Quick Braised Tofu (Dubu Jorim)
This Korean Braised tofu recipe, dubu jorim, turns bland tofu into a full flavored tofu dish packed with plant-based protein making it scrumptious Korean meal or banchan (Korean side dish). Pan-seared tofu slices are braised in a spicy savory sauce. Adjust the amount of Korean chili flakes to suit your spice level.
For those who haven’t yet savored a truly tasty and flavorful tofu dish, I introduce you to Dubu Jorim (두부조림). This Korean braised tofu recipe is guaranteed to leave no room for disappointment.
Just like in dubu buchim, firm tofu slices are swiftly pan-seared and then promptly braised in a savory sauce concoction. This consists of ingredients like onions, soy sauce, and Korean chili flakes.
Taste and Texture of Braised Tofu
The texture of Dubu Jorim tofu is delectable without being overly soft — the brief pan-frying prior to braising ensures this. Paired with rice, this quick tofu dish becomes a fulfilling Korean meal or even a delightful side dish (banchan).
The vivid red hue of the spicy savory sauce instantly piques your appetite, and the rich flavor of this tofu has never failed to satisfy me. I trust it will deliver the same satisfaction to you.
While the dish carries a touch of spice, the amount of chili flakes can be altered according to your preference. The tofu manages to be crispy on the outside but remains incredibly moist and soft inside. Present it as a simple, healthy main dish alongside a rice or noodle bowl. It even serves as a pleasing side dish.
Dubu Jorim stands out as it can be prepared with ease and speed – all within roughly 15 minutes. This might be one of the most straightforward Asian tofu recipes you’ll encounter, requiring only a few ingredients that you may already have in your pantry.
Tofu in Korean Cuisine
Just like in other Asian countries, tofu is an essential ingredient as a part of healthy Korean cuisine. Numerous dishes feature tofu as the primary component. Here are a few more recipes to explore:
- Quick Dubu Kimchi (Tofu with Kimchi and Pork)
- Traditional Korean Soft Tofu Stew (Soondubu Jjigae)
- Crispy Korean Pan-Fried Tofu (Dubu Buchim)
- Korean Meat Tofu Patties (Wanja-jeon)
- Spicy Tofu and Egg in a Skillet
- Quick Soft Tofu Recipe (Microwave)
Tofu also often elevates the taste of other dishes like Doenjang Jjigae, Kimchi Jjigae, and Korean Army Stew. It is, without a doubt, an essential source of plant-based protein in Korean cuisine.
Customize Your Korean Tofu
Dubu jorim is one of my personal favorite Korean side dishes. I make it quite often when I need something quick to serve with rice. The bright red color of spicy savory sauce immediately whets my appetite, and the flavor of this tofu has never failed to satisfy me. I hope it will do the same for you.
- Want to make it heartier? Although I prefer serving it as is without adding anything else, add your favorite veggies if you prefer to make it more nutritious. Zucchini, carrot, radish, pepper are good addition.
- Try adding chopped shrimp. It adds another layer of flavor and tastes delicious.
- Perfect tofu rice bowl or tofu noodle bowl, or even with porridge. Just top it up with this flavorful tofu and you are good to go.
- Wonderful vegetarian or vegan dish if you use water instead of stock.
No Need to Press Tofu
Many people bothers with pressing tofu by putting some sort of heavy tofu press object to remove the water from tofu. There’s no need of it if you follow my instruction.
All you need is couple sheets of paper towel to gently wipe off the moisture from the surface. My Korean pan-fried crispy tofu (dubu buchim) is a great example of that. You will get crispy and chewy tofu every time.
Ingredients You’ll need
- Tofu – use firm tofu
- Onion, chili, garlic, green onion – adds savory taste. You can omit fresh chili if you prefer it to be milder.
- Soy sauce
- Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
- Sesame oil – an aromatic ingredient
- Either anchovy stock or water – I personally prefer using anchovy stock to add umami, but water works fine, too.
Types of Tofu
There are three different types of Korean tofu — firm (부침용), soft (찌개용), and silken (생식용). Please see my Korean pantry page to learn more about each Korean tofu and its usage in various recipes.
For this braised tofu recipe, I recommend using a block of firm tofu. It holds the shape, and you can enjoy the chewy texture.
How to make Korean braised tofu
Step 1. To make the sauce, combine soy sauce, Korean chili flakes, garlic, sugar, sesame oil, black pepper. Pour anchovy stock or water and mix well; set aside.
Note: If you are making this recipe as a vegetarian tofu dish, use water instead of anchovy stock.
Step 2. Slice tofu into 1/2-inch thickness. Press each slice slightly firmly with a piece of paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Step 3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add tofu slices and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and crisp.
Step 4. Add onion and chili on top of tofu. Pour the sauce evenly over and let it boil. Cover with lid and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium low heat.
Step 5. Remove the lid and garnish the braised tofu with chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds if you wish.
Serve this Korean spicy tofu dish with a bowl of steamed rice as a plant-based main dish or complementary side dish.
Other Healthy Korean Recipes to try
- Authentic Bibimbap Under 1 Hour
- Korean Spinach Banchan (Two Ways)
- Traditional Cucumber Kimchi Recipe (Oi-Sobagi)
- Seaweed Soup with Beef (Miyeok Guk)
- Kimbap (Korean Seaweed Rice Roll)
Quick Braised Tofu (Dubu Jorim)
- 1 lb firm tofu
- 1/2 cup anchovy stock or water, see note below
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 – 1 tbsp Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1 green chili, sliced, optional
- 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds, optional
- To make the sauce, combine soy sauce, Korean chili flakes, garlic, sugar, sesame oil, black pepper. Pour anchovy stock (or water) and mix well; set aside.
- Slice tofu into 1/2-inch thickness. Press tofu slices slightly firmly with a piece of paper towel to remove excess moisture.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add tofu slices and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and crisp.
- Add onion and chili on top of tofu. Pour the sauce evenly over the tofu and let it boil. Cover with lid and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium low heat.
- Remove the lid and garnish the braised tofu with chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds if you wish. Serve with rice.
Just finished making this and it was delicious! So easy to make, I had all ingredients in-house which was nice. Thank you for this lovely recipe, will definitely make again.