The versatility of tofu is a legend. Here the firm tofu becomes almost cheese-like after marinating in gochujang and grilling. The gochujang tofu has a spicy complexity that only a fermented ingredient can bring.
The genesis of this gochujang tofu dish came from one of my favourite food-related sites, Serious Eats. While their grilled tofu chipotle miso recipe was delicious, I couldn’t help thinking how it would work even better with gochujang, a Korean ingredient in which chilli and fermented soya beans are the primary components. And indeed, it did work out very well.
Gochujang has quite a unique taste. As a result, it is one of the key ingredients that make Korean cuisine so unique. But it still works in a variety of other contexts. Try these kimchi waffles with a gochujang drizzle or this pan-fried gnocchi with gochujang sauce.
Firm tofu is used for this dish. Using softer tofu will result in a different and inferior result. The texture of firm tofu allows it to absorb more of the gochujang marinade and take on more of its flavour.
Although this dish uses a very Korean ingredient, it is not a Korean dish, rather an Asian inspired dish. While sacrilege to some, I love drawing on Asia’s diverse flavours to create something new.
I mentioned the value of fermented ingredients above. If you have Netflix, be sure to watch the series Cooked, especially episode 4.
Marinated and grilled gochujang tofu
Tofu and salad
- 600 g firm tofu cut into 1.5 to 2cm thick slabs
- mixed green salad
- 1 zest of a lime
- 1 juice of a lime
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- Combine the marinade ingredients.
- Reserve 2 Tbsp of the marinade to use in the dressing later.
- Drain the tofu on paper towels, top and bottom. Quite a lot of moisture can drain out, so you may need to replace the paper towels once or twice, until little moisture remains.
- In a glass or ceramic baking tray, smear a third of the marinade on the bottom.
- Lay the tofu on top of the marinade, then spread out the remaining marinade on the tops and sides of the tofu.
- Cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight or for at least a few hours.
- Create a dressing by combining the reserved marinade, zest of a lime, juice of a lime, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Shake well and allow the flavours to merge for at least an hour.
- Grill or broil the tofu until a little charred.
- Strain the dressing.
- Serve on a mixed green salad with a drizzle of the dressing.