This Korean BBQ tofu is AMAZING! Super easy, super crispy, super healthy, and super spicy! Well, it is as spicy as you want to make it. This might be one of my favorite things that I make and is on a bi-weekly rotation in my kitchen.
The secret to this tofu is in the prep step for making it light and crispy but without frying it! It is so easy to crisp up your tofu and make it the perfect vehicle for the Korean BBQ sauce.
The even better thing about this meal is that from start to finish you can get it on your table in about 55 minutes.
Serve with some rice, steam up some veggies (frozen ones are my go-to in the winter months), and you have yourself one super satisfying dinner. And leftovers for lunch the next day. Yum.
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Korean BBQ Tofu
If you’ve never tried something like this before, one of the ingredients might be new to you: Gochujang sauce. This is a Korean spicy red pepper paste that is used in a ton of traditional Korean dishes. I first tried this while living out in Los Angeles and once I had some I was addicted. Warm and spicy with such a good profile of spices; not hot just to be hot, this spice paste is just outta this world good.
I find mine in the Asian section of my local grocery store. However, if you can’t find it, you can also purchase the exact Gochujang sauce I use on Amazon.
If spice isn’t always your friend, don’t panic. Adding simple maple syrup to this dish will help tone down the spice and add the most wonderful sweetness to the dish.
Baking Tofu 101
As I said, the secret to this Korean BBQ Tofu is in how you prep the tofu itself. Always go for extra firm tofu which will hold up well to your slicing and saucing. Next, you want to make sure you double bake the tofu. Round one of baking helps to crisp up the tofu so that when you add the sauce, it won’t become a pile of mush.
The awesome thing is that it is baked which means less oil which means this gets a pass for being one of the healthiest methods for eating crispy tofu.
Korean BBQ Tofu – Gluten Free + Vegan
- 1 block of extra firm tofu
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1 tbsp mild oil, such as canola
- 1 tbsp soy sauce, make sure it is gluten free
- 1/4 cup Gochujang paste
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce of your choice, make sure it is gluten free
- 1-2 tbsp water for thinning
- Start by pressing your tofu. I usually chop my tofu into bite size pieces and cover them with a towel before placing all of my soup cans on top to help squeeze the water out of the tofu. Press for about 30 minutes.
- When you're ready to cook, preheat your oven to 400°F / 205°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your oil, soy sauce, and arrowroot powder. Stir to combine. Add the tofu, carefully mixing to ensure that each piece is coated but not so hard you break the tofu. Place them on your baking sheet.
- Pop the tofu in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
- While the tofu is first baking, now make the spicy sauce. In a large mixing bowl, add the Gochujang sauce and the BBQ sauce. Mix well. Add water to get the consistency you desire. I like mine to be of a similar viscosity to pancake batter.
- Take the tofu out of the oven and gently toss into the Gochujang sauce. Again, gently cover the tofu in the sauce. The tofu should be firmer after the first bake, but you don't want to go ham on stirring this together.
- Place the tofu back on the baking sheet and pop back in the oven for another 12-15 minutes. You'll know it's done when the sauce starts to really brown up!
- Serve immediately with rice, noodles, veggies, or just eat them on their own! I like to drizzle orange sauce over the tofu and veggies.