Korean BBQ tofu bowls feature perfectly crisp and saucy tofu piled over fluffy rice with a sweet and spicy mango slaw on top.
Flavor bomb of a bowl coming your way today! Featuring the crispiest + sauciest tofu, a whole mess of slaw, and just all the best things piled into one bowl.
Korean BBQ meets tofu and needless to say, it’s a pairing for the record books.
If you think you’re not a fan of tofu, I dare you to give these bowls a try. Guarantee your mind will be changed.
Spice-lovers, you’re gonna want in on this one for sure! These bowls pack in the heat and the amount of flavor is unreal.
Even if you’re not a fan of heat, keep reading for ways to dial it back in these bowls! You don’t wanna miss out on these.
This Korean BBQ Tofu features…
- Crispy pan-fried tofu
- A spicy, flavorful Korean BBQ sauce covering the tofu
- Lots of sweet and spicy mango slaw
- Hot steamed rice for serving
Making the Korean BBQ Tofu Bowls
(scroll down to the bottom of post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Extra-firm tofu
- Broccoli slaw mix
- Apple cider vinegar
- Vegetable or canola oil
- Red pepper flakes
- Jalapeno pepper
- Low-sodium soy sauce
- Light brown sugar
- Rice wine vinegar
- Sesame oil
- Green onions
- Sesame seeds
- Rice for serving
What is Korean BBQ?
Korean barbecue typically features a grilled meat with a spicy gochujang sauce brushed on top.
Today, we’re going to be lightly breading and frying tofu cubes until perfectly crispy and then tossing them in the barbecue sauce.
The sauce is usually soy-based and uses gochujang paste for a spicy kick. Our version today also includes lots of garlic and ginger for a flavor kick.
Tips for Perfect Korean BBQ Tofu
- Press tofu – whatever you do, don’t skip the pressing step! It removes excess moisture from the tofu and helps it cook up extra crispy. Cut tofu in half width-wise and sandwich halves between two kitchen towels. Place over a cooling rack that’s set over a sheet pan then place another sheet pan on top and something heavy to weigh it down. Let the tofu press for 30-60 minutes, then cut into cubes and proceed with recipe.
- Lightly coat tofu – very lightly toss tofu with cornstarch until evenly coated. Make sure you’re very gentle so as not to break the tofu apart!
- Pan fry tofu – make sure tofu is in a single layer, and turn tofu occasionally on all sides until a light golden brown.
- Use fresh garlic and ginger in barbecue sauce – this adds an extra little oomph of flavor to the sauce.
- Use pre-made slaw – grab a bagged mix of broccoli slaw to save yourself the hassle of having to cut it yourself. A quick vinaigrette, jalapeno, fresh mango, and red pepper flakes spices it up perfectly.
Try these ideas for a little twist on this recipe!
- Dial the heat down – if you’re not a fan of spicy, skip the jalapeno and red pepper flakes in the slaw. Cut back on the amount of gochujang in the sauce and add a little bit to taste.
- Try a different slaw – you can use a cabbage/carrot slaw mix or make your own!
- Make it meaty – this recipe is easily adaptable to use meat instead of tofu. Coat beef or chicken strips in cornstarch and pan-fry per recipe instructions.
What to Serve with Tofu
We recommend serving this tofu in bowls with warm steamed rice and lots of slaw. Top bowls with sesame seeds and green onions for a final garnish.
If you want to keep these bowls low-carb you can use cauliflower rice or quinoa in place of the standard rice.
Y’all, this is one flavor bomb of a bowl. It’s actually insane how crispy the tofu cooks up and paired with the spicy barbecue sauce and fresh slaw it’s just un-freaking-real.
We make this for dinner an obscene amount of times per week now. You may very well find yourself in the same boat.
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven.
More vegetarian favorites to add to the dinner menu!
Korean BBQ Tofu Bowls with Spicy Mango Slaw
Spicy Mango Slaw
- 2 cups broccoli slaw mix
- 1 medium mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-in cubes
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on your spice-level preference)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Korean BBQ Tofu
- 1 block (12 oz) extra-firm tofu
- 1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch, divided
- 2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon gochujang (or a similar chili sauce)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- Hot steamed rice, sliced green onions, and sesame seeds for serving
Spicy Mango Slaw
- In a large bowl, combine slaw mix, mango, and jalapeno. In a separate small bowl, whisk remaining slaw ingredients until smooth.
- Pour dressing over slaw and toss until evenly coated. Season slaw with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Korean BBQ Tofu
- Cut the block of tofu in half width-wise. Arrange tofu on a wire cooling rack on top of a kitchen towel that has been folded into 3 layers thickeness and place over a medium sheet pan. Place another kitchen towel that has been folded into 3 layers of thickness over tofu and place another medium sheet pan over top. Place something heavy like a textbook or several cans on top of sheet pan and allow tofu to be pressed 30-60 minutes.
- Cut pressed tofu into 1-in cubes and place in a large bowl. Add 1/3 cup cornstarch and toss until evenly coated.
- Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add tofu in a single layer (work in batches if necesssary, adding more oil as needed) and cook on all sides, turning occasionally until crispy and browned. Transfer tofu to a wire cooling rack and set aside for a moment.
- Drain oil and wipe skillet clean. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, gochujang, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water until smooth. Whisk into sauce and cook until sauce is bubbly and thickened. Toss tofu into sauce until evenly coated.
- Assemble the bowls by starting with rice and topping with korean bbq tofu and mango slaw. Top bowls with green onions and sesame seeds. Serve bowls immediately and enjoy!