Easy spicy gochujang grated tofu recipe (VEGAN!)

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If you’re craving a quick and delicious Korean-inspired dish, look no further than this delightful spicy gochujang grated tofu recipe that can be prepared in just 20 minutes. As a fan of bold flavors, gochujang holds a special place in my heart, and when paired with grated tofu, it creates a delectable combination. The texture of the tofu resembles that of ground beef or meat, but rest assured; it’s entirely plant-based.

Not only is this dish a treat for your taste buds, but it also makes for a fresh and healthy meal option. The best part is the simplicity of its preparation, thanks to the inclusion of Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha as the star component of the sauce. In fact, Weak Knees is one of my all-time favorite Sriracha alternatives.

Traditionally, gochujang sauce requires blending ingredients such as gochujang paste, soy sauce, vinegar, and seasonings. However, using a pre-made sauce makes this recipe a breeze in terms of ingredients and labor, making it an easy and enjoyable cooking experience. Let’s dive into the recipe and discover the delightful flavors of this vegan delight!

a bowl of bright red grown tofu with rice, and gochujang sriracha and a tofu pack behind it

Easy spicy Gochujang tofu recipe

This vegan recipe for spicy gochujang grated tofu offers a quick and delightful Korean-inspired dish that can be prepared in just 20 minutes. With the unique flavors of gochujang and a mix of grated tofu, onions, carrots, and sweet peppers, this spicy and protein-rich creation becomes a complete and satisfying meal when served with rice or various veggie side dishes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 c chopped onion about 1 small onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt + more to taste
  • 1/2 c shredded carrots about 8-10 baby carrots or 1-2 large carrots
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium sweet pepper or 4 small sweet peppers (about 1/4 cup thinly chopped)
  • 1 lb extra firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp gochujaru powder
  • 1/8 c Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha
  • chopped green onion, toasted sesame seeds, and/or cilantro to garnish optional!

Instructions
 

  • If you want to serve this alongside rice, start the rice right before preparing the ingredients for the tofu, as it will take a similar time to cook.
  • Chop the onion and sweet peppers, and use either a cheese grater or a food processor with a grater attachment to shred the tofu and carrots.
  • Heat the sesame oil over medium heat in a skillet or wok.
  • Add the chopped onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, sautéing for approximately 2 minutes until the onion becomes slightly translucent.
  • Add the grated carrots to the skillet and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chopped garlic and sweet peppers to the mix, combine them with the sautéed ingredients, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Incorporate the grated tofu into the skillet and continue sautéing for about 10 minutes until the tofu begins to dry out and take on a golden brown color.
  • Evenly sprinkle the gochujaru pepper powder over the tofu, then add the gochujang sriracha to the mix.
  • Stir everything well with a spatula, and sauté for an extra 2 minutes to allow the heat to penetrate the dish.
  • Taste the dish and add salt to suit your preferences, if desired.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, and/or toasted sesame seeds for added flavor and presentation (optional!)

What to serve with spicy ground tofu

This spicy ground tofu dish is not only bursting with flavors but also provides a substantial amount of protein and veggies, making it a fulfilling meal on its own. To complement and enhance the dining experience, consider pairing it with the following delectable options:

  1. Rice: Serving spicy ground tofu with rice is an excellent choice as it creates a complete and satisfying meal. The fluffy and steamed rice perfectly balances the spiciness of the tofu, creating a delightful combination of textures and flavors. 
  2. Macaroni salad: For a delightful contrast in tastes and textures, consider serving the tofu with a side of macaroni salad. The creamy and tangy macaroni salad accompanies the dish’s spiciness, creating a well-rounded and balanced meal.
  3. Side salad: A fresh and vibrant salad is an ideal choice if you crave even more veggies. A medley of crisp greens, colorful vegetables, and a sesame-based dressing will add a burst of freshness to the meal, complementing the rich flavors of the spicy tofu.
  4. Cucumber salad: Cucumber salad is another fantastic option to pair with the tofu. The cool and refreshing cucumber slices tossed in a tangy dressing create a refreshing contrast that balances out the heat of the dish.
  5. Kimchi: To embrace the Korean-inspired theme fully, serving kimchi alongside the spicy ground tofu is an excellent idea. The fermented and spicy flavors of kimchi add depth and complexity to the meal, providing a traditional and authentic touch.

Where to find gochujaru powder

To get your hands on gochujaru powder, a common chili pepper used in Korean cooking, you have a few options. Firstly, check out local Korean grocery stores like H-mart or other Asian supermarkets, as they typically stock a variety of Korean ingredients, including gochujaru powder. 

If you can’t find it at nearby stores, consider visiting specialty spice shops or gourmet food stores, as they may carry this spice. Alternatively, websites like Amazon and The Spice House have a selection of gochujaru powder available for purchase and can deliver it right to your doorstep. 

How hot is this spicy tofu dish?

This spicy tofu dish strikes the perfect balance, offering a delightful heat you can feel without overwhelming most people. The heat level is enough to let you know it’s spicy, adding a kick of flavor and excitement to each bite.

To give you a better idea of the spiciness, Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha, the key component of the sauce, boasts a similar heat level to Huy Fong Sriracha. Both offer a satisfying kick of heat that enhances the overall taste experience.

Additionally, the gochujaru pepper powder used in this dish typically falls within a heat range of 1,500 to 10,000 on the Scoville scale. This is the scale used to measure the spiciness of chili peppers and chili-based products. Gochujaru powder’s moderate heat level adds a flavorful heat without overpowering the dish.

As always, personal spice tolerance may vary, so feel free to adjust the amount of gochujaru powder or Weak Knees Gochujang sriracha to suit your desired level of spiciness.

How to make this dish spicier

To make this dish spicier and ignite your taste buds, you can implement two simple adjustments. First, increase the quantity of the hot sauce, Weak Knees Gochujang sriracha, during cooking or use it as a zesty condiment on the side. 

You can also add extra gochujaru pepper powder while sautéing the tofu to intensify the heat. For a more fiery kick, consider substituting the gochujaru powder with cayenne powder, known for its significant spiciness. These modifications allow you to tailor the dish to your preferred heat level, whether you crave a subtle tingle or a fiery explosion.

Is this recipe completely vegan?

Yes, this recipe is entirely vegan. The ingredients listed for the Gochujang sriracha include Gochujang (made from water, wheat flour, salt, red pepper powder, roasted soybean powder, distilled alcohol, garlic, soybean, onion, and seed malt), distilled vinegar, garlic, and sugar. 

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Unfortunately, this recipe is not entirely gluten-free due to the presence of wheat flour in the Gochujang sriracha used as a central component of the dish.

Grating tofu by hand vs. food processor

When it comes to grating tofu and carrots for this dish, there are two main methods: doing it by hand or using a food processor with a grating attachment. Grating the tofu and carrots by hand requires more effort and time compared to the convenience of using a food processor. However, the food processor yields a finer grate, so grating by hand may be better if you prefer larger pieces of tofu for added texture. Opting for the food processor is highly recommended if you desire a more straightforward and efficient process. In fact, I used my food processor to make this recipe more effortless.

With bold flavors and a Korean-inspired touch, this dish offers a fusion of taste and textures that will please any palate. Best of all, it’s super quick and simple, making it an excellent option for a busy weeknight.

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