Crispy Vegan Pan Fried Korean Tofu Recipe

Fried Korean Tofu is our favourite quick and easy recipe from Seoul that can be enjoyed as a vegan side dish, appetizer or main course entree.

The healthy vegetarian dish is prepared with affordable ingredients that are common in any Asian-food lovers pantry.

You’ll be enjoying homemade Korean Fried Tofu in just minutes! Our step by step recipe shows you how to prepare slices of tofu in a nonstick pan, frying until browned and crispy.

It’s a simple and flavourful dish to enjoy for lunch or as part of a larger Korean dinner. We serve our Korean Pan Fried Tofu recipe topped with a spicy scallion and gochugaru sauce.

Traditional Fried Korean Tofu ingredients include soy sauce, scallions, garlic, white sugar, gochugaru Korean hot pepper flakes, sesame oil, sesame seeds and medium tofu.

Save this story to Pinterest!

Save our Healthy Vegan Pan Fried Korean Tofu recipe to Pinterest!
Save our Healthy Vegan Pan Fried Korean Tofu recipe to Pinterest!

Travel to Korea by Cooking Fried Tofu at Home

I love traveling through Asia.

As a professional food and travel writer I’ve eaten my way through India, Maldives, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.

My first visit to Asia had me living in South Korea for a year as an English teacher. That’s when I was first introduced to yummy fermented vegetables like kimchi.

In Korea, I’ve crunched through many plates piled high with crispy Korean Fried Tofu at restaurants in Seoul, Suwon, Busan, Samcheok, Jeju and even the North Korean DMZ.

My first time eating Korean Pan Fried Tofu was almost immediately after getting off the plane in Seoul. I spent my first week in Korea attending intensive teacher training classes. Whenever we’d break for lunch they’d serve fried tofu with a few noodle dishes and banchan.

Our authentic Fried Korean Tofu recipe is a simple Asian snack or appetizer that is quick and easy to make. The recipe features pan fried tofu slices that get crispy and browned when cooked in oil. Once cooking is complete they’re arranged on a plate and served with a spicy scallion sauce.

After enjoying your first few bites, you’ll realize why a plate topped with crispy Fried Korean Tofu is a must-try when visiting South Korea!

Traditional Fried Korean Tofu recipe ingredients.
Traditional Fried Korean Tofu recipe ingredients.

Where To Eat Pan Fried Korean Tofu

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local South Korean restaurant that serves traditional Fried Korean Tofu.

Haven’t traveled to Korea before? It may be helpful to first sample authentic Korean Fried Tofu at a local restaurant to better understand how it is served. You’ll get an idea for the amount of tofu to serve on each plate, ideal tofu to spicy scallion sauce ratio and the perfect complimentary side dishes to serve at the table.

In Toronto, popular Korean restaurants that may serve Fried Korean Tofu include Doma, Korean Village Restaurant, Arisu, Charcoal and Salt, Koko Share Bar, The Owl of Minerva, Seoul Shakers, Té Restaurant, Barrio Coreano, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Tofu Village and Korea House.

Pan fry slices of tofu in a nonstick skillet until golden brown and crispy.
Pan fry slices of tofu in a nonstick skillet until golden brown and crispy.

My Family Loves Vegan Fried Korean Tofu

My parents flew to Asia to visit me on holiday during my 12 months in Seoul. Before landing at Incheon they visited Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan.

They had never been to a Korean restaurant at home in Toronto or Oakville before so every dish was a delight and surprise to their taste buds.

It’s no secret that my dad is a picky eater so I was a little nervous about him finding commonplace menu items like raw fish, spicy soup and fatty samgyeopsal to be unappealing.

Thankfully my parents both fell in love with Fried Korean Tofu! They ordered the dish many times during visits to Insadong and Dongdaemun. I knew you’d enjoy the dish as they love all sorts of crispy fried foods like Bitterballen, Kibbeh, Malai Kofta and Grabong.

It’s my favourite last minute meal or snack to throw together in just a few minutes, especially if I have a tub of tofu loitering in the back of the fridge. It helps that it always has hungry visitors smiling from ear to ear!

