I love gochujang. When I want something spicy that also has a sweet+savory quality and a perfect amount of salt and richness, I reach for the tub of it that’s always somewhere in my refrigerator. Gochujang complements almost anything that loves a kick of heat, and you can’t go wrong blending it with another creamy or rich element. I’ve paired it with sweet potato, peanut butter and even vegan queso before, and it’s perfect every time.
Needless to say, this thick, fermented and deeply crimson Korean condiment is one of my favorites, so when the nice folks over at Chung Jung One offered me a few bottles of their gochujang to try, I was excited to see how their brand stacked up. First off, the bottle: look at it! It’s adorable. The ingredient list isn’t too crazy with sugar and syrups (lots of the other tub brands can contain a ton of corn syrup), and the consistency is smooth and easy to squeeze out of the bottle.
They offer three varieties: traditional gochujang and spicy gochujang ketchup, which are both vegan+gluten free and a spicy miso, which is vegan. I love them all, but my favorite is the spicy miso: the flavor is rich with an umami tang, the color is deep crimson, the heat level is mild to medium, and it has a perfect salt level that balances everything out.
I loved the spicy miso variety so much that I used it to create a gochujang glaze, and slathered it over some super crispy tofu that I created by double dredging it. If you’ve never tried this technique before, you should because it’s amazing! It produces a super-thick, super-crispy coating that this gochujang glaze clings to perfectly. And the inside? It’s super soft and succulent, creating a perfect ratio of crispy to soft. To finish it, I’ve added some crushed peanuts, along with fresh chopped scallions and sesame seeds for a little crunch. I had so much fun testing and perfecting this recipe, and am so excited to share it here with you!
Ready to whip up your own gochujang glaze to drench over this super-crispy tofu (or vegetables, rice or noodles)? Lucky for you, the nice folks over at Chung Jung One are offering a giveaway of their Spicy Miso Sauce to three readers through this post to help get you started!
The winners of this giveaway are Amy, Michelle and Jackie, congrats! Thanks to all who entered! 🙂
FOR THE TOFU
- 14 ounces package of firm tofu, sliced into 8 pieces
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 2 teaspoons coconut vinegar
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon white or black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- canola, grapeseed or vegetable oil, for frying
FOR THE GOCHUJANG GLAZE
- 1 TB toasted sesame oil
- 1 TB garlic, finely minced
- 1 TB ginger, finely minced
- 4 TB water
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup Chung Jung One brand Spicy Miso Gochujang Sauce
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 1/3 cup crushed peanuts
- 1 TB each of black and white sesame seeds
- Cut the tofu in half, then those halves into halves to make 4 slabs. Then cut each of those slabs in half to make 8 chunky cubes. Set aside.
- Whisk together the soymilk and coconut vinegar in a glass pyrex. Place the tofu cubes into the mixture and turn to coat.
- Combine the next 6 ingredients in another glass pyrex. Set aside.
- Next, make your gochujang glaze by warming the sesame oil over medium low heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Add in the garlic and ginger and allow to soften for 5-6 minutes. To keep it from browning but to allow it to soften, add a tablespoon of water every 2 minutes or so.
- Add in the brown sugar and stir until liquefied. Add the vinegar and gochujang and stir. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer and reduce for 20 minutes, stirring it as needed to prevent the bottom from burning. Remove from the heat. It will thicken slightly as it cools.
- Return to your tofu. Place several inches of oil into a heavy pot (I use a small cast iron pot) over medium-high heat for several minutes. You are ready to fry when the oil reaches 375 degrees or when a chopstick inserted into the oil forms bubbles around it immediately.
- Now you are going to double-dredge your tofu! Place the tofu into the flour mixture, coating well. Then give the tofu a quick but thorough dunk back into the soymilk, then coat it again well with the flour mixture. Working in batches, fry until golden all over, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain while you fry the rest of your tofu.
- To finish, gently toss the tofu with the gochujang glaze. Top with the scallions, crushed peanuts and sesame seeds. Serve immediately with the leftover glaze on the side.
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Chung Jung One. All opinions expressed here are honest and my own.