Sesame-Gojuchang Tofu

The first time I tried it, I had no idea what gojuchang was. It was on our flight to Thailand a couple years ago, which just happened to go through Seoul. It was served with bibimbap and came in a little tube like toothpaste. At the time I had no idea at the time that I’d end up living in Korea for awhile, or that I would become so addicted to the sweet, smoky red pepper paste.

But here I am (back in California), happily living half a mile from a fabulous Korean grocery store where I can buy as much gojuchang as I want! If you’re not quite so lucky, I’m sure you can order some on-line, and trust me, it’s worth it. It’s not exactly hot sauce because it’s not that spicy, but the flavor is unique and totally irresistible. Here I just made a simple marinade for some tofu, which I baked and then served over rice with some sliced green onions. It’s got a flavor kind of similar to deokbokki, which I also happen to love, but is definitely healthier.

Recipe:

20 ounces extra firm nigari tofu
4 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp gojuchang (Korean red pepper paste)
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp chopped green onion (white/light green part)
steamed rice and sliced green onion for serving

Cut the tofu into 1″ square slices that are about 1/2″ thick. Stir together the garlic, gojuchang, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame seeds, and pour over the tofu. Mix well so that all pieces are well-coated. Cover and marinate for 1-3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 F and grease a baking dish big enough so that all the tofu pieces can fit in one layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, then serve over steamed rice garnished with slices of green onion.

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