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Sweet & spicy fried tofu


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My Indian friends invited me over to celebrate Diwali in 2020. Each of us would wear our traditional clothes and bring a dish to enjoy together. At that time, I chose this “Sweet & spicy fried tofu”, because I knew that my friends loved spicy food so much. And of course, I wore my traditional clothes – Ao Dai.

Diwali at my Indian friends’ home

Sweet and spicy, and tofu, such an ideal snack to share!

I learnt this recipe from Maangchi’s Sweet and crunchy tofu. In her original recipe, the tofu was cut into 1×0.5×0.5 (in.) bite sized pieces, coated with potato starch and fried twice so that the tofu was crunchy. In my modified version, I cut the tofu into thin pieces (1x1x0.25 in.) so that I didn’t need to use much oil for frying and just fry them once. I didn’t have rice syrup so I replaced it with honey. Needless to say, the original recipe would be tastier, but my modified version is great for anyone having “problems” with frying. I found myself really lazy with frying stuffs because it was oil- and time-consuming so I would try my best to avoid that. Hopefully when I get a deep frying pot or an air fryer, I would be… less lazy! If you share the same concerns, then this recipe is for you!

Ingredients: (for 4 servings)


Total time: 1 hour
(Frying in my way really takes a lot of time, making sauce and coating only take 10 minutes! I had better get a deep-fry pot/pan)


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Sweet & spicy fried tofu

The sweet & spicy fried tofu is adapted from the “Sweet & crunchy tofu” and “Braised tofu” made by Maangchi. I made this on occasion of Diwali 2020 for my Indian friends.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Korean
Keyword spicy, tofu, vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Frying time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 400kcal


  • 2 packs Tofu extra firm
  • 1 cup Vegetable oil for frying
  • ¼ cup Honey ~60 mL
  • 3 tbsp Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) ~ 42.5 g
  • Spring onion for decoration, optional


  • Take out the tofu from the package and rinse with water. Pad dry with paper towel then cut into 1x1x0.25 (in.) thin pieces.
  • Preheat vegetable oil at medium heat and fry the tofu until golden brown on both sides. Remove the tofu pieces from the frying pan and place them in a plate with paper towel to get rid of the excess oil.
  • Pour the excess oil from the frying pan into a glass jar for further use so that the pan can be re-used for coating. Combine the gochujang and honey in the pan, stir on medium-high heat until homogenized and bubbling. Reduce heat to medium-low to prevent burning of the sauce yet still keep it hot till the end.
  • Add the fried tofu to the sauce and mix until the tofu is well coated by the sauce, i.e. all the pieces are reddish orange.
  • Top with chopped spring onion. From my experience, it can be served as snack or with lettuce wrap to help reduce the spicy taste.


  • Be careful when adding the tofu in hot oil to prevent splashing.
  • It would be great if we use deep fry pot/pan when frying and deep fry the tofu twice just like in original recipe.
  • The sauce is, indeed, super viscous. Try to stir vigorously to homogenize it and prevent it from burning.
  • To make this recipe vegan, replace honey with rice syrup.
  • Having a deep-fry pot/pan will help save a lot of time in this recipe.
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