Main image of Spicy Garlic Tofu

Spicy Garlic Tofu

25 min

Appetizer

Side

Gochujang is a Korean fermented chili paste, and it's become one of our favourite ways of jazzing up tofu. These tofu cubes are delicious enough to enjoy on their own, but they're an amazing addition to your favourite stir-fry!

Servings

(½ cup per serving)

Total

25 min

Prep

5 min

Cook

20 min

Contains

Soy symbol

soy

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Gluten symbol

gluten

Free from

Peanut symbol

peanut

Treenut symbol

tree nut

Sesame symbol

sesame

Ingredients

  • 15.8 oz (450 g)
    extra firm tofu, cut into into 1 cm cubes
  • 2 Tbsp (16 g)
    cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL)
    vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp
    salt
  • ¼ tsp
    ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL)
    vegetable oil
  • 5
    cloves garlic, minced
  • 1
    medium shallot, diced
  • 2
    red hot chilis, thinly sliced
  • 2
    stalks green onion, thinly sliced

Optional garnish

  • toasted sesame seeds
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Directions

  1. Drain the tofu of any excess liquid before cutting it into little cubes. The more liquid that can be drained, the quicker the tofu cooks and the crispier it gets. 
  2. To a large shallow bowl, add the tofu cubes, corn starch, vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. Gently toss to coat. 
  3. Heat up a large pan over high heat and add the tofu, cooking for about 10 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Try to not disturb the tofu too much, otherwise, it crumbles. Give it a toss only every couple of minutes, so that it cooks evenly on all sides. 
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce by mixing together in a bowl the maple syrup, gochujang, soy sauce, and vinegar. Set aside.
  5. When the tofu is crisped to your liking, transfer it to a plate. 
  6. Return the same pan to the heat, and add the vegetable oil. When hot, add the garlic, shallot, chilis, and green onion all at once. Sauté for 4 - 5 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the sauce, cooking for another 4 - 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes sticky.
  8. Add the tofu to the pan, and give it a stir so the tofu is coated. 
  9. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

  • * Gochujang is a Korean fermented red chili paste, which has a sweet, savoury, and spicy flavour profile. It can be found in most Asian supermarkets, but you could also substitute it with another hot sauce, such as Sriracha, if desired.

Storage

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Nutrition info

We believe that focusing on numbers can harm our relationship with food. Instead, our philosophy is to Nourish the Cells & the Soul. If you require specific nutrition information due to a medical condition, please consult with a dietitian or physician. The nutritional information provided is composed with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed values, see also our disclaimer.

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Discussion & Rating

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Ana - Jan. 14, 2022, 6:58 p.m.

I used to despise tofu and could have never seen myself enjoying it under any form. I finally found a recipe that I love and look forward to making! It's the perfect mix between spicy and sweet. :)

PUL Team - Jan. 15, 2022, 12:05 a.m.

Woohoo! So happy to hear, Ana ✨


Yalda - Jan. 9, 2022, 8:26 p.m.

This was my first time trying tofu in a stir fry!
I've only had it in stews before so I was really curious how this recipe would turn out... and I LOVED it!!
Wow, super yummy and so spicy!
I substituted gochujang with chinese chili bean paste (Doubanjiang), added a little dash of Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) and omitted the soy sauce since I'm allergic to it. I will definitely make this again <3

PUL Team - Jan. 10, 2022, 3:20 a.m.

Hi there, Yalda, thanks a bunch for providing the modifications! It means so much that the tofu was enjoyed 🤩


Ester - Nov. 15, 2021, 5:55 p.m.

Loved this recipe, the sauce was absolutely amazing!! Brought me back to my time in Korea

PUL Team - Nov. 17, 2021, 1:38 a.m.

Mmm we love the personal connection to the recipe, Ester, thank you for sharing!


C&W - Oct. 30, 2021, 12:18 a.m.

We love this dish-- have been making it almost weekly for over a year. We enjoy it with rice and broccoli. We like to do one and half times the sauce amount for a little extra, but otherwise no alterations. Great recipe!

