Steamed Soft Tofu with Soy Chili Sauce

by Beyond Kimchee on October 22, 2013 · 25 comments

steamed soft tofu with soy chili sauce

연두부 양념반찬

[ yeon-dubu yangnyum banchan ]

 When I was hospitalized after my surgery in Korea this past summer, I had to live with hospital food for a few days. Maybe because of all the trauma I had to go through, I lost my appetite big time. I am not a picky eater. I usually eat everything served in front of my nose. But for some reason I just couldn’t eat anything in the hospital. I lost 10 lbs in 10 days. (unfortunately I gained all back plus a little extra now as I am recovering… urgh!!!)

The nurse and the meal serving staff were quite unhappy to see hardly eaten meal on the tray of mine. I don’t think there was anything wrong with the food. It’s just that nothing tasted the same to me as they should.

However there was one dish that I ate without fussing much. It was this steamed soft tofu with soy chili sauce. It was comforting and I could actually taste the flavor of the sauce and swallow it down. I emptied out the dish with some rice and it certainly made me feel a little better.


steamed soft tofu with soy chili sauceSoft tofu, aka silken tofu (연두부, yeon-dubu ) doesn’t have much flavor itself. Which means you can add any flavor you like to turn this amazing plant based protein food into any savory dish or even a dessert.

This recipe is very easy and simple to make, and it can be made within 10 minutes of time. I used hot water steaming method to enjoy my tofu warm but you can certainly eat cold right out of fridge.


soft tofuHere is a block of soft(silken) tofu.


tutorial-2I dumped the whole package in the simmering water over low heat and hot bathed it for 7-10 minutes.


tutorial-3Meanwhile, combine soy sauce, Korean soy sauce for soup, sesame oil, sesame seeds and some chopped green onion, and a little water in a small mixing bowl. Add a little bit of Koran chili flakes to the mixture.

That’s it. You are done cooking.


tutorial-4Cut one side of package top and drain all the liquid. Be cautious! It will be hot.


tutorial-5 Turn tofu block onto cutting board and slice into 2-4 sections depends on the serving size you desire.

Place the tofu piece on a serving plate and drizzle the sauce over. And you got one of the easiest Korean side dish to impress. It is flavorful, healthy, vegan, and gluten free (if using gluten free soy sauce). You can eat as is, which I often do, or serve it with some rice.

What a great feeling to enjoy the beautiful fall season again! I have missed it for the past tow years. It is good to be back in the States.

Hope you would like this simple tofu dish.


steamed soft tofu with soy chili sauce

Steamed Soft Tofu with Soy Chili Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 package soft (silken) tofu
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon Korean soy sauce for soup (gook ganjang or chosun ganjang)
  • 2 -3 teaspoon Korean chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Bring a pot of water to simmer over low heat. Add the unopened tofu package in the pot and let it simmer for 7-10 minutes to heat up.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine all the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Take the tofu package out of simmering water and open one side of package top to drain all the liquid inside. (Be cautious! The liquid will be hot)
  4. Open up the tofu package and turn the tofu onto the cutting board. Cut it into 2-4 sections and place on the serving plate. Drizzle the sauce over and serve warm.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2-4

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Jiji October 22, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Hi Holly언니! (I hope that’s okay)

This is a wonderful yet simple and hassle free delicious recipe! I’m going to make this “당장”!
Love your blog! I love the way to write, too.


Jiji October 22, 2013 at 10:12 pm

I love the way you* write


Holly October 23, 2013 at 7:12 am

Thanks Jiji. Hope you enjoy the tofu. Have a great day!


erin October 22, 2013 at 10:33 pm

This simple recipe looks yummy, will try it one of these days, thanks for sharing!


Jeanne October 23, 2013 at 3:45 am

I _love_ tofu, especially the silken type. Thank you for this recipe, Holly. I also like the subtly-coloured glaze of your plate. Like celadon or jade :-)


Holly October 23, 2013 at 7:14 am

Thanks Jeanne. This is a great way to eat the silken tofu.


Janel @ Creating Tasty Stories October 23, 2013 at 10:07 am

It is getting very chilly here in Michigan right now. This sounds like such a warm, comforting (and easy!) meal. Thanks for sharing!


butterfingers October 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

This is also one of my favourite dish. I usually finished one whole package of tofu alone!


john@kitchenriffs October 23, 2013 at 11:16 am

I’ve never thought to warm the tofu in the package! What a terrific idea! The sauce looks lovely – spicy and interesting! Thanks so much.


Nami | Just One Cookbook October 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Our countries have similar food, and yours is just a bit spicier. :) Love the simplicity of food. We can enjoy the elements from the food. :)


Sue | My Korean Kitchen October 24, 2013 at 12:26 am

It looks so tasty! Love the presentation of the dish.


Riitta October 24, 2013 at 6:51 am

Sounds (and looks, love your pictures) delicious! I’ll give it a go for sure.


jill October 24, 2013 at 11:38 am

I’m glad to hear you’re back! This is one of my favorite side dishes, and I’ve been wondering how to make it. Thanks for posting this recipe.


Venus October 26, 2013 at 2:12 am

Thanks for this recipe! Love the presentation! Great job!


Julie Lee November 4, 2013 at 2:08 pm

what about Firm tofu thats all I got. Maybe Ill try a different recipe with this firm tofu?Or will it still work? Thanks so much.


Holly November 4, 2013 at 3:52 pm

You can use firm tofu, it will taste similar but you won’t get the silky texture that soft tofu delivers.


cooking.eating.carousing. November 15, 2013 at 4:31 am

I love tofu! I am going to try this simple recipe. I’ve never heard of cooking tofu straight in its packaging. Although it’s convenient, I think I might steam the tofu on a plate over boiling water instead.


Holly November 18, 2013 at 8:02 am

Hope you get to try this recipe and like it, too.


Michael November 19, 2013 at 1:01 am

When I was living in Daegu, my wife was in the hospital. I shared some of her food with her, and I suprisingly enjoyed it. It was simple, but quite tasty. Much better than in any american hospital.


Holly November 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Thanks Michael. I agree, Korean hospital food is much better than American hospital.


Merita March 18, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Hi there, I just made this for my lunch and it was quick and really really tasty. I will be making this often. Thanks so much for sharing.


Holly March 19, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Hi Merita,
Glad that you tried and liked this this recipe. Thanks for your comment.


Victoria Haneveer June 14, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Yum yum. I love silken tofu. Didn’t know you could heat it in the package though.


tom July 21, 2014 at 4:15 pm

this is a wonderful recipe. I subbed the soup soya sauce for a bit more normal soya sauce and a teaspoon of fish sauce. It was delicious. Utterly delicious.


Holly July 21, 2014 at 8:11 pm

That’s great, tom. I am so happy to hear you tried this recipe and loved it. Replacing the Korean soy sauce for soup to fish sauce is a great idea!


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