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Spicy Gochujang Tofu Bowl (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

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If you want to turn a non-tofu lover into a believer, crumble it up! This vegan Spicy Gochujang Tofu Bowl is loaded with protein, veggies, and tons of flavor!

Spicy Gochujang Tofu Bowls

Spicy Gochujang Tofu Bowl

Often, the texture of tofu turns people away. However, when crumbled into ground meat-sized pieces, it becomes a perfect canvas for any flavor combo you desire – like with this Mexican-inspired version of Tofu Tacos with Potatoes and Poblanos. The raw cabbage and carrot slaw perfectly complements the spice perfect in this Korean-inspired tofu bowl. More meatless dinner ideas, try these Spicy Sriracha Tofu Rice Bowls and this Kung Pao Tofu if you’re interested in cooking more with tofu.

Tofu Rice Bowl Ingredients

What is gochujang paste made of?

I love the sweet and spicy flavor of Gochujang, a spicy Korean chili paste made of chili peppers, fermented soybeans, rice, and salt. Here it gives the tofu crumbles a sweet, spicy, umami kick, which is balanced out with a fresh mix of shredded cabbage and carrots dressed in a tangy sesame dressing. I added brown rice to round out the meal.

Gochujang Tofu Bowl Ingredients

  • Tofu: I used extra firm tofu, but firm will work too.
  • Sauce: Gochujang, soy sauce, and rice vinegar
  • Ginger: Grate a teaspoon of fresh ginger.
  • Garlic: Mince two cloves of garlic.
  • Coleslaw: Rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, salt, tricolor coleslaw mix, scallions
  • Rice: You’ll need one cup of cooked brown rice.
  • Lime Wedges for serving

How do you squeeze water from tofu?

You must squeeze out all the liquid to ensure your tofu isn’t soggy or watery. Place the tofu on a plate lined with a paper towel or tea towel. Cover it with another towel, and place a heavy pan on top to press out the excess water.

How to Make Tofu Bowls

  • Prep the Tofu: After pressing out the liquid from the tofu, crumble it into pieces the size of ground meat.
  • Tofu Sauce: Whisk the gochujang with soy sauce and a tablespoon of vinegar.
  • Cook the Tofu: Add sesame oil to a large skillet set on medium-high heat. Sauté the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds, and then add the tofu. Cook it for five minutes, pour in the gochujang sauce, and cook for another five minutes.
  • Slaw: Mix all the coleslaw ingredients together.
  • Serve: Divide the rice into two bowls, and top them with slaw, tofu, and scallions.

How to Meal Prep

Store each tofu bowl in an airtight container 4 days in the refrigerator. If you’re packing them for lunch, store the tofu and rice in one container and microwave until warm. Put the slaw in another container and add to the bowl before eating.

Tofu Bowl Variations:

  • Protein: If you prefer meat, sub the tofu for ground chicken or turkey. 
  • What can I use instead of gochujang? Sriracha is a good substitute for gochujang.
  • Rice: Feel free to use whatever you want for the base, like quinoa, soba noodles, or rice noodles. If you are eating low-carb, swap the rice for cauliflower rice or extra shredded veggies.
  • Slaw: Feel free to make your own slaw with green and red cabbage and carrots if you don’t want to buy it premade.
  • Vegetables: If you want more nutrition, add some broccoli, zucchini, or bell pepper.
Tofu Rice Bowl with veggies and lime
Tofu Rice Bowls with veggies

More Healthy Bowl Recipes You’ll Love

Spicy Gochujang Tofu Bowls (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

4.86 from 14 votes
If you want to turn a non-tofu lover into a believer, crumble it up. These vegan Spicy Gochujang Tofu Bowls are loaded with protein, veggies, and tons of flavor!
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Meal Prep
Cuisine: Korean
Tofu Rice Bowls with veggies
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Yield: 2 servings
Serving Size: 1 bowl


  • 1 14-ounce package extra firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons Gochujang
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups tri-color coleslaw mix, red and green cabbage and carrots
  • 2 scallions, chopped, white and green separated
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • lime wedges, for serving


  • Place tofu on a paper towel or tea towel lined plate.  Cover with another towel and place a heavy pan on top to press out excess water from tofu.
  • Crumble the tofu into small bowl with your fingers into small (ground meat-size) pieces. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the Gochujang with the soy sauce and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon of the sesame oil, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 30 seconds.  Add the crumbled tofu and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until some of the pieces just start to brown.
  • Add the gochujang sauce and mix to evenly coat. Cook an additional 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until the pieces brown a little on the edges.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the slaw: In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 teaspoons sesame oil and 1 teaspoon honey with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk to combine until smooth and combined.  Add the coleslaw mix and scallion whites and toss to evenly coat with dressing.
  • Divide the rice into 2 medium serving bowls.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups slaw and 1 cup tofu to each bowl. Top each with scallion greens and serve immediately.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 bowl, Calories: 473 kcal, Carbohydrates: 50 g, Protein: 26 g, Fat: 19 g, Saturated Fat: 2.5 g, Sodium: 942 mg, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 17 g


