Spicy Korean Tofu Soup

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This Korean tofu soup is made with silken tofu and veggies in a spicy gochujang broth! Its comforting, healthy, and can be on the table in about 30 minutes.

I came up with this recipe on a cold day this winter when I was craving some spicy, nourishing soup. Korean food is always perfect for those kinds of days!

This soup is inspired by soondubu jigae, a delicious Korean tofu soup, but my version probably isn’t very authentic. Traditional Korean tofu soup includes an egg and potentially some meat or seafood. We’re keeping things vegan here.

My version is spicy and loaded with healthy veggies, all of which happen to cook pretty quickly. We’re also using silken tofu, which doesn’t get cooked at all aside from a brief simmer in broth. All of that makes this soup quick and easy to whip up!

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  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How It’s Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • More Vegan Korean Recipes
  • Spicy Korean Tofu Soup

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Peanut oil. Another neutral high-heat oil can be substituted if you’d like. Canola oil, vegetable oil, and avocado oil will all work.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Ginger.
  • Gochugaru. These Korean red pepper flakes may be available in the international section of your supermarket, or you may need to visit an Asian market. You could substitute with regular red pepper flakes if you’d like, or leave them out for a milder version of the soup.
  • Low sodium vegetable broth. I like to stick with low sodium broth because some of the other ingredients in this soup are quite salty. You can add salt or extra soy sauce when the soup is done cooking if you think it’s needed.
  • Gochujang. This is a spicy fermented Korean chili paste. It will add so much spicy and umami flavor to your soup, so don’t skip it. You may be able to find it at the supermarket (international aisle). If not, it can be found in Asian grocery stores.
  • Soy sauce. Tamari or liquid aminos will also work.
  • Rice vinegar.
  • Zucchini.
  • Shiitake mushrooms.
  • Fresh spinach.
  • Silken tofu. Choose firm silken tofu if it’s available. If not, use soft tofu. For that matter, feel free to substitute with pretty much any tofu texture if that’s your preference. Firm, extra-firm, and even super-firm tofu can be used, and optionally fried using this tofu frying method for an extra decadent version of this tofu soup.
  • Toasted sesame oil.
  • Sesame seeds.
  • Scallions. Also known as green onions.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Heat some oil in a pot and add diced onion. Sweat the onion for a few minutes, until it starts to soften up.
  • Add minced garlic, grated ginger, and gochugaru. Sauté everything briefly, just until the mixture becomes very fragrant.
  • Stir in the broth, gochujang, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sliced shiitake mushrooms, and zucchini. Bring the liquid to a boil and let it simmer until the mushrooms and zucchini are tender.
  • Finally, stir in the spinach and diced silken tofu. Let the soup simmer for just another minute or two, until the spinach wilts. Silken tofu is delicate, so be gentle when stirring.

Tip: You can vary the amount of gochujang based on how spicy you’d like your soup. If you’re not sure how much to use, start with less. You can always taste-test the soup and add more at the end.

  • Take the pot off of heat and stir some sesame oil into the soup. You can also adjust any other seasonings to suit your taste at this point — add salt to taste, more gochujang, soy sauce, or vinegar if needed.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and top it with some scallions and sesame seeds.

You can serve your Korean tofu soup alone, or with some sides like cooked rice or vegan kimchi.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover tofu soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

I don’t recommend freezing this soup, as freezing can alter the texture of tofu.

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