PUL Team - Oct. 31, 2021, 6:14 p.m.

Aw we're so thrilled you're enjoying the tofu, C&W, and love the idea to add extra sauce 😃


Clara - Oct. 26, 2021, 1:57 p.m.

Such a nice recipe and spice combination ! 🔥 thank you !


Randi - Oct. 26, 2021, 2:49 a.m.

Holy shit this spice is NO JOKE. Only used one pepper and I’m still sweating. Was good asf tho. 👌🏾👌🏾👌🏾

PUL Team - Oct. 26, 2021, 5:25 a.m.

So happy the spice was worth it, Randi, thank you 😃


Heleen - Oct. 22, 2021, 10:19 p.m.

I've made this two times within a week and every time I think of this dish my mouth starts to water again hahaha! I absolutely love the deep umami flavour these magical tofu cubes possess. I'm obsessed! I rate this a 7 out of 5 >:)

PUL Team - Oct. 23, 2021, 3:42 a.m.

We appreciate this so much, Heleen, thank you for the kind words! So happy the tofu is being enjoyed 🤗


Julie - Oct. 5, 2021, 11:43 a.m.

I love this recipe so much !!! Thank you :)


Kay - Oct. 3, 2021, 9:04 p.m.

Delish!


Jeong - Sept. 28, 2021, 4:10 a.m.

This is sooo good. 10/10 would make it again. Thank you PUL team!


Kaitlyn F - Sept. 27, 2021, 12:45 a.m.

I make this recipe all the time. It's delicious and really easy to pull together. We often eat it with stir-fried vegetables and rice. Great for any weeknight dinner! Thank you, PUL!

PUL Team - Sept. 27, 2021, 4:33 a.m.

So happy to hear, Kaitlyn, thank YOU for taking the time to share 🤗


Samantha - Sept. 18, 2021, 3:57 p.m.

Is there a list of all the excess vegetables in the tofu dish? Other then what is in the recipe.

PUL Team - Sept. 18, 2021, 8:51 p.m.

Hi Samantha! We don't currently have a list posted, but it's a wonderful idea for future content 🙂 In the meantime, our spicy garlic wok noodles (pickuplimes.com/recipe/spicy-…) with broccolini, mushrooms, peppers, and green onion may pair well!


Sofie - Sept. 17, 2021, 8:58 a.m.

I wasn't a big fan of tofu but this recipe was delicious! So fast and easy to make as well! Will definitely make this again


Kristie - Sept. 16, 2021, 11:45 a.m.

My boyfriend was the most anti-tofu person ever until I persuaded him to try this dish. He has been a convert ever since and requests for it every week! We've made this dish served with rice countless times and have gone through several tubs of Gochujang - only for this dish! Yes, it is that good! We thank you for this recipe! :)

PUL Team - Sept. 16, 2021, 5 p.m.

Aw thank you, Kristie, for taking the time to share! It means so much that the recipe was enjoyed by both you and your boyfriend 🤗


Cath - Sept. 14, 2021, 6:45 p.m.

Delicious sweet and sour spicy tofu. Even those who usually are not big fans of tofu will love it. <3


Kaitlyn - Sept. 10, 2021, 6:51 p.m.

I've made this dish before and have had great success, but this time I tried air-frying the tofu and it was a complete game changer! I got it so much crispier and it made this amazing dish even more delicious!

PUL Team - Sept. 12, 2021, 3:33 a.m.

Ooo super interesting to hear, Kaitlyn, thank you for sharing this!


Kayla - Sept. 1, 2021, 4:17 a.m.

Delicious! Definitely a family favorite!!


Claudia - Aug. 10, 2021, 9:54 a.m.

Absolute amazing recipe with tofu, one of my fave of all the time


Natalie - Aug. 8, 2021, 2:37 a.m.

Delicious and I found this quite easy to make. Served it as a side (and added protein) for some soup with some rice. Will definitely make this again.


Shruti D - Aug. 6, 2021, 11:27 p.m.

This recipe is fav in our house. Total crowd pleasing and easy to put together. Sooo grateful for awesome quick tofu recipe.


