Dubu Jorim (Korean Braised Tofu)

Versatile, easy, 15- minute vegan Dubu Jorim or Korean Braised Tofu for the win!

When I’m hungry and don’t know what to cook, I make Dubu Jorim. Super simple, filling, and deliciously satisfying, Dubu Jorim is FULL of exciting flavor and on the table in 10 minutes!

A vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free Korean recipe that’s healthy, tasty, and fast. It really needs to be on your fast-cooking repertoire of dishes, too!

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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:

  1. Slice tofu + pat dry with paper towel
  2. Pan fry until crispy and browned on both sides
  3. Spoon sauce + water over tofu squares
  4. Cook until the sauce is reduced + syrupy
  5. 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 in dark shallow bowl with napkin and cutting board underneath

Dubu Jorim (Korean Braised Tofu)

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
The versatile Korean banchan that's spicy, savory, and full of plant-based protein. Make Dubu Jorim once and it will soon become your favorite 15-minute breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Side, Side Dish
Cuisine Korean
Servings 2 as main (4 as side)
Calories

Equipment

  • Non-stick skillet OR well greased cast iron pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package firm tofu

Sauce:

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • Cut tofu into 1/2-inch thick squares. Pat both sides dry with a paper towel.
    squares of tofu on black cutting board
  • 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.
    cast iron pan filled with crispy fried tofu squares
  • 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.
    spooning sauce over crispy fried tofu in cast iron 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!
    cast iron pan filled with tofu and sauce
  • 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!
    dubu jorim in shallow bowl with kimchi and rice on the side
Keyword Braised, Dubu Jorim, Spicy, Tofu
15 minutes, All Recipes, Braised, Gochujang, Korean, Side, Weeknight Meals

2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe tonight and it turned out delicious! Thanks!

  2. This is an amazing recipe! It’s spicy, sweet and savory. Great ban-chan (side dish) for any Korean meal! Thanks, Lis for an awesome tofu recipe!!

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