Spicy Gochujang Sesame Tofu Recipe

Korean tofu | Nina Firsova

Experience the fiery flavors of Korean cuisine with our delicious Gochujang Sesame Tofu recipe. Bursting with a perfect balance of heat and umami, this dish is sure to delight your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Inspired by the vibrant streets of Seoul, our recipe combines the bold flavors of fermented Gochujang chili paste with the nutty goodness of toasted sesame seeds. The result? A delectable dish that’s rich in texture and flavor.

Whether you’re a spice enthusiast or just looking to add some excitement to your weekly menu, this Gochujang Sesame Tofu recipe is a must-try. The combination of crispy tofu, savory sauce, and aromatic spices is a match made in culinary heaven.

In just a few simple steps, you can whip up this irresistible dish that will impress your friends and family. So, put on your apron, grab your wok, and get ready to spice up your palate with our delicious Gochujang Sesame Tofu recipe.

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a staple ingredient in Korean cuisine. It is a fermented chili paste made from red chili peppers, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. The resulting paste has a complex flavor profile, with a perfect balance of spiciness, sweetness, and umami. Gochujang adds depth and complexity to dishes, making it a versatile and essential ingredient in Korean cooking.

The fermentation process not only enhances the taste of Gochujang but also increases its nutritional value. It contains beneficial probiotics that promote gut health and aids digestion. Gochujang is also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a great addition to a balanced diet.

The Health Benefits of Tofu

Tofu is a popular plant-based protein source that originates from East Asia. It is made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the resulting curds into blocks. Tofu is low in calories and packed with essential nutrients, making it a healthy addition to any diet.

One of the key health benefits of tofu is its high protein content. It is an excellent source of plant-based protein, making it a great alternative for vegetarians and vegans. Tofu is also rich in iron, calcium, and vitamins like vitamin B12 and vitamin K. These nutrients play a crucial role in supporting bone health, regulating blood pressure, and boosting immunity.

In addition to its nutritional benefits, tofu is known for its versatility in the kitchen. It can be grilled, stir-fried, baked, or blended into smoothies and desserts. Its mild flavor allows it to absorb the flavors of the ingredients it is cooked with, making it a perfect canvas for the bold flavors of Gochujang in our Gochujang Sesame Tofu recipe.

Gochujang Sesame Tofu Recipe


To make our Gochujang Sesame Tofu recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 block of firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons of Gochujang chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup (for a vegan option)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Now that you have gathered all the necessary ingredients, let’s dive into the step-by-step instructions for making our Gochujang Sesame Tofu:

  1. Start by preparing the tofu. Drain the tofu block and pat it dry with a kitchen towel or paper towels. Cut the tofu into bite-sized cubes or rectangles, depending on your preference. Place the tofu on a plate lined with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the Gochujang chili paste, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey (or maple syrup), minced garlic, and grated ginger. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning according to your preference by adding salt and pepper if desired.
  3. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the tofu cubes in a single layer. Fry the tofu for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Use a spatula to gently flip the tofu cubes to ensure even cooking.
  4. Once the tofu is crispy and golden brown, reduce the heat to medium-low. Pour the Gochujang sauce over the tofu, making sure to coat each piece evenly. Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the tofu to absorb the sauce.
  5. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions over the Gochujang Sesame Tofu. Gently toss the tofu to evenly distribute the sesame seeds and green onions.
  6. Remove the skillet or wok from heat. Serve the Gochujang Sesame Tofu hot as a main dish, or as a delightful side dish to accompany steamed rice or noodles. Garnish with additional sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds for an extra pop of flavor and presentation.

Tips for achieving the perfect texture and flavor

To ensure your Gochujang Sesame Tofu turns out perfectly every time, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Use firm tofu: Firm tofu holds its shape better during cooking and provides a pleasant texture contrast against the crispy exterior.
  2. Press the tofu: Pressing the tofu helps remove excess moisture, allowing it to absorb more flavors and achieve a crispier texture when fried.
  3. Adjust the spiciness: If you prefer a milder version, reduce the amount of Gochujang chili paste used. Conversely, if you love the heat, feel free to increase the amount to suit your taste buds.
  4. Toast the sesame seeds: Toasting the sesame seeds before adding them to the dish enhances their nutty flavor and adds a delightful crunch.
  5. Customize the sauce: Experiment with additional ingredients like lime juice, brown sugar, or chili flakes to create your own unique flavor profile.
  6. Serve immediately: Gochujang Sesame Tofu is best enjoyed fresh off the stove when the tofu is still crispy and the sauce is hot and flavorful.

Serving suggestions and variations

Gochujang Sesame Tofu can be served in various ways to suit different preferences and dietary needs. Here are some serving suggestions and variations to consider:

  1. As a main dish: Serve the Gochujang Sesame Tofu as a standalone main dish, accompanied by steamed rice or noodles. Add a side of stir-fried vegetables or a fresh salad for a complete and balanced meal.
  2. In a Korean-inspired bowl: Create a vibrant and flavorful Korean-inspired bowl by combining the Gochujang Sesame Tofu with cooked rice, pickled vegetables, fresh greens, and a fried egg. Drizzle some extra Gochujang sauce on top for an extra kick of flavor.
  3. In a lettuce wrap: Use large lettuce leaves as wraps and fill them with the Gochujang Sesame Tofu, along with some shredded carrots, cucumber slices, and fresh herbs like cilantro or mint. Roll them up and enjoy a refreshing and satisfying handheld meal.
  4. With a side of kimchi: Kimchi, a traditional Korean fermented side dish, pairs perfectly with Gochujang Sesame Tofu. The tangy and spicy flavors of kimchi complement the rich and savory taste of the tofu, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.

Recipe variations for different dietary preferences

Our Gochujang Sesame Tofu recipe can be easily modified to accommodate different dietary preferences. Here are some variations to consider:

  1. Vegan option: To make the recipe vegan, substitute honey with maple syrup or another plant-based sweetener. Ensure that the Gochujang chili paste you use is also vegan-friendly, as some brands may contain animal-derived ingredients.
  2. Gluten-free option: Confirm that the soy sauce you use is gluten-free or replace it with tamari or coconut aminos, which are gluten-free alternatives.
  3. Low-carb option: Replace the honey or maple syrup with a low-carb sweetener like stevia or erythritol. Serve the Gochujang Sesame Tofu with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles instead of regular rice or noodles.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Can I use other types of tofu for this recipe?
  • While firm tofu works best for this recipe, you can experiment with other types of tofu, such as extra-firm or silken tofu. Just keep in mind that the texture and cooking time may vary.
  1. Can I make this dish less spicy?
  • Absolutely! Adjust the amount of Gochujang chili paste to control the spiciness to your liking. You can start with a smaller amount and add more if desired.
  1. How long can I store leftovers?
  • Store any leftover Gochujang Sesame Tofu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it in a skillet or microwave until heated through.
  1. Can I freeze Gochujang Sesame Tofu?
  • Freezing tofu can change its texture, so it’s not recommended. It’s best enjoyed fresh for optimal taste and texture.


Spice up your palate with the irresistible flavors of our Gochujang Sesame Tofu recipe. This dish brings together the bold and spicy taste of Gochujang chili paste with the nutty goodness of sesame seeds, resulting in a culinary masterpiece that will leave you wanting more.

Whether you’re a fan of Korean cuisine or looking to explore new flavors, this recipe is a must-try. With its crispy tofu, savory sauce, and aromatic spices, it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

So, get ready to embark on a culinary adventure, put your apron on, and let the vibrant and fiery flavors of our Gochujang Sesame Tofu take your taste buds on a journey to Seoul. Enjoy!