Gochujang Ramen with Tofu

I love good quality food, but I also have a small place in my heart reserved for convenience foods like instant ramen or frozen pizzas. I don’t indulge in them often, and when I do I often spruce them up with something special to make them a little more interesting. I’ve posted before about the […]

The post Gochujang Ramen with Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love good quality food, but I also have a small place in my heart reserved for convenience foods like instant ramen or frozen pizzas. I don’t indulge in them often, and when I do I often spruce them up with something special to make them a little more interesting. I’ve posted before about the things I like to add to my instant ramen to give it an upgrade, and now I have a new favorite ingredient—gochujang! This sweet-salty-spicy paste creates a rich broth with plenty of umami that I balanced with some fresh spinach and chunks of mild tofu. This Gochujang Ramen with Tofu is a quick and easy way to indulge that noodle craving!

Two bowls of gochujang ramen with tofu, a bowl of gochujang on the side

What is Gochujang?

If you’ve never heard of gochujang, it’s a Korean chile paste made with chile peppers, rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. It kind of reminds me of a spicy version of miso. Gochujang is really starting to trend in the U.S. because of its uniquely sweet-salty-spicy and UMAMI flavor. And because we’re all kind of over our infatuation with sriracha and looking for the next best thing. It’s those fermented soy beans that really set gochujang apart and give whatever you’re adding it to that extra “WOW” factor. So if you haven’t tried it yet, put it on your list!

Where to Buy Gochujang

Because gochujang is really becoming quite popular, you’ll probably be able to find some at most major grocery stores. My local kroger actually carries about 4-5 different kinds! I’m using this Sempio Gochujang. If you have an Asian grocery store near you, you’re sure to find a really good selection there, and probably much better prices. Want to try to make your own? Try this traditional gochujang recipe, or this quickie 5-minute gochujang.

To Use the Ramen Packet or Not to Use the Ramen Packet

Personally, I like to use my own broth when making ramen instead of using the little seasoning packet that comes with the noodles. I like the freedom of tweaking the flavors and salt content, but you can use the seasoning packet if you prefer. Gochujang has quite a bit of salt, so if you do want to use the flavor packet that comes with the instant ramen I suggest adding the gochujang to the water first (3 cups water), then adding a little of the flavor packet at a time until the broth reaches a reasonable salt level for you.

How Spicy is It?

Decently spicy, IMHO. You can reduce the amount of gochujang to make it slightly less spicy, if you prefer. Or, if you’re looking for non-spicy ways to spruce up your ramen, check out my post about 6 Ways to Upgrade Ramen, or my Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen.

What Should I Do With my Leftover Tofu?

This recipe uses half of a traditional 14oz. block of tofu. My first choice for using up the other half of the block would be to make a half batch of my Curried Tofu Salad. That stuff is to die for. You could also toss it into a stir fry, or chop it up, add some BBQ sauce and make yourself a BBQ Tofu Slider.

Gochujang ramen with tofu in the sauce pot on a yellow background with a black and white zig-zag napkin.

 
One bowl of gochujang ramen with tofu, chopsticks on the side

Gochujang Ramen with Tofu

Spicy gochujang gives this instant ramen extra oomph! Gochujang Ramen with Tofu is a quick and easy way to satisfy that noodle craving.
Total Cost $2.26 recipe / $1.13 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 322.15kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 7 oz. extra firm tofu $0.90
  • 1 cup water $0.00
  • 2 cups vegetable broth* $0.26
  • 2 Tbsp gochujang $0.46
  • 1 package instant ramen* $0.19
  • 2 cups fresh spinach $0.25
  • 2 green onions $0.20

Instructions

  • Drain the tofu and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Add the water, vegetable broth, and gochujang to a small sauce pot. Whisk until the gochujang is dissolved.
  • Add the cubed tofu to the pot, place a lid on top, and bring it up to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, add the instant ramen noodles (without seasoning). Boil for one to two minutes, or just until the noodles begin to soften and pull loose from each other.
  • Add two handfuls (about 2 cups) fresh spinach and stir it into the hot broth until wilted. The noodles will finish cooking as the spinach wilts.
  • Slice the green onions and sprinkle over top of the ramen just before serving.

