperature would be nice.

I really liked this method of preparing tofu, and I think I may try it again with different ingredients.

Traditional Korean Braised Tofu

Traditional Korean Braised Tofu
Blogging Over Thyme

Makes ~ 2 lbs tofu; Serve chilled

This dish is best served cold. As you can probably tell, the ingredient list for this dish is surprisingly straight-forward and simple. The successfulness of the dish really boils down to the marinating time and ratio of ingredients together. Be sure to use authentic, finely ground Korean red pepper powder—available in almost every Asian supermarket!

Marinade (yields roughly 2 cups)
1/2 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon (Korean) fine red pepper powder (**available in Asian supermarkets**)
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola/vegetable oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 cup scallions, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/8 cup toasted sesame seeds

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Allow to sit out for 10-15 minutes—or while you prepare the tofu (see below).

Pan-Fried Tofu
2 blocks of firm tofu, sliced into thin rectangles
canola/vegetable oil

Remove tofu from package. Slice into rectangles—roughly 1/2-inch in thickness. Lay out a thick layer of paper towels or kitchen towel on your counter and place the tofu slices on top to absorb any excess water (for this recipe, you don’t need to press the tofu).

Heat large non-stick skillet over medium heat with a thin layer of canola or vegetable oil. Once hot, add tofu, spreading out in the pan so they are not touching each other. The tofu should sizzle when it hits the pan. You can do this using multiple skillets, if available, to make the process go faster, or pan-fry them in batches.

Sear tofu on each side for roughly 3-4 minutes, until light brown on both sides. Remove and place on paper-towel lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Repeat until all tofu is seared. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Spread out the tofu on a baking dish or any other container with a large surface area (and relatively high sides)–you can do this in two layers, if necessary. Pour over the marinade, cover, and refrigerate for roughly ~6-8 hours. Turn the tofu once or twice during this time, so that each piece gets marinated properly.

Best served chilled by itself, or with some sushi rice!

Big Flavors Rating: 4 Stars

Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


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