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28 comments on “Spicy Gochujang Tofu Bowl (Vegan, Gluten-Free)”

  1. Avatar photo
    Steohanie Mattei

    LOVE this recipe!!!!! I didn’t have Gochujang so used chili garlic sauce instead. EVERYONE loves it and there is NEVER any left!!!

  2. I very rarely make a recipe as written, but I did for this one and it is FANTASTIC! I will make this again and again.

  3. This was delicious! I doubled the recipe and made it for lunch for the week. It reheated nicely and the slaw was still nice and crisp even at the end of the week. It was very easy to make and the flavors are outstanding! I’ll definitely keep it in the rotation.

  4. Got worried as I was cooking my tofu and it didn’t seem to brown at all. But once I put everything together-it was amazing. And really easy, which is a nice plus.

  5. I never cooked or ate tofu. First time with this recipe during lent and I loved it! Always a hit following Gina’s recipes!

  6. This was OUTSTANDING! Used pre-made bagged coleslaw and made it exactly as written except that I dressed the slaw before about and hour before I started cooking the tofu. Added shrimp for my husband. Next time will try with some scrambled egg thrown in. This will go in the rotation … thanks Gina for another wonderful recipe.

  7. Avatar photo
    Andrea Gonzmart Williams

    I made this last night, but with ground chicken and it was delicious!! I added diced carrots, celery and water chestnuts and it was amazing!! Perfect for making lettuce wraps. Slaw was tasty (but omitted the honey), did some marinated cucumbers and slice avocado…. On top brown rice (family did ramen), it was a beautiful and tasty bowl. Definitely making again!!!

  8. I just made this with small modifications and it was delicious! I left the tofu somewhat moist and didn’t necessarily brown it, and I added edamame, a fried egg, and sesame seeds! Also I just used lettuce w/o the dressing.

  9. For subbing out tofu for ground turkey – how much ground turkey should I include in the recipe? (p.s. love your recipes)

  10. Is it possible to separate out the points on this dish? I calculate the tofu by itself as 2.5 pts/serving , the slaw as 2.5 pts/serving and the rice as 3 pts/serving. Is that correct?

  11. The sauces were easy, quick & so flavourful. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal, the coleslaw stayed crunchy with the dressing added overnight, amazing for leftovers and lunches the next day. Will definitely add to the weeknight rotation. Would also be great with ground chicken or turkey.

  12. Avatar photo
    Kathleen Ressler

    This turned out to be lacking in sauce, and I also could not get the tofu to brown. It tasted good, though, and we added Sriracha to compensate for the dryness. I think I prefer the tofu recipe with Sambal oelek.
    Any suggestions on browning the tofu?

    1. I’m a vegetarian and cook lots of tofu. What I would do is cook the tofu in the oven.
      Heat your oven to 400F with your oven rack in the middle position and line a baking sheet with parchment. Press the water out of the tofu. Meanwhile, whisk together the gochujang and soy sauce in a medium mixing bowl. Then, crumble the pressed tofu into the mixing bowl with the gochujang and soy sauce. Mix the crumbled tofu with the marinade until it is well combined.
      Pour your tofu mix onto the prepared baking sheet and distribute it into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then mix it around and bake for another 10 minutes. Mix it around again and check it to see if it’s crispy to your liking. You can cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, but keep an eye on it as it can burn easily at this point, depending on your oven.

      1. Addendum: Mix together all the ingredients for seasoning the tofu together in a medium bowl, and then add the crumbled tofu to that before baking.

  13. I usually reserve 5 stars for restaurant quality but this is so good it deserves 5 stars. Korean restaurant? 😉 I bought the slaw already prepped which was a huge time saver. I dressed it 2-3 hours ahead —recommended.
    This is a perfect pairing of spicy with fresh relief from the slaw. I don’t think the tofu would be as good without the slaw. But I do think you could make this delicious Asian slaw to go along with other dishes. It’s got a great flavor. Another winner! Thank you, Gina.

  14. So good! Only a little more time (and chopping) than I usually take for a lunch, but the results were worth it! Rave reviews from family!

  15. I made this with turkey and it was so good! It was a hit with the grown members of the family, not really the kids.