Asian Recipes/ Korean/ Recipes/ Side Dish/ Super Simple/ Vegan

Dubu Jorim – Korean Braised Tofu

07/06/2022

Everyone will love this sweet, savoury and spicy Korean braised tofu! Dubu jorim is vegan and vegetarian friendly AND ready in less than 20 minutes! Serve it as a side dish or all on its own for a quick and healthy meal. 

Plate of steaming spicy braised tofu with rice and sesame seeds.

Why We Love This

Korean spicy braised tofu is chewy on the inside, a little bit crispy on the outside, totally moreish and equally delicious served hot or cold!

Dubu jorim is one of our favourite Korean tofu recipes. It’s so easy and the best tofu recipe to convert people who think they hate tofu!

It’s also naturally vegan and vegetarian friendly, and a great alternative to bulgogi beef or bulgogi chicken for a home cooked Korean BBQ.

Related: The Best Simple Tofu Recipes / 7+ Amazing Recipes to Make with Gochugaru

Cooking down the sauce for dubu jorim in cast iron pan.

What is Dubu Jorim? 

Dubu jorim (두부조림 = stewed or braised tofu) is a popular Korean banchan (side dish). It’s similar to gamja jorim (braised potatoes), where the tofu pieces are lightly fried until crispy, then braised in a spicy seasoning of soy sauce and gochugaru / Korean chilli flakes.

The seasoning is spicy, savoury and a little bit sweet which caramelises to perfection once it cooks down in the pan. Eat it any time of the day as a side dish with rice, or as a quick dinner, lunch or snack. 

What You’ll Need

  • Tofu – Firm tofu works best for this recipe, avoid soft or silken tofu as it will fall apart. Press out as much liquid as possible before frying to get it nice and crispy. Slice into thin “steaks” – you can leave them as long blocks or cut into flat squares. 
  • Onion – This is optional, but we love the caramelised flavour and sweetness this adds to the dish. Slice into thin half moons. 
  • Vegetable Oil – Choose one with a high smoke point for frying, such as canola oil. 
  • Sesame Seeds – Optional garnish. Use fresh or toasted sesame seeds for extra umami flavour.

For the seasoning:

  • Gochugaru – Also known as Korean red pepper flakes. Find them at Asian grocers and online. These have more flavour and less heat than regular chilli flakes. To substitute, use half the amount of cayenne pepper or regular chilli powder. Or swap for gochujang fermented chilli paste for a little more umami. 
  • Cooking Wine – You can use Korean rice wine (cheong-ju), Japanese rice wine (sake) or Chinese style cooking wine (shao xing) depending on what you have on hand. Find them at Asian supermarkets or even online. Sub with dry sherry, mirin or a splash of dry white wine if you have those on hand instead.
  • Other Seasonings – You’ll need spring onions / green onions, garlic, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, water, salt and pepper.
Ingredients laid out to make Korean braised tofu.

How to make Spicy Korean Braised Tofu:

  1. Press out tofu on a plate with a heavy weight (around 1 kg / 2 lbs) for 10 minutes to extract as much water as possible. Slice into steaks and pat dry with a paper towel on both sides. 
  2. Optional: Sprinkle salt and pepper over the tofu steaks to your liking.
  3. Add the spring onion, garlic, gochugaru, sugar, soy sauce, cooking wine, sesame oil and water into a small bowl. Mix well until combined.
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the tofu steaks and fry for 2-3 minutes on one side until golden brown, then flip.
  2. Top with the sliced onion and allow to soften while you fry the other side of the tofu.
  3. Once cooked to your liking, pour over the seasoning sauce.
  4. Reduce to medium heat and cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is sticking to the tofu (around 2-4 minutes).
  5. Serve hot with rice and / or garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Tofu – Use a non-stick pan or well-oiled cast iron skillet to stop the tofu sticking to the pan. It’s also a good idea to keep shifting the tofu pieces around in the pan to make sure they’re not sticking while you cook.
  • Storage – This dish will last 2-3 days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container. This makes it perfect for adding to a homemade dosirak (Korean lunch box similar to Japanese bento) for an easy pre-prepared lunch.

