Pan fried tofu with spicy sauce

Dububuchim-yangnyeomjang 두부부침양념장

Hi, everybody!
I’m introducing 2 kinds of Korean tofu side dishes to you today! (the other dish in the video is Dubu-ganjangjorim).

When I lived in Canada, I often went to a farmer’s market on the weekend. It was in a big building, and in the basement there was a store where people were lining up every weekend up to buy some special tofu.


My friend was a regular customer at the store, so she let me taste it when she bought it. I was very surprised! Firstly, because it was so expensive, and secondly because it was a very simple tofu recipe. They were selling the tofu cubed and cooked with sauce for $7.99! The sauce was made with soy sauce and sugar or maple syrup.

It seemed like a very easy recipe to make. I took my friend to a Korean store and bought a package of tofu for 99 cents. We came home and we cooked it together. She was very happy and since that time, she has been doing all kinds of experiments with her favorite tofu side dish. She invents her own sauce these days. : )

Tofu is pronounced as “doo boo” in Korean. If you say doo boo in front of Koreans, they will be impressed!




  1. Slice the tofu into 10 bite size pieces (¼ inch thick rectangles). Towel off each piece with a paper towel.tofutofu

    A whole package of tofu cut into 20 pieces

  2. Heat a pan and add 1 to 2 tbs of vegetable oil.
  3. Add the tofu and lower the heat. Cook over low heat for about 5 to 7 minutes until the bottoms of the tofu pieces turn golden brown.
  4. Turn over each piece and cook another 5 minutes.
    pan-fried tofu
  5. Transfer the cooked tofu to a serving plate.
  6. Make yangnyeomjang (seasoning sauce) in a small bowl by mixing these ingredients:
    • 1 clove of minced garlic
    • 1 chopped green onion
    • 1 ts hot pepper flakes
    • 1 ts sugar (or honey)
    • 1 tbs soy sauce
    • 1 ts sesame oil

    If you make this with a whole package of tofu, double the sauce ingredients

  7. Spoon the sauce evenly over the tofu, and sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds over top just before serving.
  8. Serve as a side dish with rice.Korean tofu side dish



  1. John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana joined 12/16
    Posted December 21st, 2016 at 8:57 pm | # |

    Who would have ever thought tofu could be so delicious? Yum… nice and crispy on the outside. And that awesome sauce with the delicious Korean flavors. I love to substitute honey in place of sugar. It’s funny, I find that if I take your recommended pepper flake quantity and use 1/3 of that, it’s perfect for me! And I’m from south Louisiana where we love spicy cajun food. Korean’s are so funny to tolerate so much heat lol. For anyone using pepper flakes, i recommend starting out with 1/4 or 1/3 of the recommended quantity and go from there. You can always add more but you sure as heck can’t take away once you’ve added it :-) Thank you for introducing me to a whole new world Maangchi… I am loving the Korean food! I eat it daily! All because I happened to find you on YouTube one day…

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted December 25th, 2016 at 2:34 am | # |

      It’s great you can modify my recipe to your taste. Good luck with your Korean cooking!

  2. Pure-Lucid joined 6/15
    Posted June 25th, 2015 at 12:03 am | # |

    My friend showed me your website and I feel you have really improved my cooking!

    The food tastes so yummy and exactly like my favorites that I would get at a store or restaurant but I am so very happy that now I can make at home for a lot cheaper!

    Every weekend now, I cook many side dishes so I won’t have to spend much time on cooking during the work week.

    I’m very grateful to you Maangchi!!! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

    I have made your Roll-Pang, seasoned broccoli, spinach, radish kimchi, strawberry jam, Japchae, mungbean sprout and cucumber, mixed grain rice, cucumber kimchi and now tonight, I made your fried spicy tofu dish!!!

    I knew I loved this dish already so I made four times the sauce so I plan on using it on top of a fried egg over rice for breakfast soon.

    The next dish I want to learn from you is your cabbage and soybean paste stew!

    You are an excellent cook and very funny!


    I am a big fan of yours now! I wish I could give you a hug because your recipes make me so happy! I am Korean but adopted so my family doesn’t know how to cook Korean food and I have always wanted to learn it.

    I will buy your cookbook soon too!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 26th, 2015 at 11:20 am | # |

      I’m happy to hear that your Korean cooking is going well!
      “Roll-Pang, seasoned broccoli, spinach, radish kimchi, strawberry jam, Japchae, mung bean sprout and cucumber, mixed grain rice, cucumber kimchi”
      Happy cooking!

  3. O, Joo-Hwan Las Vegas, Nevada USA joined 2/17
    Posted March 13th, 2017 at 3:35 am | # |

    Served this with baechu doenjang and rice. A bit too spicy for one of my family, but she just mixed the tofu into the stew and all was well. A big hit. I don’t eat tofu and I had seconds.

