A white dish with rice, tofu and bok choy
Photography, Murielle Banackissa

Spicy Gochujang Tofu

A hot pan and some patience make this spicy tofu extra-crispy.

Recipe developer, food stylist and photographer Murielle Banackissa draws inspiration from around the globe in her new cookbook Savoring: Meaningful Vegan Recipes from Across Oceans. The book’s recipes feature flavours and techniques developed over the course of Banackissa’s life, growing up in the Republic of Congo and later immigrating to Montreal, which is where this Spicy Gochujang Tofu was born. Banackissa writes: “When I would eat tofu at least three times per week. My go-to recipe was by a well-known and incredibly talented Quebec chef, Caroline Huard (also known as Loounie). She has this simple, quick-to-make, tasty recipe called Tofu Magique, which consists of tofu coated in a mixture of lemon juice, tamari, maple syrup and tons of nutritional yeast. This Spicy Gochujang Tofu is my twist on Caroline’s recipe. Although this recipe is quick and easy to execute, I encourage you to not rush the crisping of the tofu, as this will make the biggest difference in the texture of the dish. You can also taste your sauce as you are making it, noticing how each element brings forth another layer of flavour notes, from umami and savoury to spicy, sweet, and fermented.”

A white dish with rice, tofu and bok choy

Spicy Gochujang Tofu

Murielle Banackissa's easy vegan recipe for crispy pan-fried tofu with a spicy gochujang sauce.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian, korean
Servings 4


  • 2 tbsp gochujang
  • 2 garlic gloves grated using a microplane
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1 lb/454 g package extra-firm tofu patted dry
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • sliced green onions for garnish
  • black and white sesame seeds for garnish


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the gochujang, garlic, maple syrup, tamari and rice vinegar until the gochujang is fully incorporated. Set aside.
  • Break the tofu into bite-sized pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the cornstarch and nutritional yeast. Toss using a silicone spatula until the tofu is well coated.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a nonstick pan set over medium-high heat. Add the tofu, leaving behind any excess cornstarch, nutritional yeast and tiny tofu pieces.
  • Cook, tossing the tofu often using a silicone spatula, until golden and crispy at the edges, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Pour the gochujang mixture over the tofu and cook, tossing, for 1 minute or until the tofu is coated and glistening.
  • Remove from the heat and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Serve hot alongside rice or any of your favourite sides.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.

A book cover in a light frame

Excerpted from Savoring by Murielle Banackissa. Copyright © 2024 Murielle Banackissa. Photographs by Murielle Banackissa. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
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