Notes

*If using vegetable broth, discard the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen noodles. If using the seasoning packet, use 3 cups of water instead of 1 cup water and 2 cups vegetable broth. Add the gochujang to the water first, then add a small amount of the seasoning packet at a time until you reach the desired level of saltiness for the broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 322.15kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.55g | Protein: 15.9g | Fat: 12.6g | Sodium: 1347.35mg | Fiber: 3.1g

side view of a bowl of gochujang ramen with chopsticks picking up a piece of tofu

How to Make Gochujang Ramen with Tofu – Step by Step Photos

cubed tofu on a cutting board

Drain a 14oz. block of tofu and cut half of it into ½-inch cubes. See the notes above the recipe for ideas for using the remaining tofu.

Gochujang broth in a small sauce pot with a whisk, tub of gochujang on the side

Add 1 cup water, 2 cups vegetable broth, and 2 Tbsp gochujang to a small sauce pot. Whisk until the gochujang has dissolved.

Cubed tofu being dropped into the pot

Add the cubed tofu to the pot. Adding the tofu before we start boiling the broth gives it a few minutes to start absorbing some of the flavor from the broth, as opposed to adding it at the end. Place a lid on the pot and bring the broth up to a boil over high heat.

Ramen noodles added to the pot, empty package on the side

Once boiling, add the block of instant ramen noodles (without seasoning packet). Let the noodles boil for about a minute, or just until they being to soften up and loosen up from the block.

Spinach added to the pot

Add a couple handfuls of spinach to the pot and stir it in until wilted. This should give the noodles just enough time to finish cooking as well.

Finished gochujang ramen in the pot

Slice two green onions and sprinkle them over the ramen just before serving.

One bowl of gochujang ramen with tofu, chopsticks on the side

Enjoy that spicy goodness!!

The post Gochujang Ramen with Tofu appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Marinated Tofu

This marinated tofu doesn’t even need to be cooked! Flavored with soy, sesame oil and ginger, this easy tofu recipe will be your new favorite. (It’s ours.) Alex and I don’t eat a lot of tofu. But this marinated tofu: well, it’s special. It’s packed with savory umami: toasted sesame oil and ginger and garlic and soy sauce. There’s a touch of maple to balance, and it’s mixed with green onion and sesame seeds. Oh: and you don’t have to cook it! All you have to do is throw in the fridge to marinate: so it’s almost totally hands off. Normally we don’t evangelize tofu. But with this easy tofu recipe: we’re 1000% excited about it. You’ve got to try this one…we promise it’s a winner. Throw it in a bowl with quinoa, tahini sauce and some fresh veggies, and you’ve got a healthy lunch or dinner. How to make this easy marinated tofu recipe Where did we get the idea for this marinated tofu recipe? Well, we actually had it at an airport. AN AIRPORT? Yes, I know, I can confidently say that this is the first and only recipe on A Couple Cooks that has ever been inspired […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

This marinated tofu doesn’t even need to be cooked! Flavored with soy, sesame oil and ginger, this easy tofu recipe will be your new favorite. (It’s ours.)

Marinated tofu

Alex and I don’t eat a lot of tofu. But this marinated tofu: well, it’s special. It’s packed with savory umami: toasted sesame oil and ginger and garlic and soy sauce. There’s a touch of maple to balance, and it’s mixed with green onion and sesame seeds. Oh: and you don’t have to cook it! All you have to do is throw in the fridge to marinate: so it’s almost totally hands off. Normally we don’t evangelize tofu. But with this easy tofu recipe: we’re 1000% excited about it. You’ve got to try this one…we promise it’s a winner. Throw it in a bowl with quinoa, tahini sauce and some fresh veggies, and you’ve got a healthy lunch or dinner.

Marinaded tofu

How to make this easy marinated tofu recipe

Where did we get the idea for this marinated tofu recipe? Well, we actually had it at an airport. AN AIRPORT? Yes, I know, I can confidently say that this is the first and only recipe on A Couple Cooks that has ever been inspired by airport cuisine. HOWEVER. Alex and I were at Chicago Midway and we needed a healthy dinner fast. Somehow, Alex found some sushi and a box of marinated tofu. We were a little wary of it at first. But after the first bite, none of us could stop eating it: including Larson! It was seriously savory and satisfying, but tasted fresh and healthy at the same time.