Cecilia - Aug. 5, 2021, 5:39 p.m.

This is definitely something I will make again and again and again! You nailed it with the flavour profile with such simple ingredients!!


Rowena Ravenclaw - Aug. 3, 2021, 2:43 a.m.

The tofu was absolutely delicious; its taste reminds me of a dish that my mother often makes. My brother enjoyed it as well! For the corn flour, I substituted arrow-root powder — and found that the tofu stuck together quite a bit. Over-all, it required a bit of labour to separate the pieces. Notwithstanding, I would do it over and over again because this recipe is just so good. I think it might be a matter of my not pressing the tofu enough, but thank you so much for this recipe!

PUL Team - Aug. 5, 2021, 4:16 a.m.

Words can't express how thrilled we are to hear this, Rowena, thank you for sharing your experience with this one! So happy the tofu was enjoyed with the subs 🌻


Sara M - Aug. 3, 2021, 2:14 a.m.

This recipe cured my FOT! (Fear of Tofu) I just recently became a vegan cook, but avoided tufu recipes because I was completely unfamiliar with it. All of the reviews here convinced me to try it. The first time I tried it, I followed the recipe as written and wound up making “Spicy Garlic Brittle with crispy Tofu”. It was really good, but because the heat was on High, the garlic burned immediately and the sauce zoomed past sticky to brittle. But it was SO delicious, and I served it with brown rice and broccoli. I just made it again, using a much lower heat and it turned out perfectly, served with green beans and jasmine rice. Thanks for such a great Beginner Tofu recipe!

PUL Team - Aug. 5, 2021, 4:12 a.m.

Oh my goodness, Sara, thank YOU for the incredible review! It means so much. We're so honoured a PUL recipe was enjoyed on your journey with FOT 😜

Sara M - Sept. 12, 2021, 1:30 a.m.

Making this for the 4th time. It’s our favorite new-to-me vegan dish. Thanks again, for sharing your creativity and expertise. I’d give this 5-stars now, since I reckoned with my Hades-hot electric stove and got a new ceramic non-stick pan. No more spicy garlic brittle and uncleanable skillet!


Aditi - July 31, 2021, 5:18 p.m.

Hello Sadia! Incredible recipe. When I told my family I was cooking tofu, they made weird faces haha but once I served it, they were amazed and would not stop talking about it and asked me to make it again the next day! Really really good Thanks so much!

PUL Team - Aug. 1, 2021, 9:04 a.m.

Hey there, Aditi! We're so glad the tofu was enjoyed. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with this one, it means so much ☺️


Gio - July 26, 2021, 6:56 a.m.

Hello hello Sadia! I've tried out this recipe many many times during Lent last year, and it was so good!! I had to swap out the gochujang with another chilli sauce I had (still with the umami flavor!) and it turned out delicious despite the swap! This spicy garlic tofu really ticks all the boxes for me, and it was a go to meal for me every Friday during Lent. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us!

PUL Team - July 27, 2021, 7:44 p.m.

Hey there, Gio! A lovely substitute. Thank YOU for the glowing review and for being here. It means so much ✨💚


Kathi - July 25, 2021, 8:42 p.m.

This is our favorite tofu recipe! Its the best!


Eve - July 25, 2021, 12:31 p.m.

This is my go to tofu recipe! I use it weekly and have many friends and family who are a fan as well! It's the best combination of sweet, salty and spiciness. Also there can never be too much garlic in my opinion! Definitely recommend to everyone :)

PUL Team - July 27, 2021, 1:25 a.m.

We appreciate this so much, Eve! So thrilled you're enjoying the tofu 🌻


Michelle - July 25, 2021, 12:54 a.m.

So so good! Only thing is I tried adding mushrooms and the sauce became quite watery rather than sticky. When would you suggest adding extra veg (mushrooms, broccoli, peppers etc) or should those just be made on the side? Thanks always for all the recipes - I’ve loved them all!

PUL Team - July 26, 2021, 9:01 p.m.

