Korean fried chicken is all the rage right now, so we figured why not vegan Korean fried chicken! So putting on our recipe thinking caps, we came up with a recipe for gluten-free vegan Korean fried chicken that we think you are going to love (we know that we do)!
The secret to Korean fried chicken is in the sauce, and the secret in the sauce is Gochujang paste. Gochujang paste is technically a chili paste, but it is so much more, it is an alchemic blend of sweet, savory, and spicy that is unique to Gochujang paste. According to the Chefs Society, the use of Gochujang in Korean cuisine “can be dated back to the 16th or early 17th century. The popularity of the red chili paste quickly spread throughout the country, its uses becoming diverse, as it was used to add spiciness not only to cooked dishes but also to other Jangs such as Doenjang and Ganjang.”
Happily, while Gochujang pastes may contain non-vegan ingredients (such as fish), or may have ingredients that have been contaminated with gluten, Siempo brand makes a gluten-free vegan Gochujang paste!
The foundation (i.e. the ‘chicken’) for our vegan Korean fried chicken is our Best 1-Ingredient Vegan Wings recipe, which takes one package of water-packed tofu, twice-frozen and twice-thawed. If you are not familiar with the miracle of what happens when you freeze and thaw water-packed tofu not once, but twice (it has to be twice) well, prepare to be amazed. And we do mean amazed! There is something about freezing and thawing that tofu twice that completely changes the texture of the tofu, and you can tear it into chicken-like pieces that have a chicken-like texture and consistency. In fact, when served dishes made with twice frozen, twice thawed tofu for the first time, most people can’t identify it as tofu as all! It’s very chicken-like and very untofu-like!
Here’s the recipe, if you make it please let us know how you liked it!
Vegan Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
1 recipe Best Vegan Wings
4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) Gochujang
4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) ketchup
3 Tablespoons agave
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons liquid aminos, tamari, or soy sauce
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
Sliced green onion
Prepare the tofu (this will be the chicken for your Korean fried chicken) according to the directions here. (NOTE: We bake the ‘chicken’ and it comes out perfectly for this, but if you want to actually fry it feel free to experiment with that.)
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan, and gently heat it over low to medium heat, whisking or stirring occasionally, until the brown sugar has dissolved and is mixed in.
Place the ‘chicken’ in a deep bowl, pour the sauce over the ‘chicken’, and gently mix until all of the ‘chicken’ is coated or serve with the sauce on the side. Garnish as desired with any or all of peanuts, sesame seeds, and sliced green onion.
The Happy Gluten-Free Vegan is always free, always reader-supported. Your tips via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal are appreciated. Receipts will come from ISIPP.
Note: Some Amazon links on this site earn us a small commission. But it's really tiny. Seriously. Like less than $9 a month.
3 thoughts on “Vegan Korean Fried Chicken Recipe”
I used to use soy tofu, but quit with soy several years ago. I really miss the texture change it takes on when frozen and thawed. I tried freezing Pumfu, chickpea tofu, and hemp seed tofu, all store bought. None turned spongy or porous. Pumfu stayed solid. Chickpea was mushy. It was good scrambled with veggies and herbs. Hemp was crumbly and I made a pate, and an eggless salad.
I cannot do soy
Would this work with Pumfu instead?
Hi Krista! We have never worked with the Pumfu, so we honestly don’t know. Certainly the sauce can go on any mock chicken though, so the sauce part would be fine, we’re just not sure how the Pumfu would hold up to being frozen and thawed, or baking.