Spicy Korean Tofu with Pear Slaw Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Spicy Korean Tofu with Pear Slaw

Gochugaru, a Korean red pepper powder with a distinctly sweet heat, is used to season this braised tofu dish. It’s worth seeking out and having in your spice pantry, but if you can’t find it, you can substitute red pepper flakes.


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1 Tbs. roasted sesame oil
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1 14-oz. pkg. firm tofu, drained, patted dry, and cut into 8 rectangular slices
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3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
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1 Tbs. gochugaru or 1½ tsp. red pepper flakes
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2 tsp. maple syrup
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1 tsp. rice vinegar
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2 green onions, thinly sliced (¼ cup)
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2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)

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Pear Slaw


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1 Bartlett pear, sliced into matchsticks (1½ cups)
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1 tsp. rice vinegar
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1 tsp. toasted black sesame seeds


1. To make Tofu: Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium heat. 
Add tofu, and cook 7 to 9 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together soy sauce, gochugaru, maple syrup, vinegar, and 3 Tbs. water in small bowl. Stir in green onions and garlic.

3. Pour sauce around tofu, reduce heat to medium-low, cover skillet, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until most of sauce is absorbed. Flip tofu halfway through cooking.

4. To make Pear Slaw: toss pear matchsticks with vinegar and sesame seeds.

5. Arrange 2 Tofu rectangles on each of 4 plates, and top each with Pear Slaw.

Nutrition Information: 

10 g
Total Fat: 
8 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
14 g
0 mg
405 mg
3 g
7 g
Serves 4

Comments on this Recipe

This is delicious. I have made it several times. Once I added thin slices of Japanese eggplant and that was yummy. I substitute gochujang, or Korean red pepper paste, for the gochugaru, and that works well.

This is the best tofu I've ever made. My husband normally chokes down my tofu dishes just to be polite, but this time he asked for seconds. It was so easy to make - I love that you don't have to press the tofu first or spend time marinating it. It was perfectly chewy on the outside, and soooooo flavorful. I didn't bother making the slaw, so I can't comment on that. I just served the tofu with a side of rice.

This dish makes an appearance on my dinner table a couple times a month. As a regular tofu eater, I was astounded by how flavourful this recipe is with zero marination time. Also, the texture is perfect. I enjoy serving it as a side to stir fries, and it is great on sandwiches too.

The tofu was excellent. I could do without the pear slaw.