Korean Spicy Braised Tofu (Dubu Jorim)

Today, I’m gonna make one of my favorite dishes called Korean Spicy Braised Tofu (Dubu Jorim). It’s tofu cooked in a tasty and spicy sauce. I pan-fried it with caramelized onions, garlic, and green onions. This makes it juicy, a little spicy, crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside.

Korean Spicy Braised Tofu is a yummy dish where we cook firm tofu in a tasty and spicy sauce. First, we cut the tofu into big pieces and make them golden by cooking them in a pan. Then, we let the tofu simmer in a sauce made with things like soy sauce, sesame oil, Korean red pepper flakes (called gochugaru), garlic, sugar, sesame seeds, and green onions.

This way, the tofu soaks up all the spicy and flavorful goodness. You can eat it on its own or with rice, and it brings out the bold and delicious flavors of Korean food.

How to Make Korean Spicy Braised Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 18 oz firm tofu block
  • 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil (vegetable, canola, etc.)
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1-2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions:

  1. Start by preparing the tofu. Slice the block into even, thick rectangular shapes and pat them dry using a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  2. Heat a large non-stick skillet or pan over medium to medium-high heat. While the pan is heating up, create the sauce by combining soy sauce, sesame oil, gochugaru, sugar, minced garlic, toasted sesame seeds, and sliced green onions. Set this sauce aside, reserving some sesame seeds and green onions if you want to use them as a garnish.
  3. Once the pan is hot, add the neutral cooking oil and gently place the tofu slices in it. Sear each side for approximately 5 minutes or until they achieve a golden brown color. Flip the tofu slices once during the process.
  4. After both sides are seared, spoon half of the sauce mixture over the tofu, making sure each piece is coated. Add a splash of water to the pan if necessary to assist in the braising process.
  5. After 1-2 minutes, flip the tofu again and pour the remaining sauce over them. Repeat the braising process for an additional 1-2 minutes. Adjust the heat to prevent the sauce from scorching.
  6. Serve the Korean Spicy Braised Tofu over rice or enjoy it as a flavorful side dish. Optionally, garnish with reserved sesame seeds and green onions.

Tips:

  • Before cooking, press the tofu to remove excess water. Place the tofu between paper towels and press it with a heavy object for about 15-20 minutes. This helps the tofu absorb the flavorful sauce better and gives it a firmer, crispier texture when pan-frying.
  • The spiciness of the dish comes from the Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru). Start with a smaller amount if you’re sensitive to heat, and adjust according to your taste preferences. You can always add more during cooking or at the end if you want an extra kick.

How To Store

To store Korean Spicy Braised Tofu, refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days. If storing components separately, keep tofu and sauce in separate containers to maintain tofu’s crispiness. When reheating, pan-fry briefly or use a splash of water on the stovetop or microwave to preserve moisture. While you can store leftovers, this dish is best enjoyed fresh to savor the crispy texture of the tofu.

What to serve with Dubu Jorim

You can enjoy Korean Spicy Braised Tofu with a variety of tasty side dishes to make a complete meal. Here are some delicious options:

  1. Steamed Rice: Serve the spicy braised tofu over a bed of steamed rice to complement its flavors and textures.
  2. Kimchi: The tangy and spicy flavors of kimchi add a wonderful contrast to the richness of the tofu dish.
  3. Pickled Vegetables: Pickled cucumbers, radishes, or carrots provide a refreshing and crunchy element.
  4. Asian Greens: Steamed or sautéed bok choy, spinach, or other leafy greens make a nutritious and flavorful side.
  5. Sesame Spinach: A simple side dish of blanched spinach dressed with sesame oil and seeds adds a light and nutty touch.
  6. Cucumber Salad: A cool cucumber salad with a light vinaigrette complements the spiciness of the tofu.
  7. Soy Dipping Sauce: Prepare a dipping sauce with soy sauce, a splash of rice vinegar, and a pinch of sugar for extra flavor.
  8. Korean Pickles (Banchan): Explore various banchan (Korean side dishes) like pickled radishes or fish cakes for a diverse culinary experience.

FAQ

Can I Freeze Korean Spicy Braised Tofu?

Freezing is not recommended, as tofu’s texture can change upon thawing, affecting its crispiness. It is best enjoyed fresh or refrigerated for a short duration.

Can I Adjust the Spice Level?

Absolutely! Start with a smaller amount of Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) and adjust according to your spice preference. You can add more during cooking or at the end for an extra kick.

What Can I Serve with Korean Spicy Braised Tofu?

Common accompaniments include steamed rice, kimchi, pickled vegetables, sesame spinach, and soy dipping sauce. Mix and match based on your preferences for a well-rounded meal.

How Do I Prevent Tofu from Becoming Too Soft in the Fridge?

If storing separately, keep tofu and sauce in separate containers to maintain the tofu’s crispy texture. Consider pan-frying briefly when reheating to restore its crispiness.

Can I Add Extra Vegetables or Protein to the Dish?

Certainly! Customize the recipe by adding vegetables like bell peppers or proteins such as cooked shrimp or tofu cubes. Adjust seasoning accordingly to suit your taste.

Korean Spicy Braised Tofu (Dubu Jorim)

Recipe by Wasian CookeryCourse: Main, SidesCuisine: KoreanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

10

minutes

Korean Spicy Braised Tofu is a dish that features firm tofu cooked in a flavorful and spicy sauce.

Ingredients

  • 18 oz firm tofu block

  • 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil (vegetable, canola, etc.)

  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

  • 2 tsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1-2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions

  • Start by preparing the tofu. Slice the block into even, thick rectangular shapes and pat them dry using a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Heat a large non-stick skillet or pan over medium to medium-high heat. While the pan is heating up, create the sauce by combining soy sauce, sesame oil, gochugaru, sugar, minced garlic, toasted sesame seeds, and sliced green onions. Set this sauce aside, reserving some sesame seeds and green onions if you want to use them as a garnish.
  • Once the pan is hot, add the neutral cooking oil and gently place the tofu slices in it. Sear each side for approximately 5 minutes or until they achieve a golden brown color. Flip the tofu slices once during the process.
  • After both sides are seared, spoon half of the sauce mixture over the tofu, making sure each piece is coated. Add a splash of water to the pan if necessary to assist in the braising process.
  • After 1-2 minutes, flip the tofu again and pour the remaining sauce over them. Repeat the braising process for an additional 1-2 minutes. Adjust the heat to prevent the sauce from scorching.
  • Serve the Korean Spicy Braised Tofu over rice or enjoy it as a flavorful side dish. Optionally, garnish with reserved sesame seeds and green onions.

Notes

  • Before cooking, press the tofu to remove excess water. Place the tofu between paper towels and press it with a heavy object for about 15-20 minutes. This helps the tofu absorb the flavorful sauce better and gives it a firmer, crispier texture when pan-frying.
  • The spiciness of the dish comes from the Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru). Start with a smaller amount if you’re sensitive to heat, and adjust according to your taste preferences. You can always add more during cooking or at the end if you want an extra kick.
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