    See full size image

  4. elphyra Netherlands joined 7/16
    Posted July 24th, 2016 at 4:58 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I was wondering what the word buchim literally means. I have been searching the internet but it says something different on every website I find. Since you are an expert I hope you can help me out, haha!
    I’ve been making a lot of your recipes lately, but I always also like to know the other details concerning the dish.

    Love from the Netherlands!

    • ddnorman Southern NH, USA joined 9/13
      Posted August 2nd, 2016 at 1:31 am | # |

      Hi elphyra!

      I’ve found that the word bu-chim/부침 looks like a shortened form of bu-chim-gae/부침개. Here is the definition I found that seems to make the most sense:

      부침개 at Korean => English Of Explained:
      부침개 fried food; a fried dish; a fry.


      I hope this helps!


  5. HikariLynn Canada Saskatchewan joined 3/16
    Posted March 5th, 2016 at 1:35 am | # |

    This recipe is so delicious!! I made it for the first time yesterday and had to go to the grocery store today just to get more Tofu to make it again tonight! my family thinks i’m crazy for eating tofu but its so good! I do have a question though, If i made this to take for lunch the next day would i add the sauce when i put in in the container? or would i keep them separate until i’m going to eat them?

    See full size image

  6. Anissa Poland joined 1/16
    Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 12:52 pm | # |

    I’ve made this dish few times already – I feel in love with it and make it at least once a week! Thank you so much for it, Maangchi-ssi!

  7. Noora joined 5/15
    Posted May 21st, 2015 at 9:49 pm | # |

    The tofu when it is just out of the pan, all golden tastes GREAT! it reminds me of eating flat bread of some sort!

    BUT the sauce, especially adding the soy sauce tastes awful and smells awful…i am from Pakistan and am used to Indian or Mediterranean food….so soy sauce i would recommend to those who r well used to east Asian food.

    • Pure-Lucid joined 6/15
      Posted June 24th, 2015 at 11:53 pm | # |

      Sorry but soy sauce doesn’t smell really! Maybe you had a very old bottle…

      Some would say Indian food taste or smells awful also but I really like it myself.

      Though… I would not say that it smells awful even if it did.

      That’s culturally offensive.

      • Sravani India joined 3/16
        Posted March 1st, 2016 at 11:23 am | # |

        I’m from India , I apologise to people in the world who use soy sauce as their cultural food item in their native neither smells awful nor taste awful it’s like more taste enhancer.if someone is allergic to soy sauce for those particular people it is a advice to avoid it. And if some person dislikes only a particular soy sauce comments only abt the soy sauce and mentions it awful. Enlighten such people not to watch videos of other delicious food of world and please don’t be mean in abusing entire cuisine of Indians or Pakistanis or Mediterranean. Thanks and cool… bon appetit!!

  8. nanaylovesahsha joined 3/15
    Posted March 24th, 2015 at 9:40 pm | # |

    Made this yesterday. It was so good! Even my three year old asked for, “fofu and pie-cy sos pwease!” today! Love, love your blog!

  9. chica227 Vancouver, Canada joined 11/12
    Posted February 20th, 2015 at 2:05 am | # |

    Maangchi, you are now the only site I go to for Korean recipes. SO YUMMY every time!

    I just want to share a delicious variation I stumbled across tonight with this recipe. I was out of green onion, so I minced up about 2tbs of kimchi instead, and it was even better.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 21st, 2015 at 10:32 am | # |

      Kimchi always goes well with tofu. yum!

  10. Amsterdam joined 9/12
    Posted August 23rd, 2014 at 1:08 pm | # |

    It looks great Maangchi! I usually don’t eat tofu but this dish is really delicious.
    I tried to cook it as well, adding a bit of mint:

  11. oiseau Canada joined 11/11
    Posted July 14th, 2014 at 9:27 pm | # |

    Is it possible to skip the hot pepper? Thank you, Merci :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 14th, 2014 at 10:37 pm | # |

      yes, without hot pepper flakes, the sauce will still turn out delicious. Add lots of green onion, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Yum!

  12. ddnorman Southern NH, USA joined 9/13
    Posted February 5th, 2014 at 2:13 pm | # |


    I made it like you said they did in Toronto…with maple syrup. It was soooo delicious! I love how it’s crispy and chewy and the 양념장 is so tasty. I should have made a double batch! And I can’t believe how easy this was to make!


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 6th, 2014 at 8:39 am | # |

      I saw the photo of your tofu side that you uploaded this morning. It looks great! The photo will be featured soon. yum!

