Steamed Soft Tofu with Soy Chili Sauce

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Quick Korean style steamed soft tofu is dressed with slightly spicy soy chili sauce. You can either steam, boil or microwave to cook tofu. It takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish.

When I was hospitalized after my surgery in Korea this past summer, I had to live with hospital foods for a few days. This Korean steamed soft tofu with soy chili sauce was the best food I had there.

Maybe because of all the trauma I had to go through, I lost my appetite a big time. I am not a picky eater. I usually eat everything served in front of my nose.

But for some reason I just couldn’t eat anything in the hospital. I lost 10 lbs in 10 days. (unfortunately I gained all back plus a little extra now as I am recovering… urgh!!!)

The nurse and the meal serving staff were quite unhappy to see hardly eaten meal on my tray. I don’t think there was anything wrong with the food. It’s just nothing tasted the same as they should.

However, there was one dish that I ate without fussing much. It was this steamed soft tofu with soy chili sauce. It was comforting and I could actually taste the flavor of the sauce and be able to swallow it down. I emptied out the dish with some rice and it certainly made me feel a little better.

Unfortunately, soft tofu, aka silken tofu (연두부, yeon-dubu ), doesn’t have much flavor itself. Which means you can add any flavor you like to turn this amazing plant based protein food into any savory dish or even a dessert.

Steamed Soft Tofu Cooking Instructions

This recipe is very easy and simple to make, and it can be made within 10 minutes of time. I used hot water steaming method to enjoy my tofu warm but you can certainly eat cold right out of fridge.

Here is a block of soft tofu (or silken tofu).

I dumped the whole package in the simmering water over low heat and hot bathed it for 4-6 minutes.

If you are concerned about putting plastic in hot water, use following steps. Take the tofu out of package, place it in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes. You can also steam the tofu. To do so, put tofu in a bowl and place in a double boiler. Cover and let it boil for 4-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine soy sauce, Korean soy sauce for soup, sesame oil, sesame seeds and some chopped green onion, and a little water in a small mixing bowl. Add a little bit of Koran chili flakes to the mixture.

That’s it. You are done cooking.

Cut one side of package top and drain all the liquid. Be cautious! It will be hot.

Turn tofu block onto cutting board and slice into 2-4 sections depends on the serving size you desire.

Place the tofu piece on a serving plate and drizzle the sauce over. And you got one of the easiest Korean side dish to impress.

It is flavorful, healthy, vegan, and gluten-free (if using gluten-free soy sauce). You can eat as is, which I often do, or serve it with some rice.

Check out more Korean Side Dishes. Some of my favorite tofu recipes are:

  • Tofu and Tomato Eggs
  • Watercress Tofu Salad
  • Pan Fried Tofu (Dubu buchim)

Steamed Soft Tofu with Soy Chili Sauce

Holly Ford

Quick Korean style soft tofu with soy chili sauce. A package of soft tofu is boiled in water until heated. Alternately, you can microwave the tofu. This classic Korean side dish takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish.

5 from 2 votes

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Korean

Servings 4





  • Bring a pot of water to simmer over low heat. Add the unopened tofu package in the pot and let it simmer for 4-6 minutes to heat up.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Take the tofu package out of simmering water and open one side of package top to drain all the liquid inside. (Be cautious! The liquid will be hot)
  • Open up the tofu package and turn the tofu onto the cutting board. Cut it into 2-4 sections and place on the serving plate. Drizzle the sauce over and serve warm.


If you are concerned about putting plastic in hot water, take the tofu out of package, place it in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes.


Serving: 2g

Keyword banchan, korean soft tofu, silken tofu, soft tofu, soy chili sauce, tofu, tofu side dish
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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