This marinated tofu is the definition of easy: there are basically two steps. Press, and marinate. Why do you need to press tofu? Well there’s quite a bit of water in tofu, so in order to infuse it with flavor you’ll need to press it. However: we’ve developed a quick way to do it!

Easy marinaded tofu recipe

How to press tofu: fast!

Many tofu recipes require you to press tofu for about 1 hour to drain it before starting the recipe. This doesn’t really work with our life work flow, so we decided to research faster ways to press the water out of tofu. There’s actually a surprising trick for speeding up pressing tofu. The microwave!

Oddly enough, if you microwave tofu for 2 minutes, it extracts quite a bit of liquid. Then place the pieces on a dry towel, place a cutting board on top, and top it with a heavy object. The weight will extract more water, and it will be done after just 15 minutes.

Marinated tofu

How to marinade tofu

After pressing the tofu, all you have to do is marinade the tofu for 30 minutes. Marinading it is just letting it sit in a bowl with the marinade: you’ll just need to stir it once. The flavors are balanced with savory, sweet, tangy, and spicy: soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil, tangy rice vinegar, maple syrup and a touch of gochujang hot sauce for a hint of heat.

Throw that all together with some minced green onion and sesame seeds, and it’s SO flavorful, you won’t know what hit you. Like really. We served this marinated tofu to our 2 year old and he gobbled it all up! It’s truly magical.

Marinated tofu

Wait! It’s not cooked.

And that’s it! With this easy marinated tofu, you don’t cook it. This makes it 100% easier than any baked the method. Since it’s firm tofu and you’ve pressed all the water out of it, the tofu has a great texture. Of course, if you’d like to bake it you still can! You can pan fry it or bake it (we’d suggest our friend Ali’s method for baking it). But this easy marinated tofu recipe really doesn’t need to be cooked: it’s seriously flavorful without the fuss.

How to serve marinated tofu

This marinated tofu is so simple because it’s mostly hands off: there’s really only about 10 minutes of active time. This gives you ample time to prepare the rest of a meal. And because it can store refrigerated for up to 5 days, it’s perfect for lunches!

How would we serve this marinated tofu? We have a noodle bowl recipe coming soon that features it, or you could make it into a bowl meal bowl with quinoa and roasted brocolli….ok let’s just start a list! Try serving it with:

How would you serve it? Let us know in the comments below.

This marinaded tofu recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and plant-based.

Print
Marinated tofu

Marinated Tofu


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This marinated tofu doesn’t even need to be cooked! Flavored with soy, sesame oil and ginger, this easy tofu recipe will be your new favorite. (It’s ours.)


Ingredients

  • 12 to 16 ounces block of extra firm or firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon gochujang sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon minced green onion

Instructions

  1. Remove the tofu from the package and drain liquid. Cut tofu into half lengthwise and place it in a large bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes; this helps to extract liquid.
  2. Drain off excess liquid released in the microwave. Place the two pieces on a towel; place another folded towel on top and add a cutting board and a heavy object. Allow to press for 15 minutes until the water is drained.
  3. Cut each square into 16 pieces, for 32 squares total. Place them all in the bowl with the marinade and stir very gently. Add marinade and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, stirring gently halfway through. Stores refrigerated for 5 days.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Marinated
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: Marinated tofu

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

Crispy Gochujang Tofu Bao Buns (vegan)

After having Korean fried chicken in a restaurant a while ago, *that* spicy gochujang sauce stuck in my mind. It’s like a grown up version of the sauce on sweet & sour chicken. I made it at home, using it to coat crispy tofu (coated in cornstarch and pan fried) to stuff into pillowy soft bao buns. I actually made these a while ago but never got round to posting the recipe! Now that I’ve been going a bit bao crazy I thought I would get this one up on the blog at the same time so there are some filling options for people to look at. We used this sauce last night for coating katsu seitan and it was epic – we had it with pickled radish/red onion and carrot ribbons which was a great combo. I think the sauce would work well on katsu sweet potato for an easy option. These are a bit ‘involved’ since you do need to do the whole tofu pressing, coating & frying situation. I also roasted some butternut squash to go in the buns but you can leave it out if you want (or use something seasonal like roasted carrots instead). However, […]