      • ddnorman Southern NH, USA joined 9/13
        Posted February 9th, 2014 at 2:04 pm | # |


        I made this and mandu for my family today. They loved it…and my wife & sister-in-law raved about the 양념장! They *told* me to print out the recipe! ^^ We put it on both the tofu and mandu.


  13. marsada6460 United States joined 1/14
    Posted January 5th, 2014 at 3:15 am | # |

    Ooooo! This is so spot on and yummy! I love your recipes!

  14. hironohaha Japan joined 12/13
    Posted December 11th, 2013 at 12:14 am | # |

    im going to make this for tomorrow s bento :D
    im living in Tokyo now,
    it s relatively easy to get essetial Korean ingredients here :)
    stumble upon your website, and im loving it!

  15. DianeD Seoul joined 8/13
    Posted August 25th, 2013 at 5:11 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    I’m in Korea at the moment for a year to study, so I’m excited to try out all these recipes – not many Korean food stores in Scotland, if there are any at all!

    Does it matter what kind of package tofu you use? There are so many different kinds! I tried it with 찌개 두부 and it tasted good but felt like it was going to fall a part in my hands. As for the sauce, I just bought a bottle of sauce that had 양념장 on it and it tasted okay (student’s budget and not really knowing the Korean names for some of the ingredients).

    Thanks for all your great recipes! 한국 요리를 잘하고 싶어요!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 25th, 2013 at 12:05 pm | # |

      I usually like medium firm tofu and use in every dish I make except for soft tofu. Soft tofu is used to make soondubu jjiage. Homemade yangnyeomjang is much tastier than store bought yangnyeomjang. Try out the recipe, please.
      Yangnyeomjang (Seasoning sauce)

  16. The Mistress of Spices Thailand joined 1/13
    Posted January 20th, 2013 at 4:14 am | # |

    I love the pan-fried tofu with spicy sauce (made it last night). So much so that I made my own, Thai-style version (I live in Thailand)…with a sauce of lemongrass, bird’s eye chilies, garlic, ginger, lime juice, etc. Here’s the recipe:

    Thanks for the inspiration, Maangchi!

  17. astr323 United States joined 11/12
    Posted November 1st, 2012 at 7:20 pm | # |

    oh my goodness this was really really yummy! I made the 두부 간장조림 and swapped out the corn syrup for plain white sugar because I don’t have any corn syrup (I used just under a tbsp, mixed it in a small bowl with the soy sauce and and garlic and let it sit while the tofu cooked). the tofu smelled really garlic-y after I was done but the sugar really helps to tone that down, so if you’re put off by the smell too don’t worry! this is really great and I’ll definitely be making it again very soon! 감사합니다 망치! <3

  18. Christian netherlands joined 7/12
    Posted July 25th, 2012 at 2:20 pm | # |

    i see you use tofu out a package, i like fresh ones=3

  19. ebowling_01 Grand Rapids, MI joined 12/11
    Posted July 2nd, 2012 at 11:01 am | # |

    I made Dubu buchim yangnyumjang a couple of weeks ago for the first time, and I love it so much. I make it probably once or twice a week now, and I can’t get enough of it. I always thought that tofu could never be made to taste good, but your recipes have turned me into a tofu fan!

  20. fitXmom Florida joined 5/12
    Posted May 31st, 2012 at 6:55 pm | # |

    I did the recipe today and love its simplicity!! Yum, yum!! I only used 1/4 of tsp of the hot pepper flakes just in case. I added way too much red pepper flakes (American) to my Emergency Kimchi and I can’t barely eat it. So I didn’t want this sauce to be too spicy. Thank you for sharing.

  21. shunna1213 NYC joined 1/12
    Posted January 15th, 2012 at 6:36 pm | # |

    Maangchi, how long can you keep the Tofu in your lunchbox without put it into your Refrigerator in the winter?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 16th, 2012 at 12:48 am | # |

      It will be ok for several hours.

  22. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10
    Posted January 10th, 2012 at 1:54 pm | # |

    I had this for lunch today , so delicious , i think this sauce will be good too for deep fried whole fish ! Not only i had the hot pepper flakes i added chopped bird eye chilis too ..thanks maangchi !

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 11th, 2012 at 1:22 am | # |

      yes, the sauce could be used fro deep fried whole fish or roasted fish. Good job! : )

  23. cluvy Singapore joined 12/11
    Posted January 4th, 2012 at 4:29 am | # |

    The spicy sauce is so good. The flavours really went well. I like to marinate the sauce without the green onions overnight so that the garlic is not so spicy. I used it on steamed tofu and it was amazing even when I was out of green onions. I also added abit more sesame oil so I have more sauce without it being diluted or overly salty. It’s so pretty when you line up the tofu pieces with that sauce all over. :D

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 11th, 2012 at 1:23 am | # |

      I’m glad to hear that you like the sauce recipe!

  24. P3run4 Indonesia joined 10/11
    Posted December 27th, 2011 at 1:29 am | # |

    Hey MaAngchi,

    I love to cook korean food using your recipe.
    However, everytime I cook, I have to reduce about half of your original recipe for hot pepper flakes.
    I found out it’s very very salty if I follow your recipe.
    Since you’ve been to Indonesia few months ago, I’m just wondering, does the hot pepper flakes in Indonesia much salty compare to any other hot pepper flakes at another country?
    Thank you.

    • P3run4 Indonesia joined 10/11
      Posted December 27th, 2011 at 4:03 am | # |

      Sorry Maangchi, I typed wrong. I mean, to be Hot Pepper Paste, instead of Hot Pepper Flakes.
      I feel that the Hot Pepper Paste is very very salty, therefore every time I cook using your recipe, I have to reduce the hot pepper paste’s recipe.

  25. DominiqueEchard North Carolina joined 5/09
    Posted September 5th, 2011 at 10:36 am | # |

    Made Dubu buchim yangnyumjang last night and it was fantastic! What a delicious sauce. We had it with cabbage soup with soy bean paste and steamed black rice. So healthy and satisfying.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 7th, 2011 at 6:36 am | # |

      Yummy! It sounds like an awesome combination!

  26. jenlan California joined 8/11
    Posted August 13th, 2011 at 3:14 pm | # |

    I made the Dubu buchim yangnyumjang, and it turned out fantastic! Had to double the amount of green onions, though, since my mother made a lot of tofu, haha. I also added a little bit more hot pepper flakes to make it even more spicy to suit my tastes (1 tsp is barely spicy enough for me, haha).

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 14th, 2011 at 1:19 pm | # |

      Fantastic news! You are one of spicy food lovers! ^^

  27. avahaha New York joined 7/11
    Posted July 26th, 2011 at 7:57 pm | # |

    Very nice recipe Maangchi – thank you so much!!! My fiance and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner (seaweed soup, with tofu-spicy-sauce on the side)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 14th, 2011 at 1:19 pm | # |

      seaweed soup and tofu are all healthy and delicious food!

  28. BlueCrush Seattle joined 3/11
    Posted May 25th, 2011 at 1:42 am | # |

    This recipe is amazing! I never liked tofu but with this recipe I love it and want to explore what other great dishes I can make with tofu. I make this at least once a week now. I made it for my friend and she loved it and said she will make it for her husband. Cheers!

  29. brick4331 joined 4/11
    Posted April 24th, 2011 at 5:17 pm | # |

    I made this today and it was delicious! Thank you for the recipe! ^___^

  30. Kageromara joined 2/11
    Posted April 24th, 2011 at 3:46 pm | # |

    Maangchi, You are using FIRM tofu right?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted April 26th, 2011 at 12:10 pm | # |

      Firm or soft, pan-fried tofu with seasoning sauce is always delicious. Firm tofu works well because it won’t be broken easily while you are cooking. But I sometimes use soft tofu to make pan-fried tofu dish when I feel like enjoying softness of tofu.

  31. poetess4life joined 2/11
    Posted March 30th, 2011 at 10:26 pm | # |

    I finally got a chance to make this delicious Pan fried tofu with spicy sauce
    (Dubu buchim yangnyumjang) I had to substitute the green onions with wild chives. Turned out very good. Thank you

  32. jessica514 joined 2/11
    Posted February 22nd, 2011 at 10:51 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    Can you please make more tofu side dishes?
    I really enjoy watching your videos.
    Thank you! (:

  33. theunoriginalchef joined 2/11
    Posted February 1st, 2011 at 6:55 pm | # |

    I made the dubu ganjang jorim – yums the second time!

  34. Soma joined 7/10
    Posted January 11th, 2011 at 2:18 pm | # |

    Looks SO good ! Making this for sure.. :) I love tofu, esp soon dubu and stinky tofu LOL

    Thanks for this recipe.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 11th, 2011 at 5:22 pm | # |

      stinky tofu? : )Whenever the topic is stinky food, I’m the most interested of all

  35. bo Hawaii joined 7/10
    Posted January 11th, 2011 at 12:50 pm | # |

    Yum! I prefer to eat tofu rather than meat (but the rest of the family likes meat!)
    I’ve made Dubu buchim yangnyumjang several times and love it. Never tried Dubu ganjang jorim (with the corn syrup) Maybe I’ll make it tonight to serve with the galbi!

  36. Ikkin-bot edmonton joined 9/10
    Posted November 28th, 2010 at 11:18 pm | # |

    I made both tonight. They were delicious! (dubu buchim yangnyumjang is my favorite!

    I blogged about it of course you should check out the pictures!

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