FAQs

Do I really need to press the tofu out or can I just pat it dry?

We recommend pressing the tofu and draining as much liquid as possible because it helps make the dubu jorim extra crispy. You can skip this step and just pat dry the tofu before and after slicing if you don’t really care about getting the outsides being extra crispy. 

What should I serve with dubu jorim?

Serve on rice, with or without blanched veggies like bok choy or gai lan. It’s also great teamed up with other Korean banchan like kimchi, pickled daikon, pickled onions or pickled garlic.

Variations

  • Protein – Add boiled egg in with the sauce once the tofu has cooked. The flavour and heat reminds us of Indonesian sambal telur! Or you could swap the tofu for thinly sliced chicken such as boneless chicken thighs. 
  • Mushrooms – Add enoki mushrooms along with the onions for extra flavour and texture.
  • Sauce – Use the sauce for other tofu dishes like ganmodoki tofu patties.
Braised tofu slathered with onion

Want to make an epic home cooked Korean feast? These are our favourites:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Pieces of tofu cooked Korean style, known as dubu jorim.

Dubu Jorim – Korean Braised Tofu

Everyone will love this sweet, savoury and spicy Korean braised tofu! Dubu jorim is vegan and vegetarian friendly AND ready in less than 20 minutes! Serve it as a side dish or all on its own for a quick and healthy meal. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 6 Sides
Calories: 107kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Ingredients

For the seasoning

Optional

Instructions

Prepare the tofu

  • Press out tofu on a plate with a heavy weight (around 1 kg / 2 lbs) for 10 minutes to extract as much water as possible. Slice into steaks and pat dry with a paper towel on both sides. Optional: Sprinkle salt and pepper over the tofu steaks to your liking.
    400 g firm tofu, Salt and pepper

Prepare the seasoning sauce

  • Add the spring onion, garlic, gochugaru, sugar, soy sauce, cooking wine, sesame oil and water into a small bowl. Mix well until combined.
    2 spring onion / green onion, 2 garlic, 1 tbsp Korean hot pepper flakes / gochugaru, 1 tbsp sugar, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp cooking wine, 1 tbsp sesame oil, ⅓ cup water

Cook the tofu

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the tofu steaks and fry for 2-3 minutes on one side until golden brown, then flip. Top with the sliced onion and allow to soften while you fry the other side of the tofu.
    400 g firm tofu, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 onion
  • Once cooked to your liking, pour over the seasoning sauce. Reduce to medium heat and cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is sticking to the tofu (around 2-4 minutes).
  • Serve hot with rice and / or garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
    ½ sesame seeds

Video

YouTube video

Recipe Notes

  • Tofu – Use a non-stick pan or well-oiled cast iron skillet to stop the tofu sticking to the pan. It’s also a good idea to keep shifting the tofu pieces around in the pan to make sure they’re not sticking while you cook.
  • Storage – This dish will last 2-3 days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container. This makes it perfect for adding to a homemade dosirak (Korean lunch box similar to Japanese bento) for an easy pre-prepared lunch.
  • Protein – Add boiled egg in with the sauce once the tofu has cooked. The flavour and heat reminds us of Indonesian sambal telur! Or you could swap the tofu for thinly sliced chicken such as boneless chicken thighs. 
  • Mushrooms – Add enoki mushrooms along with the onions for extra flavour and texture.
  • Sauce – Use the sauce for other tofu dishes like ganmodoki tofu patties.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Dubu Jorim – Korean Braised Tofu
Amount per Serving
Calories
107
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
6
g
9
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Sodium
 
530
mg
23
%
Potassium
 
88
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
7
g
2
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
3
g
3
%
Protein
 
7
g
14
%
Vitamin A
 
436
IU
9
%
Vitamin C
 
2
mg
2
%
Calcium
 
100
mg
10
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Dubu Jorim - Korean Braised Tofu

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