Hi Michelle, thanks for sharing! It sounds like the mushrooms may have been wet and added a bit too much liquid to the sauce. Perhaps cooking them separately and adding the veggies after may be easier to help them dry out while also giving more control for the cooking time! Either way would work though based on your preferences 🙂


Jeralyn - July 24, 2021, 6:12 p.m.

Fantastic recipe! Super flavorful, exactly what I was craving! I’ve made this probably 10 times since finding this recipe and it’s yummy every time.


Ellie - July 23, 2021, 10:24 p.m.

This recipe has joined my usual rotation. Depending on what I'm serving the tofu with, I will either pan fry like the recipe describes, or toss it in the air fryer or oven while I make something else on the stove. Either way the Gochujang sauce is incredible! I have even used a variation of it on roasted broccoli.


Katie - July 23, 2021, 12:13 p.m.

Simple, but delicious! Easy go-to weeknight recipe idea!


Mika - July 21, 2021, 10:13 a.m.

This is my absolute favorite recipe on the site since it's quite simple to make yet packs a lot of taste - it's a staple I have practically every week now!

Looking forward to more tofu variations <3

PUL Team - July 22, 2021, 6:17 a.m.

Soo glad you're enjoying the tofu, Mika!


Abhi - July 21, 2021, 6:24 a.m.

Do you think this would work with cauliflower instead of tofu?

PUL Team - July 22, 2021, 6:13 a.m.

Oooh such an interesting idea, Abhi! We can't say with certainty as we've never tested it out, although keeping an eye on it as its cooking may be helpful as the cooking time may be different. Do let us know how it goes if you give it a try 😃


Paulina - July 19, 2021, 5:01 p.m.

I'm on a journey of discovering tofu recipes I like, this one is my favourite so far!


Dee - July 16, 2021, 11:49 a.m.

I definitely recommend adding chopped shiitake mushrooms when making this recipe. It goes really well with the sauce :P

Dee - July 16, 2021, 12:10 p.m.

ooh and shelled edamame, helps to add some texture and extra fiber

PUL Team - July 18, 2021, 2:23 a.m.

Lovely ideas, Dee, super appreciated! 🤤


Jess - July 14, 2021, 2:38 a.m.

So delicious.


Katia - July 12, 2021, 8:48 p.m.

This is my go-to vegan dish for non-vegan friends & family- an instant hit with everyone I’ve ever made it for! I serve this with a side of rice and vegetables, not noodles, as seen in the pictures above, though I think either would be good. I also use de-seeded jalapeño peppers instead of red hot chili peppers, so I assume that makes it slightly less spicy. This dish gets completely devoured each time I make it, so I recommend doubling up if you want to have leftovers or are hosting a larger crowd.

PUL Team - July 16, 2021, 1:42 a.m.

Thank YOU for the glowing feedback and suggestions, Katia, it's so appreciated! 💖


Maanini - July 12, 2021, 12:14 a.m.

It was my first time trying tofu, and this recipe was soo flavorful! I've now made it at least 4 times to go with a stir-fry. One of my favorite PUL recipes! 😊

PUL Team - July 17, 2021, 6:24 p.m.

So honoured this was your first tofu experience, Maanini, and so glad it was enjoyed!


Meera - July 11, 2021, 3:22 p.m.

This was delicious. Didn't have any of the chilli paste so used sriracha! Very good


Céline - July 10, 2021, 10:27 p.m.

One of my favorite recipes. I usually combine this tofu recipe with broccoli and rice. By the way, I don't care that much about cooking the tofu and the spicy vegetables seperately. I just throw in the shallot, garlic, chili and green onion in the pan with the tofu half way through to save time.


Clémentine - July 10, 2021, 1 a.m.

I never had any luck with tofu before now, but this recipe is great !


J - July 9, 2021, 3:28 p.m.

This is probably my favorite recipe, it's a weekly goto for me!


Evelina V - July 9, 2021, 2:08 p.m.

