As many of you know, I’m a huge tofu fan. Although I bake, air-fry, and saute tofu, I prefer tofu marinated and then grilled. Korean tofu, although generally sauteed in oil, can easily be made oil-free. In fact, the time I ate Korean tofu was in a Korean restaurant in Michigan. Despite enjoying my meal, my tofu was tasty yet greasy. So, I attempted my own version of my favorite Korean tofu recipe.
Similar to other tofu recipes, it’s all about pressing the tofu and marinating it before grilling it. For people who think tofu is gross, my advice is to give it a try. When prepared correctly, tofu opens up a whole new vegan world of possibilities. But, first, you have to know how to prepare it.
Every tofu recipe, for example, has its own unique purpose, which results in a unique marinade.
WHAT’S IN THE KOREAN TOFU MARINADE?
- Tomato sauce
- Gochujang Sauce
- Maple syrup
- Soy sauce or Tamari (gluten-free)
- Fresh Garlic
WHAT IS GOCHUJANG SAUCE AND WHERE DO I BUY IT?
Gochujang sauce is a Korean chili paste or red chili paste which is a savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment. Located in the Asian section of most grocery stores, Gochujang sauce is a staple in Korean cooking.
- Green onions
- Sesame Seeds (I used black)
HOW TO KNOW WHAT TOFU TO BUY FOR WHAT RECIPE…
Since then, of course, I have learned a thing or two. First, and foremost, the type of tofu you buy is extremely important. For instance, soft tofu is used for dressing, dips, and sauces.
Extra-firm tofu, the other hand, is made for entrees and can be baked, air-fried, grilled, or sauteed. As a general rule, I always buy the firmest tofu I can find.
Additionally, sprouted tofu is the firmest tofu, and it does not require pressing. To be honest, this one is my favorite tofu, simply because I don’t have to press it. I just use a paper towel to dry it off, and it’s ready to go.
But, sometimes, sprouted tofu is difficult to find, so my back up is always extra firm tofu.
For years I avoided eating tofu. Every time I made tofu, I ended up moving it to the side of the plate, because it was either fried or mushy. Most restaurants fry it, which doesn’t interest me, and those who bake and grill it seemed to have the same issues I did; soft tasteless tofu.
Then, I figured it out with the help of my EZ Tofu Press. I bought it on Amazon, and in the beginning, I made the same mistakes. I didn’t follow the directions ( a problem I have haha); I was in a hurry as I usually am, and I got the same results….tasteless tofu I didn’t like.
I have many friends who share the same frustration, and although I have posted recipes with similar instructions, this post is literally all about the proper pressing and cooking, so you can enjoy tofu as much as I do.
HOW TO PRESS TOFU FOR KOREAN TOFU FOR CHILLIN’ AND GRILLIN’
First, carefully remove the tofu from the package, discarding the fluid from the package.
Then, place the tofu in the middle of the press and turn both knobs equally about four turns. I usually place the tofu press in the sink on its side, but for this visual post, I placed it on a plate to drain.
- Turn the knobs every two minutes, equally until you have the end result (the last picture).
- Most people stop here…NOT YET. Keep turning until the knobs are screwed as far as they can to almost touch the end.
- Now, remove the press from the plate, and I give it another press with some paper towel for excess fluid removal.
- Next, cut the tofu into four equal pieces, and place in the marinade (preferably overnight); the longer the better.
HOW TO COOK MARINATED KOREAN TOFU ON THE GRILL
- Preheat the grill to medium temperature (400 degrees)
- Place a grill mat on the grill (you can also use a grill pan, or if you are careful, you can place the tofu directly on the grill.
- Cook for about 8 minutes on each side, rotating every 4 minutes
- Remove from the grill and place back in the marinade until ready to use.
- Then, I cut the tofu (be careful not to burn yourself) into bite-sized pieces.
SERVING IDEAS FOR KOREAN TOFU RECIPE
Today, I chose to add Korean tofu to a rice noodle bowl with spicy cucumber salad and black sesame seeds. Other options to use Korean tofu are:
- Korean tofu wrap with spicy cucumber salad in the wrap or other Asian vegetables
- Serve over brown rice with sauteed vegetables
- On top of quinoa with grilled vegetables
- Bibimbap Vegan with Korean tofu
- Cabbage Asian Salad with Korean tofu
- Asian Coleslaw topped with Korean tofu
- Kale Asian Pasta Salad with Korean tofu recipe
- Peanut Noodle Salad with Korean tofu added