Dubu Jorim


A celebration of chili and tofu, a match made in heaven


We all know that tofu is a staple in Asian cuisine, but have you ever seen it combined with chili? The spice is known to “jazz up” even the blandest of dishes, transforming them into little pieces of heaven with every bite. When James provided South Korean Dubu Jorim for me, I didn’t know what to expect, but once I tasted it, my whole perspective of tofu dishes flipped! Also known as Braised Tofu, let me shine the spotlight on this incredibly unique Korean dish.

Asian cuisine, especially Korean, loves to include chili whenever possible. South Korean Dubu Jorim uses three different chili flakes that contribute to the perfect balance of spiciness and flavor. In addition, a spicy fermented paste is used, which gives the earthy taste of this recipe. However, even though so many types of chilies are used, this dish is not too hot, so you can enjoy it even if you are not a big fan of spicy food. According to James, incorporating chili into every food he cooks reminds him of his home, and he uses it to share his story as a Korean immigrant.

When I made South Korean Dubu Jorim, I hoped it would be different from all the other recipes, and my expectations were exceeded! Served with rice, as James recommended, it tasted really wonderful. The rice soaked up the sauce on the tofu, making every bite delicious.

Finally, I agree with James. Everyone should try South Korean Dubu Jorim because it’s easy to make and so flavorful you won’t be able to resist it. The combination of tofu and chili is another reason why you should consider cooking this at home. And, if you haven’t had a tofu recipe you liked, South Korean Dubu Jorim will definitely change that.

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  • 1 lb firm tofu
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup chili crisp
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 Tbsp nappa cabbage kimchi juice
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce omit and add 1 Tbsp soy sauce to make vegetarian
  • 1 Tbsp miso
  • tsp granulated sugar
  • tsp gochujang
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp neutral oil
  • ¾ cup green onions chopped
  • ½ yellow onion sliced
  • ½ cup nappa cabbage kimchi chopped
  • cooked rice for serving


  • Cut the tofu into ½ in. thick planks. Transfer them to a plate, season them with the salt and let them sit for 5 minutes. This will help the tofu absorb the sauce better when braised. Drain the excess moisture from the tofu.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the chili crisp, garlic, kimchi juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, miso, sugar, gochujang, mirin, and sesame oil to make the sauce. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat, add the neutral oil. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the green onions and, once the oil is hot, add the rest to the pan. Cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Then add the sliced onion and kimchi and sauté everything for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the kimchi starts to look tender and slightly brown.
  • Spread the ingredients evenly in the pan, then top with the tofu planks. Pour the reserved sauce all over the tofu plants followed by 1 cup or water.
  • Lower the heat to medium and let it simmer fort 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. It should be saucy, not brothy. Garnish with the reserved green onions. Serve warm with a side of rice!
Course: Dinner
Region: Asia
Keyword: Comfort food


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