Versatile, easy, 15- minute vegan Dubu Jorim or Korean Braised Tofu for the win!
What is Dubu Jorim?
Dubu Jorim is Korean Braised Tofu. Dubu = Tofu. Jorim = Cooked down (or braised).
Dubu Jorim is a popular banchan (side dish) at the Korean table. Enjoyed with rice, kimchi, and other dishes — it’s Korean home cooking at its best. The total cook time is 15 minutes, making it the perfect weeknight dish.
There are different variations for Tofu Jorim. Every Korean household makes the version they like best. My version is spicy but savory with soy sauce, garlic, and a little bit of vinegar to round out all the flavors.
- Firm Tofu. Firm block tofu is easier to handle than soft tofu and won’t fall apart in the pan.
- Gochukaru OR Gochujang. Either Gochukaru (Korean dried chili flakes) or Gochujang (Korean chili paste) works. If you have it, Gochukaru adds best texture and flavor. But if you don’t, Gochujang also works!
- Soy sauce. Umami-rich depth and flavor.
- Sesame oil. Nutty, aromatic richness.
- Rice vinegar. For a perfectly balanced sauce.
- Sugar. To round out all the flavors.
- Water. To make it saucy and rich!
- Garlic + Green Onion. For aromatic deliciousness!
How To Make Korean Braised Tofu:
- Slice tofu + pat dry with paper towel
- Pan fry until crispy and browned on both sides
- Spoon sauce + water over tofu squares
- Cook until the sauce is reduced + syrupy
- Eat + enjoy!
Watch how to make it:
Essential Tool: Non-stick Skillet
To cook this dish, a non-stick skillet works best. Both teflon coated OR ceramic coated non-stick skillets work beautifully.
A well greased cast iron skillet will also work. But it will cook FAST! Watch carefully so the sauce doesn’t burn and reduce too quickly.
DO NOT use a regular skillet for this recipe! The tofu will stick to the pan and the sauce will burn.
Also, a side note: almost every Korean cook I know owns at least one non-stick skillet. It’s the practical cooking tool that’s perfect for so many Korean preparations. (Like Kimchi Pancake, Korean Beef Patties (aka Donguerang Ddeng), Kimchi Fried Rice, etc.)
How do I eat Dubu Jorim?
Dubu Jorim is typically served as banchan or one of many side dishes at the Korean table. Koreans don’t typically eat one main dish only — they eat a little bit of this, a little bit of that.
For a vegetarian feast, serve with rice and other banchan:
Or, eat Tofu Jorim as a main entree with with rice and kimchi. A fried egg on top adds extra protein.
There’s really no wrong way to eat this fast, tasty, easy 15-minute dish!
Dubu Jorim (Korean Braised Tofu)
- Non-stick skillet OR well greased cast iron pan
- 1 package firm tofu
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce (not the low sodium kind!)
- 2 Tbsp gochukaru, Korean dried chili flakes (Gochujang also works, if you don't have it)
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar (regular white vinegar also works, if you don't have it)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Cut tofu into 1/2-inch thick squares. Pat both sides dry with a paper towel.
- Heat a non-stick skillet with 1-2 Tbsp neutral oil over medium heat. When the pan is hot but not smoking, add tofu. It will splatter so be careful! Cook until crispy and browned on one side, about 3-4 minutes. (Do not disturb! Let the tofu be!) Flip and repeat.
- Meanwhile, mix sauce ingredients (except water) into a small bowl. When the tofu has finished frying on the second side, keep the heat on medium and spoon sauce over the tofu squares. Then immediately add water into the pan.
- Simmer until sauce is reduced and the tofu has absorbed all that saucy flavor, about 5-6 minutes. Lower the heat if the saue is reducing too fast and burning. Shake the pan from time to time to prevent sticking. Feel free to add more water, 1-2 Tbsp at a time, if the sauce reduces too much. This step goes quickly so watch carefully!
- Transfer to a serving platter and make sure to spoon up all the pan sauce. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve with rice and kimchi. Enjoy!