Japanese Sweet Potatoes With Tofu and Gochujang Butter

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Crispy bits of tofu and a spicy-sweet gochujang butter turn nutty Japanese sweet potatoes into a fun, satisfying meal. This makes more gochujang butter than you need for this recipe, but you can use it on other roasted vegetables or as a sandwich condiment or spread for savory toast.

Make ahead: The gochujang butter can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Storage: Refrigerate the sweet potatoes, tofu and gochujang butter separately for up to 4 days.

Where to buy: Gochujang can be found at well-stocked supermarkets, Asian markets and online.


Servings: 4

  • 4 large Japanese sweet potatoes (about 12 ounces each)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil or other neutral vegetable oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • One (14- to 16-ounce) package extra-firm tofu
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted vegan butter, such as Miyoko’s brand
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup gochujang (see NOTE)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 to 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced


  1. Scrub the sweet potatoes and pierce each four to five times with a paring knife. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. Remove and use your hands to rub all over with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
  2. Transfer to an air fryer and cook at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fork-tender. (Alternatively, you can roast them in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fork-tender.)
  3. Meanwhile, pat the tofu dry and use your hands to crumble it into small pieces. (The smaller the pieces, the crispier the tofu will get.)
  4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil until it shimmers. Add the tofu and spread it evenly in the pan. Cook, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Scrape up and toss with a spatula, spread out evenly again, and repeat, pan-frying for 1 to 2 minutes at a time and then scraping and tossing. (Scrape up any bits that are sticking to the pan.) If the pan seems dry, add a little more peanut oil, as needed. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the tofu is deeply browned and crispy all over, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the salt and the black pepper. Taste, and season with more salt and/or pepper as needed. Remove from the heat.
  5. In a small bowl, use a fork to mash together the butter, gochujang and toasted sesame oil until fairly smooth.
  6. When the sweet potatoes are ready, divide them among serving plates and let cool for a few minutes. Slash them open. Divide the gochujang butter among them, top with the crispy tofu and scallions, drizzle with a little sesame oil and serve warm.
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About the Author: Jenny Kristy

Spice Seeker, Recipe Weaver, Nomad Chef |With a passport bursting with stamps and a pantry overflowing with global spices, Jenny Kristy isn't just a cook, she's a culinary nomad. Her travels fuel her passion, transforming exotic flavors into recipes that tantalize and transport. She weaves magic in her kitchen, sharing her adventures through meals that whisper of Marrakesh markets and Tuscan trattorias. From teaching sushi to whipping up Moroccan masterpieces, Jenny ignites wanderlust and connects cultures, one delicious bite at a time.

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