The Korea Herald


[Holly’s Korean Kitchen] Dububuchim, crispy Korean pan-fried tofu

By Korea Herald

Published : May 21, 2022 - 16:00

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Dububuchim, crispy Korean pan-fried tofu (Holly Ford) Dububuchim, crispy Korean pan-fried tofu (Holly Ford)
This Korean pan-fried tofu recipe is a great way to enjoy plant-based protein in a healthy and inexpensive way. No pressing is required to get the crispy texture.

This is one of the best low-effort, pan-seared tofu dishes you can easily make at home.

Here I present one of my favorite Korean side dish recipes. This pan-fried tofu has just the right texture: Crispy outside and chewy inside.

A slightly spicy Korean soy chili sauce drizzle gives a flavor boost to the bland tofu. This fast tofu recipe is great with rice or noodles.

With a tasty and satisfying tofu dish like this, who needs meat? No wonder some people call tofu “vegetable beef.” To use a Korean expression, I can literally empty a bowl of rice with this tofu alone (meaning this plus some rice makes a great meal).

Dububuchim, crispy Korean pan-fried tofu (Holly Ford) Dububuchim, crispy Korean pan-fried tofu (Holly Ford)

- 1 package (0.45 kg) firm tofu, drained

- 2 tbsp oil

for soy chili sauce

- 3 tbsp soy sauce

- 2-3 tsp Korean chili flakes (gochutgaru)

- 1/4 tsp sugar

- 1 green onion, finely chopped

- 2 pinch shrimp powder, optional, see note below

- 1 garlic, finely minced

- 1 tbsp sesame oil

- 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

- 1 fresh red chili for garnish, optional


1. Take the tofu out of its package and rinse. Cut tofu into 1.5 cm thick slices.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Gently press each tofu slice with a paper towel to remove excess water from the surface, then place

them in the skillet.

3. Sear the tofu until a nice golden crust forms on the surface, about 5 minutes. Flip the tofu slices to the other side and continue to sear another 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make the soy chili sauce. Mix soy sauce, Korean chili flakes, garlic, green onion, shrimp powder (if using), sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds in a small bowl.

5. Arrange the tofu slices in a serving platter and drizzle the soy chili sauce on top. Garnish with fresh red chili (if using) and serve with rice.


For vegan or vegetarian option, omit the shrimp powder from the soy chili sauce ingredients.

By Holly Ford (


Hye-gyoung Ford (aka Holly) is a well-known Korean food blogger and the author of “Korean Cooking Favorites.” Born and raised in Korea, she has lived in many countries. She shares her recipes and food memories in her blog, Beyond Kimchee. - Ed.