It was a few months ago that we started cooking with gochujang paste. We found a recipe on Instagram that called for it and, to be honest, I had no idea what it was. After some research, we discovered it’s a spicy paste used in Korean cooking that’s made from red peppers, fermented soya beans, salt and rice. It’s powerfully spicy and has that slight tangy fermented taste; it’s a very unique flavour. The tub that we bought from our local Asian market has lasted us ages, it’s fairly large, but we’ve kept it in the fridge, and it’s still as good as new! We’re getting through it now though, it’s become our new go-to tofu seasoning. Occasionally we still make our trusty old peanut tofu stirfry, but we’re just loving the gochujang paste at the moment!
I’m a big fan of preparing tofu in cornflour before adding a sauce, it makes the tofu especially crispy! That crispiness is important since the sauce is quite thin, it keeps the tofu firm while the sauce thickens and almost caramelises to the tofu chunks. One thing that you’ll see in the gochujang sauce is that we’ve used garlic and ginger paste. The little jars that you can get from the supermarkets are a perfect time saver for creating sauces or marinades like in this recipe. You can substitute this for grated garlic and ginger if you’d prefer.
We wouldn’t call this an authentic Korean dish, it’s more of an Asian fusion mix. Even though the tofu is crispy and spicy, it’s still a very fresh dish. We decided to prepare the veggies raw for this exact reason. The cold veggies are perfect with the hot noodles and tofu. This also means that it’s a very quick dish to make, with some practice you can easily get this whole thing made from start to finish in under 20 mins. With its bold flavours and fresh veggies, our gochujang noodle bowl is a perfect meal for these summer months, especially the heatwave that we’re experiencing at the moment!
Vegan Gochujang Tofu Noodle Bowl
- 1 (280g) block firm tofu, cut into cubes
- 4 tbsp cornflour
- 1/2 tbsp gochujang paste
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp agave syrup
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1/2 tsp garlic paste
- 2 packs (servings) noodles
- 2 medium carrots, cut into thin ribbons or peeled with a julienne peeler
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced into diagonal rounds
- 2 spring onion, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp pickled red cabbage
- 1 handful of fresh coriander
- fresh chilli, thinly sliced
- 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
- sprinkle of sesame seeds
- drizzle of soy sauce
- Coat the tofu cubes with cornflour. Then heat some oil in a frying pan and cook on medium heat, flipping regularly to cook all sides, for about 15 minutes. Make your gochujang sauce by adding gochujang paste, soy sauce, agave syrup, lime juice, ginger paste and garlic paste to a bowl and mix together.
- Cook your noodles as per the packet instructions.
- Once the tofu is crispy on all sides, add the sauce to the pan and fry for a few more minutes so that it thickens and binds to the tofu.
- Place the noodles in a bowl, then top with the gochujang tofu, carrot, cucumber, spring onion, pickled red cabbage, chilli, coriander, sesame seeds, soy sauce and a wedge of lime.
If you gave this a go, we’d love to know how you got on! Write a comment, like, or share this recipe with your friends.