This is the tastiest tofu that I've ever eaten. For real real 😁
I came from YT where you talked about the comments that were lost and I feel like for each recipe that I open to leave a comment about my experience I get more excited and hungrier even though I just ate. I think this is a good sign 😁
Thank you for your work Sadia and the team!

PUL Team - July 13, 2021, 4:49 a.m.

Aww love to hear this, Evelina! So happy to have you in the PUL community 😃


Angela - July 9, 2021, 5:57 a.m.

Did you know that if you make a double batch it is equally delicious in sushi for lunch the next day? I didn't, until a friend of mine who lives alone told me. There is never any leftovers when I make this at my house. This is a super yummy, easy recipe that I make all the time because it is always a winner in my house. Love it!

PUL Team - July 13, 2021, 4:21 a.m.

What an incredible idea, Angela! Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us ✨


Sally - July 9, 2021, 12:38 a.m.

I absolutely LOVE this recipe. It took me a couple of tries to get the consistency of the sauce right, but it was so worth it. I have this about once a week and share it with my mom and we both truly enjoy it.


Alice - July 8, 2021, 10:17 p.m.

I've never really known what exactly to do with tofu but this video was totally life-changing! Even my boyfriend (who isn't vegan) absolutely loves it and we make it quite regularly with rice. Thank you so much, PUL team <3

PUL Team - July 11, 2021, 3:26 p.m.

We're so happy to hear you and your boyfriend are enjoying the tofu, Alice, thank you for sharing 🤩


Teir - July 8, 2021, 10:04 p.m.

This recipe is a favorite, but the sauce is a weekly staple. This is my go to asian sauce, and it helps me whip up noodle and rice bowls all week. Love pick up limes, and BTW, love what Robin did with your website.

PUL Team - July 11, 2021, 3:27 p.m.

Thank you for the kind words, Teir! We're so thrilled you're enjoying the new website as well 😃


Anna - July 8, 2021, 9:04 p.m.

This is my go-to tofu recipe. It is perfectly balanced with sweet, spicy, and umami notes. I especially like it on top of fried rice or grain bowls with quick pickled veggies. Thank you for your care with creating this recipe!

PUL Team - July 11, 2021, 5:02 a.m.

Mmm love to pair it with bowls and veggies! Thank you for sharing, Anna 🤗


Zoe - July 8, 2021, 8:36 p.m.

I’ve made this so many times and it’s an ABSOLUTE favorite! So simple and so so good, everyone in my family loved it.

PUL Team - July 11, 2021, 12:38 a.m.

This is so incredible to hear, Zoe, thank you for the review!


Jasmine - July 8, 2021, 5:51 p.m.

This was my first ever attempt at cooking with tofu and I’m glad it was with this recipe. It is now in my regular recipe rotation! So simple, versatile and so much flavour. I haven’t had success finding gochujang but subbing Chili garlic sauce has worked great.

PUL Team - July 9, 2021, 9:40 p.m.

We're so honoured this recipe was one of your first tofu recipes, Jasmine! Perhaps if you have access to an international grocery store that may be one place to check out. Chili garlic sauce is a great substitute though 🙂


Momo - June 17, 2021, 8:50 p.m.

So delicious! Already did it twice, and love the spicy taste, thank u :D I personally added a bit of oil in the pan when cooking the tofu otherwise it attached to the pan. Also I didn't add the green onion and the red hot chili but it was still amazing.
With this recipe nobody cannot fall in love w/ tofu


Jona - June 16, 2021, 8:20 a.m.

I am preparing this for the 10th time I guess and it's delicious. I started liking tofu after following this recipe. Thank you for such an amazing recipe 😋

PUL Team - June 18, 2021, 1:45 a.m.

Oh wow, this is so incredible to hear, Jona! Thank you for the review and welcome to team tofu 😎


Clarissa - June 15, 2021, 5:52 a.m.

This tofu is so good! It kind of reminded me of spicy Korean fish cakes once they were in the fridge for a bit.


Armando - June 12, 2021, 1:46 a.m.