The post Crispy Gochujang Tofu Bao Buns (vegan) appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

Assembling Bao buns filled with crispy gochujang tofu, lettuce and butternut squash

After having Korean fried chicken in a restaurant a while ago, *that* spicy gochujang sauce stuck in my mind. It’s like a grown up version of the sauce on sweet & sour chicken. I made it at home, using it to coat crispy tofu (coated in cornstarch and pan fried) to stuff into pillowy soft bao buns.

I actually made these a while ago but never got round to posting the recipe! Now that I’ve been going a bit bao crazy I thought I would get this one up on the blog at the same time so there are some filling options for people to look at. We used this sauce last night for coating katsu seitan and it was epic – we had it with pickled radish/red onion and carrot ribbons which was a great combo. I think the sauce would work well on katsu sweet potato for an easy option.

Bao buns filled with crispy gochujang tofu and lettuce with a bamboo steamer

These are a bit ‘involved’ since you do need to do the whole tofu pressing, coating & frying situation. I also roasted some butternut squash to go in the buns but you can leave it out if you want (or use something seasonal like roasted carrots instead). However, once you’ve done the prep it’s easy to keep the components warm or reheat them, making the whole thing perfect for when you have a few friends round.

You can get frozen bao from Chinese supermarkets or, if you want to make them yourself, see my post for an in-depth recipe with some helpful shaping GIFs.

Crispy Gochujang Tofu Bao Buns

Crispy Gochujang Tofu Bao Buns

Yield: 12 buns (serves 3-4)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

Squash:

  • 1/2 a butternut squash, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons gochujang
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Tofu:

  • 340g (12 ounces) extra firm tofu
  • 50g (1/2 cup) corn flour (cornstarch)
  • 2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

To serve:

Instructions

For the squash:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Cut the butternut squash into pieces about 5mm (1/4 inch) thick. Toss with the vegetable oil on a baking tray. Roast for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through roasting, until starting to turn brown around the edges.

For the sauce:

  1. Mix all of the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Add a bit of water if needed to thin it out so it's drizzleable.

For the tofu:

  1. Press the tofu: drain the tofu, wrap in 2 layers of kitchen towel and place on a cutting board. Top with another cutting board and place something heavy (like a few cookbooks) on top. Let sit for 30 minutes to drain.
  2. Unwrap the tofu. Cut into 12 planks.
  3. Place the corn flour in a wide, shallow bowl. Toss the tofu in it to coat well, shaking off excess.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a deep frying pan over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the coated tofu in a single layer and fry on both sides until crisp.
  5. Remove to a dish lined with paper towel to drain. Repeat the frying with the remaining tofu, adding more oil to the pan if needed.
  6. Once you've fried all of it, toss the tofu into the bowl of sauce and stir to coat. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
  7. Keep warm in an oven at 100°C (215°F) until serving.

Warm the bao:

  1. Place the bao into a steamer and cover with the lid. Fill a wide saucepan with a ~1 inch depth of water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Turn the heat down to low then place the steamer into the pan.
  2. Steam for 5-6 minutes if they were frozen, or 2-3 minutes if they're fresh.

Assemble:

  1. Take the warm bao and fill with a leaf of gem lettuce, some of the warm crispy tofu and a piece of butternut squash.
  2. Eat warm!

Notes

  • Gochujang is a spicy, Korean fermented chilli paste. It can be found in many Korean or Chinese grocers and even in larger supermarkets in the 'world food' aisle.

Bao buns filled with crispy gochujang tofu and lettuce with a bamboo steamer" data-pin-description="Crispy tofu with a sweet & spicy gochujang sauce in soft, fluffy bao buns. Great for a plant-based dinner!

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

The post Crispy Gochujang Tofu Bao Buns (vegan) appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.