Halloween is sneaking up fast, and I’m afraid that I have very few Halloween specific recipes to point you to. But, with its blood-red sauce, I do think my easy Korean BBQ Tofu might just about pass muster as scary food – certainly if you are as messy as me. I plan on eating this on All Hallow’s Eve, answering the door to unsuspecting trick or treaters with the sticky vermillion remnants on my face. Instant zombie costume!
I make no claims that this is in any way authentic. It is not intended to be. Hence the (ish) in the title. But this vegan weekday kind of recipe is delicious, using Korean-style ingredients easily available to most of us.
What is Korean BBQ?
Korean BBQ is meat-based and not barbecue as we in the West typically know it. Instead it is traditionally a tender cut of meat thinly sliced and fried up in a savoury-sweet sauce with a few vegetables of choice. So, not at all like this!
I have created a Korean-inspired sweet, savoury and spicy sauce to coat the tofu and pop straight into the oven (on a sheet pan of course). You could fry it up on the stovetop if you wish. Or even keep it chunky to thread on skewers and cook to stripey perfection on a griddle pan or actual BBQ grill. But this recipe is all about ease for midweek dinner. Anything that goes on a sheet pan and straight into a bun automatically goes to the top of my weekday dinner menu.
Sheet Pan Korean BBQ Tofu Ingredients
Best quality, organic (non-GMO natch) tofu is key.
Two onions, red or brown.
Gochujang, the ubiquitous Korean red pepper paste. It is super easy to make yourself, but buy it if you wish to keep the prep to a minimum. I do highly recommend making your own. Here is my Food To Glow recipe for Gochujang.
Brown sugar, to balance the spice. You can use maple syrup or honey if you wish
Fresh ginger and garlic, to add depth of flavour and extra nutrition
Turmeric, not an authentic ingredient but I am always keen to add this amazing food into recipes where it will either enhance the flavour or not be dominant.
Sesame oil, black pepper (enhances our absorption of the turmeric), vinegar and smoked paprika round out the sauce line-up.
How to serve Korean BBQ Tofu
These are fab in brioche style buns, but they would also be great in wraps or on a pile of fluffy rice. I am thinking leftovers would be awesome in a baked sweet potato too.The Sesame-Lime Slaw is fresh and zingy, contrasting well with the cooked tofu. I always like to have something raw if having something cooked. And now that it is FREEZING cooked food is a given. No cold sandwiches or salads for us until May!
4 Simple Steps to Korean BBQ Tofu
1) Gather the sauce ingredients and pop them in a medium, wide mixing bowl. Whisk or stir until you get a smooth terracotta-red sauce. Add in the cubed tofu and the onion wedges, gently mixing until well coated.
2) Pour the mixture onto a large sheet pan – use baking parchment or oil the pan – and pop in the oven until browned – about 20 minutes.
3) While the tofu is cooking, make the slaw by whisking the non-vegetable ingredients and pouring onto the shredded carrot and cabbage, tossing well. Add in the sesame seeds for extra toasty taste and crunch.
4) Warm the optional bread rolls in the oven during the last five minutes of tofu cooking then spoon the tofu into the warm bread and top with loads of slaw. Spritz with extra lime if you wish. That’s it!
**Remember to follow me on Pinterest and, if you make my Sheet Pan Korean BBQ Tofu, click on the pin at the bottom and leave a photo of your make with a comment telling me what you think, or any awesome changes that you made. Similarly, any Instagram posts tagged @food_to_glow using my recipes will go on my Story if I see them. I’m always so proud when you share my recipes with the world. Yay!!!
Sheet Pan Korean BBQ Tofu
Easy sheetpan shortcut to vegan Korean BBQ Tofu with sesame lime slaw
Korean BBQ Sauce
- 2 tbsp gochujang Korean red chilli paste
- 2 tbsp brown sugar or dark raw sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2 tsp grated garlic
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp grated fresh turmeric or dried ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 200 grams organic tofu gently pressed of liquid
- 2 onions sliced into wedges
- 4 hot dog rolls/buns best quality; optional
- 2 tbsp crispy onion pieces optional
Sesame Lime Slaw
- 1/2 Napa cabbage/Chinese cabbage thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots shredded
- handful chopped coriander/cilantro
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp sriracha sauce optional, for heat lovers
Mix together the Korean BBQ sauce ingredients.
Dice the tofu into bite-sized pieces. Toss the tofu and onion wedges in the BBQ sauce and lay in an even layer on a baking tray - lined or oiled if you wish. Bake in a 200C/400F oven for 20 minutes, or until the onions are cooked and browned in places.
While the tofu is roasting, add the cabbage, carrots and coriander/cilantro to a bowl. Add the lime juice, vinegar, ginger and sesame oil to a small jug and whisk. Toss this through the vegetables and mix in the sesame seeds.
Split the buns if using and add to the oven for the last five minutes. Spoon the tofu into the warmed rolls and top with slaw and crispy onions
To make this on a griddle pan, keep the tofu and onions chunky enough to thread on skewers. Heat your ridged griddle pan on medium high, brush with a small amount of vegetable oil (silicone brushes are great for this task) and lay on the skewers. Turn as the ingredients brown in patches.
For a barbecue grill version, follow manufacturer's instructions for vegetable grilling in a vented grill pan.
This recipe is best warm. Leftovers are easily warmed in a hot pan or microwave.
RIPE FOR PINNING!