Gochugaru Tofu | Crispy, Tangy & Addictive!

Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 25 Mins

What do you do when you’re tired of sweet and sour? Try this tangy gochugaru tofu! To be honest the tofu itself is not that tangy and quite spicy. Which is why we add bell pepper and tomato to give it a nice texture and flavour contrast. If you want to go further you can also add pineapple. This gochugaru tofu is super easy to make and you will want to have lots of it.

Gochugaru is a Korean chilli powder made from dried Gochu chillies. It is used in a lot of Korean dishes (like kimchi) and is fiery red and gorgeous. In fact, it was so red that my phone malfunctioned trying to calibrate the white balance! You can usually get gochugaru in different grinds. I typically have both the fine and coarse versions in my pantry. You can use either for this recipe. The fine powder creates a more delicate looking tofu while the coarse one makes it look a bit more grunge. Guess which one I used?


  • Don’t bother drying the surface of the tofu before you coat because the water actually makes it easier to get the cornstarch to stick.
  • But, do make sure you shake the excess cornstarch off the tofu cubes before frying.
  • Wait for the oil to be proper hot before you drop the tofu in, otherwise the batter will separate from the tofu. Stick some bamboo / wood chopsticks into the heated oil. If bubbles emerge quickly from the submerged parts, the oil is hot enough.
  • If your pan is not very big (like mine isn’t) then you may have to do the tofu in batches. Don’t throw them all in at once because they will stick together.
  • Cornstarch does not go golden brown like flour batter so once it is crispy you can remove it from the oil. If you leave it until golden brown, the coating will become too hard.
  • The sauce is quite sticky so I usually do a spatula + chopstick two-hand tossing action to get everything evenly tossed.

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0/15 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
  • Sauce


0/11 Instructions
  • Cut the tomato and bell pepper into half-wedges. Dice the garlic, ginger, and spring onion.
  • Cut your tofu into cubes or small-medium blocks.
  • Coat the tofu with corn starch, shaking off the excess.
  • Heat two fingers of oil in a sauce pan and fry the tofu until crispy. (Not golden brown, see Tips.)
  • Set aside for later.
  • Meanwhile, mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat and fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes and bell peppers. Toss for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tofu, the sauce, and the spring onion whites.
  • Toss to mix well. It will become very red!
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds and spring onion greens. Serve hot!

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