Eat the most iconic dish in Korea in sandwich and plant-based form!
Korean fried chicken is considered to be Korea’s most iconic dish. There is nothing to dislike about mouthwatering and crispy fried chicken, coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. The crispy coating and sauce are what complete the dish, so I feel that even if you don’t have chicken, you can use a plant-based alternative. Tofu is the most popular alternative for meat since it looks and feels somewhat similar. I previously used extra firm tofu to make a tofu cutlet sandwich, and I used that same tofu-pressing process to make today’s fried tofu. Additionally, this sandwich can be made gluten-free! The only gluten-containing product used are the bread buns, so please use a gluten-free bun as needed. It is also important to note that soy sauce contains gluten, so choose a gluten-free soy sauce as needed also.
Asian cuisine typically requires more ingredients than Western cuisine, so the ingredient list is slightly lengthier. Many of the spices/sauces are staples in East Asian cooking or they can be found in Asian supermarket stores and the international aisle of the grocery store. Some of the ingredients may seem unfamiliar so I have included a brief description of the ingredients. If you enjoy making Korean or East Asian food, you can use these ingredients in plenty of other dishes.
- Gochujang: A spicy fermented condiment made from chili powder. It is commonly used in Kimchi, Korean stews, and meat marinades.
- Gochugaru: The chili powder that is used in gochujang.
- Rice wine: Alcoholic beverage made from rice. Is not very sour and is subtle in flavor. Used commonly in braising of meats and the cooking of vegetables.
- Rice vinegar: Vinegar made from fermented rice. It is sweet and sour.
Korean Fried Tofu Sliders (Vegan + GF)
yield: 12 sliders
- 32 oz. extra firm tofu, pressed for at least 30 min. to release moisture. Can use chicken if not vegan/vegetarian.
- 2 tbsp. rice wine
- 3/4 c. potato starch or cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 3 tbsp. ketchup
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
- 2 tbsp. gochujang
- 1 tsp. red chili powder OR gochugaru (optional; for increase spiciness)
- 2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
- 3 tbsp. grated garlic
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 3 tbsp water OR more as needed to thin out sauce when cooking
- **After you cook the sauce, reserve about 2 tbsp of the sauce on the side**
- 12 Hawaiian rolls OR medium crossaint rolls (use gluten-free rolls if needed)
- 3/4 c. thinly sliced carrots
- 3/4 c. rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 c. thinly sliced vegan cheese
- 3/4 c. cilantro
- 2/3 c. vegan mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. of the tofu sauce (sauce that was reserved)
- white sesame seeds to top, optional
- In a jar of bowl, combine the thinly sliced carrots, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. sugar to make pickled carrots. Set aside.
- Press as much water out of the tofu for 30 min by placing a paper towel on the tofu and a relatively heave object (like a bowl) on top.Cut the tofu into triangular shapes or squares to mimic chicken nugget shapes.
- Heat frying oil to 350 F.
- While waiting for oil to heat, in a shallow dish, mix the potato starch, salt, black pepper, baking powder, and garlic powder together.
- Lightly dip the tofu in rice wine and coat the tofu completely with the potato starch mixture.
- When the oil is ready, drop the tofu cutlets into the frying oil and fry for about 3-5 min. Do not overcrowd the pan. Remove tofu and place on a paper towel and continue frying the rest of the tofu cutlets.
- In a separate saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients and whisk over low heat. The sauce will thicken quite a lot, so add water slowly as needed to thin it out. Be careful not to make the sauce to runny.
- Once the sauce boils, turn the heat off and remove it from the heat. Remove 2 tbsp of the sauce and place in a small bowl on the side.
- In the small bowl, add the vegan mayonnaise to the 2 tbsp. of sauce and combine to make a mayo spread for the sliders. Set aside.
- Toss the fried tofu in the sauce in the pan to coat.
- To assemble the sliders, lightly toast the rolls. Spread about 1 tsp. of the spicy mayonnaise on the rolls. Place 2 slices of the coated tofu cutlets in each sandwich and top with some of the pickled carrots, vegan cheese, and cilantro. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds for presentation!
This sandwich is insanely addicting and perfect for large meals or potlucks. They tofu tastes best on the day they are made so I do not recommend having leftovers as they will lose their crispiness. However, you may place it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and bake them later.
**Nutrition Facts is calculated using Hawaiian rolls and not croissants**