There are versions of this spicy chili onion tofu dish in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, even Indian cuisine where tofu is usually substituted with paneer (bag cheese). As always, the recipe here is adapted to my taste, so adjust the chili/heat to your palate.
The spicy onion chili tofu comes together quickly and is a fine addition to a simple Bibimbap bowl, along with some braised or steamed greens and veggies, plus fried eggs.
Although this recipe uses fried tofu, if fresh block of firm tofu is all that's available, it is just a quick step to make crispy pan-fried tofu without all the oil and deep-frying. Simply press the block of fresh tofu to squeeze out excess water, cut into cubes, pat dry, and dust with seasoned corn starch (I typically add chili powder, garlic powder, and salt for flavor; plus a pinch of brown sugar for caramelization and color). Pan-fry on a medium hot cast iron skillet flipping to cook all sides till crisp on the outside.
12 to 16 oz. Fried tofu, cubed
1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
2 green chilies, chopped finely
1 Tbsp crushed garlic
1 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
For the Chili Sauce:
1 Tbsp fried chili in oil
1 Tbsp Sambal Oelek
2 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp finely grated ginger
¼ cup water
- Combine the chili sauce ingredients, stir well and keep handy
- Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions, chopped green chilies, crushed garlic, and brown sugar; saute over medium heat till onion caramelizes
- Add the chili sauce and simmer till it reduces a bit and thickens
- Stir in the tofu, cover and allow to simmer some more till the flavors are absorbed by the tofu and it gets a rich thick coating of the sauce all over
- Remove from heat, garnish with sesame seeds and chopped spring onions