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Spicy Pan Fried Tofu

This pan fried tofu side dish is one of our favorites. The tofu is pan fried to light golden where the outside is crispy but the inside still soft. After frying it is marinated in Korean pepper flakes, soy, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and green onions. Crispy, soft, salty, sweet and spicy. I'd eat this any day with a hot bowl of rice.

I don't know if there is a "traditional" way of making this dish. I've had pan fried tofu served a few different ways but this is my favorite. Adjust the spiciness level simply by adding more or less gochugaru to your preference.

We each have our favorite way of eating this side dish. My youngest likes it best when I first make it and it is still warm. My oldest and I like it cold from the refrigerator with a hot bowl of rice. My husband will eat it either way.

Spicy Pan Fried Tofu


3-4 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 lb firm tofu, drained and cut into rectangles about 3/8" thick


1/4 cup soy sauce

3 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 Tablespoons sugar

3-4 Tablespoons gochugaru (Korean pepper flakes) - adjust to your taste

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon garlic, finely minced (adjust to your taste)

1/4 cup green onions, finely sliced

In a large non-stick skillet, heat up vegetable oil over medium high heat. While the oil is heating, prepare marinade. Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade in a heat proof mixing bowl and set aside.

When the oil is shimmery, 1-2 minutes, add cut tofu and arrange in a single layer. Be careful as the oil may splash. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. At this point it should release from the pan easily. Turn off heat and transfer to the bowl with the marinade and mix well to coat all of the tofu. You can serve immediately, or cool completely then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 5-6 days. Can be served cold out of the refrigerator with a hot bowl of rice. Enjoy!

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