Korean Tofu Tacos

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned my obsession with tacos. Hands down, the most enjoyment-worthy food I've ever eaten. Tacos are extremely popular among the Pacific Northwest - Washington, Oregon, and California. I like to judge a city based on its taco selection. Before moving to Seattle, unbeknownst to me that these tiny tacos were the epitome of a true culinary delight. My first discovery was in a tiny bar on the corner of a bustling street in Siem Reap Cambodia, eating fish tacos and drinking Angkor beer, immediately becoming my favorite food. I'm not sure if it was the comparison I made to white rice and vegetables, which I had been eating for many months prior, my recent emergence from Laos, surviving on a diet of sticky rice and wild leaves, but my mouth was in heaven, and my body feeling nourished. 

In Seattle, I have a few favorites. Pecado Bueno with their crispy cod, traditional crema, and an array of salsa and toppings to be explored. Pike Street Fish FryAnthony's Fish Bar, and at the top of my list, by a large margin, is Marination's tofu tacos.

I've been trying to recreate their tofu tacos, with the famous Nunya sauce, crispy tofu, and tangy slaw, for months. On Thursday, I did the unimaginable. Some may agree, some may not. My in-laws were the only ones who got to sample, and since they haven't tried Marination to compare, I am left with only my own opinion.

Gochujang, which is a fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, rice, fermented soybeans, and salt is a spicy red paste, and I speculate that it is the secret ingredient in the Nunya sauce.

I marinated the tofu in a few flavors, let it sit for 30 minutes. Fried it to crispy perfection. I prepared the Nunya sauce, the tangy slaw, then I grabbed a pack of corn tortillas and assembled the tacos. I do hope that you try this recipe. It has got to be one of my favorites. And I hope you can join me in my love affair with tacos.



makes 8 small tacos


1 - 14 oz package extra-firm tofu, drained and chopped (not silken)

1 clove garlic

1 tsp ginger

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tsp lime juice

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp Mirin

1/2 tsp Sriracha

1/4  - 1/2 cup water

2 tbsp canola oil for frying


1 clove garlic

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 tbsp gochujang

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp mirin

1 tsp lime juice

3 tbsp canola oil


2 cups shredded cabbage

1 tbsp mirin

1 tsp sugar

8 small corn tortillas

sesame seeds

In a food processor, add the garlic and ginger. Whiz until pureed. Next, add the soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, mirin, Sriracha, and 1/4 cup water. Pulse until combined. Drain the tofu and wrap in a towel to soak up the water. Cut the tofu into small bite size pieces. Place the tofu into a shallow bowl or baking dish. Drizzle the marinade over top, making sure that all of the tofu has been covered. If the tofu is not covered, add an addition 1/4 cup of water. Let the tofu sit for 30 minutes to marinade, tossing every 10 minutes. 

While the tofu is marinading, add the garlic and onions to the food processor. Whiz until pureed. Add the gochujang, mayo, sugar, mirin, lime juice, and canola oil. Pulse until smooth and liquid. Add more oil if needed. Set to the side. 

Place 2 tbsp of canola oil in a frying pan. Heat on medium. When the oil is hot, add the tofu with the marinade sauce. Fry for 10 minutes, flipping every once in a while, or until tofu becomes nice and crispy on the outside. 

In a small bowl, combine the mirin and sugar. Finely chop the cabbage, and then drizzle the mirin and sugar over top. Toss. 

Heat the corn tortillas in the microwave. Scoop a generous serving of tofu into the taco, top with tangy cabbage slaw, drizzle with the dressing, and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.