Prepare spicy Korean Fried Tofu sauce in a large measuring cup.
Prepare spicy Korean Fried Tofu sauce in a large measuring cup.

Korean Fried Tofu Cooking Tips

Our Fried Korean Tofu recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time Korean cooks!

  • We suggest using a large nonstick skillet to prepare Korean Pan Fried Tofu.
  • You can purchase gochugaru online or at a local Korean/Asian supermarket.
  • We like to use canola oil to fry tofu but you could use other vegetable oils like rapeseed, avocado or sunflower.
  • We’ve used scallions in this recipe but you could also substitute for Chinese chives.
  • We’ve used medium tofu in this recipe because we love how the exterior gets crispy and interior gets soft after cooking in the pan. You can also use firm tofu in this recipe but suggest not using soft or silken tofu as it will fall apart when flipped.
  • If you have leftovers simply reheated in a toaster oven or air fryer to warm them up and maintain their desired crispy texture.
Serve slices of pan fried tofu topped with spicy Korean dressing and sesame seeds.
Serve slices of pan fried tofu topped with spicy Korean dressing and sesame seeds.

Fried Korean Tofu Health Benefits

Our vegan tofu recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Chili Pepper has been proven to help reduce the duration of sickness, prevent heart disease, and promote weight loss. 

A useful source of copper, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, sesame seeds help support circulatory, digestive and skeletal health.

Tofu is a good source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also a valuable plant source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese and phosphorous.

Fried Korean Tofu is a quick & easy appetizer or vegan main course dish.
Fried Korean Tofu is a quick & easy appetizer or vegan main course dish.

What To Serve with Tofu

There’s nothing more comforting than cozying up to plate of crispy and spicy Korean Fried Tofu.

This dish is traditionally served as a banchan (side dish) at a large Korean dinner. If you’re enjoying a lighter meal it makes for a great vegan entree served with steamed rice and kimchi.

Other Korean dishes you might like to serve with spicy tofu include Gochujang Chicken Wings, Ssamjang Chicken, Spicy Gukbap Korean Rice & Beef Soup, Spicy Pork Bibimbap, and Buchimgae Buchu-Jeon Korean Chive Pancake.

After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe, Cinnamon Babka, Blueberry Cream Cheese Earl Grey Ice Cream, Baileys Banoffee Cake, Swedish Rhubarb Cherry Pie or Skittles Sugar Cookies.

Storing Fried Tofu

If you have leftover crispy tofu you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap for 2-3 days. To reheat simply pop in your toaster oven or air fryer to crisp them up.

Now you're an expert on how to make the best homemade Fried Korean Tofu recipe!
Now you’re an expert on how to make the best homemade Fried Korean Tofu recipe!

You May Also Enjoy These Vegan Dishes…

Best Spicy Fried Korean Tofu Recipe

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Spicy Korean Fried Tofu

How to make traditional healthy vegan Fried Korean Tofu. Our easy recipe features crispy pan fried tofu served with a spicy Korean sauce.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: korean
Keyword: Fried Korean Tofu
Servings: 4
Calories: 307kcal


  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • Nonstick Skillet
  • Flipper
  • whisk
  • French knife
  • Paper Towel


  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Green Onions chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove minced
  • 1/2 tsp White Sugar
  • 1 tsp Korean Hot Pepper Flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 14 oz Medium Tofu
  • 2 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 1 tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds


  • SAUCE: Combine the soy sauce, scallions, garlic, sugar, hot pepper flakes, sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds in a mixing bowl.
  • TOFU: Rinse the tofu under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into 10 pieces, so you have a total of 20 1/4 inch slices.
  • Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and tilt the skillet to spread it across the pan. Add the tofu and fry until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, approximately 6-7 minutes. Turn the tofu over with a spatula, then drizzle the remaining oil around the edges of the skillet and tilt the skillet to spread it evenly. Cook until the other side of the tofu is golden brown and crispy.
  • Transfer the tofu to a serving plate. Spoon the spicy sauce on top, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.


Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.1g | Protein: 25.6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 0.7g | Sodium: 657mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 4.6g | Sugar: 2.3g | Calcium: 366mg | Iron: 5mg

Save this story to Pinterest!

Tags: , , ,

Leave a reply