I made this with Frank's Hot Sauce bcs i didn't have Goguchang, and i had it with a stir fry and some quinoa; it was pretty good and super easy to make. But I want to do it with the Goguchang bcs I felt that it was not as spicy as I thought it was going to be. I don't know how spicy Goguchang is, but I really wanted to have that flavour kick. Still, i was pretty happy with the result of this recipe

PUL Team - June 13, 2021, 12:27 a.m.

We're so glad you enjoyed it, Armando! The Gochujang totally helps add a delicious spicy yet sweet flavour. Perhaps adding some crushed chili flakes may be one way to increase the spice level next time if needed 🤗


Cris S - June 5, 2021, 5:24 p.m.

Amazing! Marinated tofu is the best and so versatile! 🤤


Carla - May 16, 2021, 7:24 p.m.

This is absolutely delicious! I had no idea I could enjoy tofu so much. Brilliant combination of flavours. I’ve had it with a stirfry of veggies, perfect combo ❤️

PUL Team - May 17, 2021, 4:20 a.m.

Such an incredible review, Carla, thank you for taking the time to share it! ✨🥰


Kim S - April 24, 2021, 9:44 p.m.

This was easy and delicious! Don’t hesitate to try this recipe. Tofu is something I’m trying to cook with more and my family really liked this dish!

PS I enjoy your videos!

PUL Team - April 25, 2021, 1:29 a.m.

Thank you for sharing this, Kim! We're so glad to hear your family enjoyed the tofu 🥳


Nicole - April 14, 2021, 9:56 p.m.

WOAH!!! I admittedly am not great on leaving reviews but holy moly this is great!! My boyfriend bought gochujang recently for another recipe and so it sparked my interest to use this recipe and I needed a break from traditional salads. The flavor was amazing, your tofu recipes have me hungry for more! I served it with cauliflower rice and enjoyed it the following day for lunch. Thank you SO much for your creative recipes!!

PUL Team - April 16, 2021, 7 p.m.

Aww thank you so much for taking the time to share your incredible review with us, Nicole! It means so much and we're so happy the spicy garlic tofu was enjoyed 🤩


annie - April 10, 2021, 5:16 a.m.

Thank you Sadia for this flavoursome recipe. I loved it! You are so beautiful and I love your new website

PUL Team - April 10, 2021, 5:38 p.m.

We appreciate this so much, Annie! Thank you 🙂


Marcus - April 9, 2021, 12:12 p.m.

I can't believe tofu can taste this amazing. Super easy to make and an amazing burst of flavour! Definitely recommend this dish!

PUL Team - April 9, 2021, 11:21 p.m.

Oh this is so lovely to hear, Marcus! Thank you 😄


Jane Barrett - March 30, 2021, 4:52 p.m.

I love your new website and your recipes 🤗 but this recipe spicy garlic tofu - doesn't match the picture which has noodles and broccoli - just thought you should know!

PUL Team - April 3, 2021, 12:40 a.m.

Hello Jane, thanks for taking the time to share your kind words! The tofu in the picture with noodles and broccoli is indeed the spicy garlic tofu. We added the tofu here to jazz up the recipe and make the pictures a bit more fun. Apologies for any confusion, we'll aim to be more clear moving forward 🥰

Mina - April 5, 2021, 10:12 p.m.

Is there a recipe for the noodles and broccoli? Love this recipe btw, eat it all the time!

PUL Team - April 5, 2021, 11:58 p.m.

Hi Mina, we don't currently have it posted, but it's a great idea for a future recipe perhaps! In the meantime, our spicy garlic wok noodles (https://www.pickuplimes.com/r…) may pair nicely! Happy cooking 🤩


Adrienne Abudo - March 27, 2021, 4:15 p.m.

I can't wait to try this one and I love the new website!

PUL Team - April 2, 2021, 8:38 p.m.

Thanks, Adrienne! We hope you love the recipe 😀


Nina - March 22, 2021, 9:22 a.m.

This is so tasty and so easy to make! Definitely recommend it! It is now in my favourites list!

PUL Team - April 2, 2021, 2:01 a.m.

So glad you enjoyed it, Nina! It's a favorite of ours too 😀