Let’s talk about one of my favorite cuisine’s in this fundamentally food-crazy world:
Korean fooooood. YUM.
Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaap. Kimchi, japchae, and bibimbap just to name a few. Today, I want to specifically voice my ever lasting love for: gochujang.
It isn’t necessarily a dish, but it is included in many korean dishes and is a staple ingredient to Korean cuisine. What’s so great about this food component is that it can be added to nearly ANYTHING. Yep. Rice, your favorite type of protein, vegetables. EVEN BREAD. I mean, options are endless!
First, I am going to talk about what the heck gochujang is. Then, we can get to my go to recipe for making gochujang tofu. If you want to get to the recipe now, please feel free to scroll your way down to the bottom of this page for the deets. Now, shall we?
What is gochujang?
Basically, gochujang is what is typically known in the U.S. as “red pepper paste” made with fermented soybeans, glutinous rice and added sweeteners. It is a condiment that gives off a sweet yet spicy, pungent flavor. It’s kind of like the miso to japanese and ketchup to americans. You just need it in your life!
Where can I get gochujang?
You can purchase gochujang at almost all local asian markets and major supermarkets like Ralphs, Target, and Walmart. I prefer to name all markets that are easily accessible to most people, but I am sure you can also find it in major supermarkets in your area if they have an asian section. Many of the gochujang brands have corn syrup as their first ingredient so be sure to watch out if you have dietary concerns.
Picture on the left: This packaging is what gochujang is usually sold in, you can usually find it right next to the miso paste. This one does not have corn syrup. Click here to check this brand out
Picture on the right: A brand I would recommend. It’s higher priced, but better quality, does not taste artificial and does not have corn syrup, either! Click here to check this one out.
Finally, Recipe Notes!
I am not a chef, but a try hard cook. I try very hard to be a good cook and so far Daniel (my best friend in the whole wide world) says I’m doing quite dandy. 🙂
I’d like to say that I have had my fair share of trying recipes and failing HARD at them. You literally cannot fail at this one. I BELIEVE IN YOU! I need to tell myself that before I go into recipe testing via pinterest, lol! Feel free to add your favorite aromatics (garlic, onion, ginger) to this dish.
I highly recommend sesame oil in this recipe, but it will still taste delicious if you need to omit oil.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this recipe. If you need encouragement, I will be waiting in the comments!
Gochujang Tofu with Soba Noodle
Time: Less than 30 minutes
- 1 package of tofu (or your favorite protein), cubed
- 4 green onions, cut lengthwise into 2inch matchsticks
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup button mushrooms, sliced
- 1-2 tbsp of gochujang (little goes a long way depending on the brand)
- 6 oz soba noodles (usually 2 individual packs)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 large cucumber, sliced and cut in halves
- fresh cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil your soba noodles in a medium sized pot with 6 cups of water. Time varies by brand, but mine took 8 minutes.
- Once done, rinse with warm water and set aside to rest.
- In a non stick pan or airfryer, cook your tofu until crispy. I used an air fryer and it was crispy in 12 minutes.
- In another non stick pan, heat up your sesame oil and add in the green onion in high heat for about 1 minute or until you start seeing your green onions cook down.
- Add in your garlic and lower the heat just a little. Wait until your garlic is light golden brown and then quickly add in mushrooms. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add tbsp water if pan start drying.
- Add 1 tbsp of gochujang into the pan and combine well.
- Add in the cooked tofu and stir together until tofu is evenly covered with the gochujang and mushroom mixture. If your pan gets dry. Add water by tablespoons.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Once done, add in a desirable amount of sesame seeds. To me, there is no limit 🙂
- Prepare your soba noodle, cilantro and cucumber in a bowl and add in your gochujang tofu in. Mix and enjoy!
Optional: I like to eat a lot of the foods I eat with seaweed, and it pairs quite wonderfully here. Feel fee to use seaweed snacks!
HOPE YALL ENJOY!