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Pan Fried Tofu with Spicy Korean Sauce (Dububuchim; 두부-부침)

Pan Fried Tofu with Spicy Korean Sauce (Dububuchim; 두부-부침)

Pan Fried Tofu with Spicy Korean Sauce - Hill Reeves
Pan Fried Tofu with Spicy Korean Sauce - Hill Reeves
Pan Fried Tofu with Spicy Korean Sauce - Hill Reeves
Pan Fried Tofu with Spicy Korean Sauce - Hill Reeves

There's a stooorm a-brewin' outside. Hurricane Danny, to be exact. Heh, I live with a hurricane Danny every day, heh. Just kidding. Danny is marvelously organized and I'm more of a hurricane. His usual gripe with me is that I take off my shoes anywhere/everywhere and I leave cups in corners of the apartment where cups certainly don't belong. I have always done this; I know people hate it. But I also kind of imagine my great-grandchildren one day saying things like "ol' gran Hillary loved to leave cups everywhere.... every time I see a cup, I think of her."

Where were we? Ah, yes. Storms.

I have a whole Netflix queue set up for the rainy weekend, including lots of girl power classics like Muriel's Wedding and Nine to Five and while I'd like to try and expand my repertoire, who am I kidding? Clueless and Legally Blonde will be in there too.

I also have more tofu in the fridge, so I'll probably make this umpteen more times. Pan fried tofu with spicy Korean sauce is like a 2 in terms of effort and then an 11 in terms of delight. Crispy, yet pillowy soft. Creamy tofu against textured pepper sauce. Oh, I love it. Comfort food at its finest (and, actually, pretty low-cal... so you can eat a couple donuts after guilt-free!).

Pan Fried Tofu with Spicy Korean Sauce


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tsp Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru; 고추가루)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 package (14 - 16 oz) medium to firm tofu
  • 3/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. Mince garlic and chop green onions.
  2. In a small bowl, combine garlic, onions, pepper flakes, sugar, honey, soy sauce, water and two teaspoons of sesame oil. Stir well to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a separate small bowl, combine remaining sesame oil, vinegar and fish sauce. Set aside.
  4. Heat nonstick skillet on medium heat. Meanwhile, pat tofu dry with paper towels and discard any water. Cut block of tofu down the middle long-ways, and then slice both halves into slices that are about 1 inch thick. You should end up with about 16 to 20 pieces.
  5. Add oil to pan. Dredge each piece of tofu in corn starch and immediately place half of the dredged tofu into the pan. Cook on one side until golden brown and crispy, about 7 to 10 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side. Note that depending on the water content of your tofu, this can take longer. Be patient! The crispy texture is so worth a few more minutes of waiting.
  6. Remove batch from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil. Repeat with second batch of tofu.
  7. Arrange finished tofu on a plate. Spoon on garlic/onion/pepper sauce as desired and the drizzle with fish sauce/vinegar. Finally, sprinkle with sesame seeds if you've got 'em!
  8. Serve hot with steamed rice and kimchi!
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