Spicy Korean Braised Tofu (Dubu Jorim)

Difficulty Easy

Spicy Korean Braised Tofu, or Dubu Jorim, is an easy, quick, and absolutely delicious side dish. Thick tofu slices are braised in a mouthwatering sauce that’s equal parts savory, spicy, and full of umami flavor. A 15-minute recipe that’s full of good-for-you, plant-based protein. Satisfying, simple, and tasty — it’s a Korean home cooking staple for a reason!

Spicy Korean Braised Tofu (Dubu Jorim)

Korean Braised Tofu, also known as Dubu Jorim, is a popular Korean side dish starring tofu cooked in sauce. Versatile, easy, and delicious — it’s a satisfying, hearty dish made from one package of Tofu and a simple, pantry-ingredient sauce.

“Dubu” means Tofu, and “Jorim” means braised or stewed. As the tofu cooks, it becomes tender and absorbs all that wonderful, rich sauce. Every bite is packed with flavor!

The method for this Korean side dish is always the same: panfry tofu slices until browned. Then add sauce and additional water. The sauce becomes rich, thick, and stewy as it reduces and bubbles. YUM!

As a bonus, Korean Braised Tofu only takes 15 minutes to cook. A weeknight workhorse that’s fast and easy to put on the table. Add rice for a complete meal — and to sop up all that sauce!

As a child, I saw my grandmother and mom make Dubu Jorim countless times for dinner. As an adult, it’s my go-to when I don’t know what to cook. A great example of Korean home cooking. Also, a staple in lunch boxes, as the tofu tastes good warm, room temperature, or cold. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Firm or Extra-Firm Tofu. Firm or extra-firm block tofu is recommended because it’s easier to handle and won’t fall apart when cooked.
  • Gochujang. Korean chili paste that’s full of spicy-sweet, umami richness. The thick paste will help the sauce thicken and add flavor.
  • Garlic. For spicy, garlicky bite.
  • Soy sauce. For salty, umami-rich depth and flavor.
  • Rice vinegar. Adds complexity and acidity. Adds balance to all the other spicy-salty-sweet flavor elements.
  • Sugar. Adds sweetness and balance.
  • Sesame oil. Nutty, aromatic richness.
  • Water. To make it saucy and rich.

Instructions:

  1. Slice + pat dry. Slice tofu into 1/2-inch slices. Pat dry, on both sides, with a paper towel.
  2. Brown tofu. In a non-stick skillet, add oil. Pan-fry slices until crispy and browned on both sides
  3. Make sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients with water. Spoon over the browned tofu.
  4. Braise. Cook until thick, reduced, and syrupy.
  5. Garnish and serve. Sprinkle with 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. Make sure to brown on both sides. Although it won’t stay crispy once the sauce is added, this step will ensure it doesn’t fall apart when cooked.
  • Pat dry with a paper towel. Tofu is packaged in water. When adding wet tofu to a hot pan, the oil will splatter. Instead, try a Korean trick: pat both sides with a paper towel so there’s 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.  The braising process will mellow out the onion flavor.

Helpful Kitchen Tool:

  • Non-stick Skillet. Dubu Jorim cooks best in a non-stick skillet. The liquid cooks into a thick, syrupy sauce that can be quite sticky and prone to burning. A well-greased cast iron skillet will also work. Watch carefully so the sauce doesn’t burn or reduce too quickly.

FAQ:

How do I store leftovers?

Korean Braised Tofu 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 Tofu less spicy?

Yes! Add less Gochujang or leave it out altogether. The resulting flavor will be more savory-salty with a tangy flavor from the vinegar.

close up of dubu jorim with green onion garnish

More easy Korean side dishes:

More Tofu recipes:

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
Spicy Korean Braised Tofu, or Dubu Jorim, is an easy, quick, and absolutely delicious side dish. Thick tofu slices are braised in a mouthwatering sauce that's equal parts savory, spicy, and full of umami flavor. A 15-minute recipe that's full of good-for-you, plant-based protein. Satisfying, simple, and tasty — it's a Korean home cooking staple for a reason!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Side, Side Dish
Cuisine Korean
Servings 2 as main (4 as side)
Calories 284 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 Gochujang (Korean chili paste) or Gochukaru (Korean chili flakes) (both work, gochukaru preferred)
  • 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 sauce is reducing too fast or 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 scrape all the pan sauce on top of the tofu. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve with rice and kimchi. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

*Store leftovers, tightly sealed, in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat in the microwave, slightly covered to create steam, in 1-minute increments. 
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.
  • Adjust the spice level. Add less Gochujang or leave it out altogether. The resulting flavor will be more savory-salty with a tangy flavor from the vinegar.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 284kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 20gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 1020mgPotassium: 110mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 32IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 261mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Braised, Dubu Jorim, Korean, Spicy, Tofu, vegan
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!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating