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Our gochujang tofu salad is spicy, savory, tangy, healthy, and delicious all at once!
What is gochujang?
So glad you asked! Gochujang is a fermented red chili paste. You can find it readily available at most Asian grocery stores and it has a shelf life of a thousand years. Ok maybe that’s exaggerating a little bit, but it does keep for a really long time because of its fermented nature.
This stuff is great to have around. We frequently use it in salad dressings and sauces for stir fry. Today we’ll be using it in a tofu marinade to make gochujang tofu salad. If you have some lying around but aren’t sure what to do with it, start experimenting!
What ingredients are in gochujang tofu salad?
I kind of put everything but the kitchen sink in this recipe so I apologize in advance. Thankfully most of you should have the shelf-stable ingredients on hand and then all you’ll need to source out is the gochujang (Unless you already have some and aren’t sure what the heck to do with it.) and the fresh stuff.
For the pantry ingredients, you’ll need a few things for the marinade. In addition to gochujang, you’ll need some rice vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, agave, garlic, minced ginger, and water. I’ve been super lazy lately and have been buying shelf-stable minced ginger. I find it saves me time and plus I never end up using fresh ginger when I buy it. I always forget I have it on hand. If you’re like me and suck at remembering to use the fresh ginger, shelf-stable will save you.
A quick note on the agave – I find adding a little sugar helps balance out acid and heat from the gochujang. If you are on a diet that limits added sugar, you can always try this without the agave and let me know how it works out for you in the comments below.
We’ll move onto the ingredients required for the rest of the salad. For the greens, I used a mix of super greens and spring mix. I would recommend using one, the other or both if you happen to have them on hand. Next, you’ll need some snap peas, shredded carrots, red onion, and purple cabbage. I cut the snap peas in half lengthwise for photography’s sake, but let’s be real – no one should do this in real life.
What about the dressing?
I wanted to make a dressing that would compliment the heat of the gochujang and the bitterness of the power greens so I made a miso lime dressing to pair with this salad. The ingredients for this are miso, rice vinegar, water, minced ginger, cornstarch, sesame oil, and the juice of one lime.
If you don’t have the capacity to make your own dressing (It takes 5 minutes, I promise!) I would go with Annie’s sesame ginger dressing or another store-bought Asian-style dressing that contains sesame. Alternatively, I bet that my sesame ginger sauce would be amazing on this too.
How do you make gochujang tofu salad?
The first step in making gochujang tofu salad is preparing your marinade. In a shallow container, whisk together the marinade ingredients –rice vinegar, olive oil, gochujang, soy sauce, agave, minced garlic, minced ginger, and water. Next, gently press a block of tofu against a towel to draw out the moisture and cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes. Gently place the tofu in the marinade. The marinade should cover the top of the tofu pieces. Cover and let marinate for an hour.
Once the tofu has been fully marinated, carefully remove the pieces from the marinade onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Break out your cornstarch, and sprinkle a little bit on top of each piece, then flip the pieces over and sprinkle again. I find a loose leaf tea strainer works really well for sifting the starch.
Bake the tofu at 400 degrees for 40 minutes flipping halfway through. While the tofu is baking, you can prepare the rest of the elements of the salad. For the dressing, break out a small saucepan and a whisk and add together sesame oil, ginger, miso, rice vinegar, water, the juice of a lime, and sprinkle some more cornstarch over the mixture. Whisk and bring to a low simmer for 3 minutes and remove to let cool prior to adding to the salad.
Next, you’ll assemble the gochujang tofu salad. In a large bowl or four separate medium-sized bowls, add a hearty amount of spring mix, some shredded carrots, and red cabbage, sliced red onion, and snap peas. Once the gochujang tofu is baked and cool enough to handle, add to the salad. Top the salad with lime miso dressing and optional sesame seeds and red pepper flakes for an extra kick.
Despite the number of ingredients in gochujang tofu salad I really hope you give it a shot! You can also save the marinade for future tofu or add to your favorite stir fry for extra flavor and deliciousness.
In this segment, I suggest a song for you to listen to while you make gochujang tofu salad! You can even stream it right here in your browser. Today’s Recipe Container by The Wants.
If you try this recipe, I want to hear about it! Feel free to post your creations to Instagram or Facebook and tag Hell Yes It’s Vegan or #hellyesitsvegan. I look forward to seeing your creations!
Gochujang Tofu Salad
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- sauce pan
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2.5 Tbsp gochujang
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp agave
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 1 block extra firm tofu
Miso Lime Dressing
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp miso
- 1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 juice of lime
- 3/4 tsp cornstarch
The Rest of the Salad
- spring mix, super greens or a combination of the two
- shredded carrots
- shredded red cabbage
- red onion
- sesame seeds, optional
- red pepper flakes, optional
Make the gochujang tofu
- Add all ingredients but the tofu and cornstarch to a small container and whisk to combine. Gently press tofu with a towel to release moisture and cut into 1-inch cubes. Add to the small container the tofu pieces should be mostly submerged in the marinade. Let sit for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the tofu from the marinade to the sheet. Gently sprinkle the top of the pieces with cornstarch then flip and sprinkle again.
- Bake for 40 minutes flipping half way through.
Miso Lime Dressing
- Add all ingredients except cornstarch to a saucepan. Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 Tbsp of water and then add to the dressing. Bring to a simmer and whisk consistently for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Assemble the salad
- Break out 4 bowls or one large salad bowl for serving and add greens, red cabbage, carrots, snap peas, red onion, and gochujang tofu. Toss with dressing and sprinkle with optional sesame seeds and red pepper flakes.