Easy Spicy Korean Braised Tofu (Dubu Jorim)

Difficulty Easy

Savor the bold and fiery flavors of Korean cuisine with tantalizing Korean Spicy Braised Tofu, also known as Dubu Jorim. This vegan-friendly dish features firm tofu simmered in a mouthwatering spicy sauce, creating a harmonious balance of heat and umami. Discover the perfect recipe to spice up your culinary repertoire and delight your taste buds with this Korean classic.

Dubu Jorim or Korean Braised Tofu

When I’m hungry and don’t know what to cook, I make Dubu Jorim or Korean Braised Tofu.

A simple and satisfying dish that’s FULL of big Korean flavor! Dubu Jorim is basically thick slices of tofu that are pan fried until firm then braised in a deliciously spicy-sweet sauce, soaking up every bit of flavor!

The delicious sauce comes from a combination of Gochujang, soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. Simply mix in a bowl and pour on top. As the sauce bubbles and reduces, it will become thick and rich.

Vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free — Korean Braised Tofu is such a beloved and versatile dish. As a bonus, Dubu Jorim only takes 15 minutes to cook! A weeknight workhorse that’s fast and easy to put on the table. And tastes good with rice.

Traditionally, Dubu Jorim is a side dish (banchan) served at the Korean table. I grew up eating this fast and easy Korean dish regularly. A great example of Korean home cooking and a staple in lunch boxes, as the tofu tastes good warm, room temperature, or cold. You’ll find different variations of Tofu Jorim; every Korean household makes the version they like best.

Ingredients:

  • 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. Adds a subtle tangy flavor.
  • Sugar. To round out all the flavors.
  • Water. To make it saucy and rich!
  • Garlic + Green Onion. For aromatic deliciousness!

Instructions:

  1. Prep tofu. Slice tofu into 1/2-inch slices. Pat dry with paper towel
  2. Brown tofu. Pan-fry tofu until crispy and browned on both sides
  3. Make sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients. Spoon over the browned tofu.
  4. Braise the tofu and sauce. Cook until the sauce is reduced and syrupy.
  5. Garnish and serve! Sprinkle green onions or sesame seeds. Serve immediately!

Watch how to make it:

PRO Tips:

  • Make it saucier. If you’d like more sauce, add more water. The liquid evaporates quickly so keep an eye on the tofu as it cooks.
  • Take time to brown the tofu. Browning the tofu on both sides ensures a thick, meaty texture that stands up well to the braising liquid. Take your time while browning so the tofu doesn’t fall apart when cooked with the sauce.
  • Pat tofu dry with a paper towel. Tofu is usually stored in liquid. When adding wet tofu to a hot pan, the oil is bound to splatter. If you pat both sides with a paper towel, it will ensure minimal oil splatter.
  • Cook green onion.  If you don’t enjoy a strong onion flavor, do not add green onion as a garnish.  Instead, add to the sauce and let it cook down with the tofu.  The braising process will mellow out the onion flavor.

Helpful Kitchen Tool:

  • Non-stick skillet. Korean Braised Tofu cooks best in a non-stick skillet, as the liquid cooks down into a thick and syrupy sauce. A well-greased cast iron skillet will also work. Watch carefully so the sauce doesn’t burn and reduce too quickly.

FAQ:

How do I store leftovers?

Dubu Jorim Leftovers can be stored, tightly sealed, in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat in the microwave, slightly covered to create steam, in 1-minute increments.

Can I make Korean Braised Tofu less spicy?

Yes! Simply add less Gochukaru or leave it out altogether. Dubu Jorim can be made without any Gochukaru at all. The resulting flavor will be more savory-salty with a tangy flavor from the vinegar.

Can I sub the Gochukaru with Gochujang?

Gochukaru is Korean dried chili flake — different from Gochujang, which is Korean chili paste. For most recipes, I don’t recommend swapping Gochukaru with Gochujang. But for this recipe, yes — you can swap out the Gochukaru with Gochujang if you don’t have it.

close up of dubu jorim with green onion garnish

Serve with more easy Korean side dishes:

More Tofu dishes to enjoy:

dubu jorim or korean braised tofu in dark shallow bowl with napkin and cutting board underneath

Dubu Jorim (Korean Braised Tofu)

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
Savor the bold and fiery flavors of Korean cuisine with tantalizing Korean Spicy Braised Tofu, also known as Dubu Jorim. This vegan-friendly dish features firm tofu simmered in a mouthwatering spicy sauce, creating a harmonious balance of heat and umami. Discover the perfect recipe to spice up your culinary repertoire and delight your taste buds with this Korean classic.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Side, Side Dish
Cuisine Korean
Servings 2 as main (4 as side)
Calories 290 kcal

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
 

  • Prep tofu. Drain and slice tofu into 1/2-inch thick slices. Pat both sides dry with a paper towel.
  • Brown tofu. Heat a non-stick skillet with 1-2 Tbsp neutral oil over medium heat. When the pan is hot, carefully 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.
  • Make sauce. While the tofu bowns, mix together the sauce ingredients 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 slices
  • Braise tofu and sauce together. Simmer the tofu and sauce together on medium to medium-low heat. Cook until the sauce is thick and syrupy 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!
  • Garnish and serve. Transfer to a serving platter and make sure to spoon up all the pan sauce on top. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve with rice and kimchi. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Tips:
  • Make it saucier. If you’d like more sauce, add more water. The liquid evaporates quickly so keep an eye on the tofu as it cooks.
  • Cook green onion.  If you don’t enjoy a strong onion flavor, do not add green onion as a garnish.  Instead, add to the sauce and let it cook down with the tofu.  The braising process will mellow out the onion flavor.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 21gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 1148mgPotassium: 206mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 2372IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 285mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Braised, Dubu Jorim, Spicy, Tofu
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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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