Korean Spicy Tofu

Pretty Spicy Korean Tofu
When most people think of tofu, they think bland, boring and vegan! I guess you can’t blame them. After all, tofu is bland, boring, and white. White is a very plain color. That’s why artists use white canvases and turn them into something not plain. Anyways, as is the case with oatmeal, rice, and other similar foods, tofu is a great base for a variety of flavors.

Whenever I visit my mom, she—or my grandma—always makes a great spicy tofu dish which I eat by the dozens. I tend to eat the whole batch in one day. Obviously, they’re very addicting. I often tell myself that since tofu is healthy, my tofu binges are justified. Even if that justification doesn’t cut it, the taste certainly does.

The korean spicy tofu side dish, which I’d like to dub “Momfu” in honor of my mom—or mom’s mom—who made this dish, has a tantalizing salty tasty and a flare of peppers. The outer layer is mildly tough, but submits easily to pressure. The dish is great when paired with bland foods like rice, or even oatmeal!

Korean spicy tofu is also very healthy because it contains great amounts of protein from the soy in the tofu and healthy fats! The fact that onions and garlic are generously added to the dish also improves its nutritional value.
So without much further ado, here is a block of tofu. As you can see, the tofu is very bland and boring—intimidating and dramatic—but boring.

Block of Tofu

Even cutting the tofu, despite giving it decorative slanted lines, does not make it look more appealing.

Block of Sliced Tofu

However lightly frying the tofu in oil gives the tofu light brown touches that disrupt the empty white canvas.

Fried Slices of Tofu.jpg

Lastly, putting the lightly fried tofu in a pool of red liquid elevates the tofu to stardom.

Korean Spicy Tofu

Korean Spicy Tofu


  • 1 block tofu
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame seed oil (plus more for frying)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Slice the block of tofu into half inch rectangles, mince the garlic, and slice the onions into half circles.
  2. Fry the tofu on medium high until the tofu has a light brown crust.
  3. Lightly heat up the garlic and onions on the pan for a few minutes.
  4. For the sauce, mix the soy sauce, red chili flakes, sesame seed oil, and water.
  5. Put the tofu, onion, garlic, and sauce in a pot to lightly simmer for about a half hour.

About Earl

Hi, my name is Earl. I am a student who loves to analyze food and eat healthy. My careful eye for food has caused me to become interested in the science behind food and cooking, and I write about my explorations into food on my website Toastable.com. While I believe in sticking to whole, natural foods, I'm not afraid to work with avant-garde ingredients and equipment such as constant temperature water baths and sodium alginate. I also love photography, technology, and journalism.

22. July 2010 von Earl
Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , | 6 comments

  • jing

    question: why is everything on your website so freaking pro and amazing?

    • http://toastable.com earl lee

      Hey Jing!

      I've actually tinkered around with web design off and on since like the 6th grade, but I've never taken any formal classes haha. I just learn from tutorials and others.

    • http://toastable.com earl lee

      I forgot to add that TIME was a big part of getting where this website is at now. I for a couple weeks, I spent pretty much the whole day during weekends and whatever time I had on weekdays on revamping the website. Probably consumed about 60+ hours or so…

      • jing

        wowww totally impressed by both your design talent/patience to go through with all those tutorials! the end result is seriously awesome. haha i've always loved web/graphic design too and even joined some forums to try to learn more, but never really had the same resolve that you have to truly dedicate myself to it. hey do you have any recommendations for tutorials/certain websites that you've found helpful that you could possibly share with me? :) i figured it's summer and i have some free time..

        btw, if you're still interested in interning during the school year, i asked my dad about it, and he says he's very willing to take you in :) but probs has to talk to one of his grad students to see if they'll also be willing to mentor you. sooOOOoo i guess he'll email you some time…. later….. maybe next month idk haha