Kalbi Style Baked Tofu + Pajeon {Scallion Pancake}

So this is how my crazy train of thought arrived at this recipe: I read an article about a photographer that was recreating death row prisoners “last meals”.Which then prompted me to think about what  I would want as my final meal. And the no-brainer answer is Kalbi. My K-peeps understand that Kalbi (Korean BBQ) is a taste that’s hard to give up. For me, it’s more about the marinade and less about the meat. Heck, everything will taste better after a swim in this marinade. It’s the perfect balance of savory-salty-sweet. I used the Hey Shuga organic cane syrup and really liked the flavor. Sometimes I blend in some grated Korean pear, but a lot of times I don’t have it and the marinade tastes just as amazing without it.

  • Perfect for portobellas before you pan fry or throw them on the grill
  • Use a reduced sodium soy sauce for the Kalbi marinade and try it on seitan
  • Marinate tempeh overnight and pan fry

The baked tofu will have a deep flavor and chewy texture. I like to slice the baked tofu thin for banh mi style sandwiches. For salads and stir fries, I prefer the tofu cubed up. And for a quick dinner, I enjoy a Kalbi tofu “steak” with pajeon, kimchi, rice and a salad.

Pajeon (Scallion Pancake) is a savory side dish that looks fancy shmancy but is quite easy to make. I use scallions, green onions, chives or other seasonal veggies from my garden. Dip pajeon into kochoojang sauce for a little heat and a spicy kick. This Pajeon recipe was adapted from Maangchi, the internet demi god of Korean cooking. I was surprised that her original recipe was actually vegan♡. When I tried it without the Vegg and baking soda, my pancake was a globby mess even though I used a non-stick pan. The results were perfect once I added baking soda and The Vegg – Vegan Egg Yolk gave it the flavor of the pajeon my grandma used to make. *Tip* I prepare the Vegg this way: I mix 2 tablespoons of dry Vegg mix with 1 cup water in a blender or food processor. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the Vegg (once it has been mixed with the water) for the pajeon batter. The Vegg must be mixed with water first.

Kalbi Style Baked Tofu + Pajeon {Scallion Pancake}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Enjoy this sweet & savory baked tofu sliced on sandwiches, cubed up in stir fries and salads or with pajeon, kimchi and rice.
Serves: 4 servings
  • For the Baked Tofu
  • 1 block firm or extra firm organic tofu,pressed
  • ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons organic liquid cane sugar syrup or agave nectar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger,minced
  • 3 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • optional-half Korean pear, grated. When using the pear, place all marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
  • For the scallion pancake
  • 15 thin green onions, cut into 5 inch pieces
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon miso
  • 2 tablespoons The Vegg,premixed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  1. For the Tofu
  2. Drain tofu.
  3. Remove excess water with a tofu press or wrap the block of tofu between two kitchen towels and place heavy books on top for about 20 minutes.
  4. Slice the tofu block in half so that each piece is about 1 inch thick.
  5. This process will allow the marinade to be easily absorbed.
  6. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.
  7. Adjust seasoning and add black pepper to taste.
  8. Place the tofu in a rimmed dish and pour the marinade on top.
  9. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 2 hours, overnight is best.
  10. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  11. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  12. Place tofu in the middle of the sheet and bake for one hour total.
  13. Flip the tofu over after 30 minutes to cook and brown evenly.
  14. Remove from oven and cool slightly before slicing.
  15. For the scallion pancake
  16. Mix together all the pancake ingredients (except the oil and green onions) to create the batter.
  17. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over high heat and place half of the scallions in even layer in a nonstick pan.
  18. Pour just enough batter over the scallions to cover them.
  19. Cook for about 2½ minutes, until the edges start to form bubbles.
  20. Flip the pancake, reduce heat to medium high and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  21. Repeat to make another pancake.
  22. Serve with gochujang sauce if you like it spicy.
  23. Please watch the video to master the technique.


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  1. Oh this looks so good. I love pajeon and of course often can’t find them vegan here in Korea. But mine just turned into the globby mess, I don’t know what I did wrong ☹ When you state “2 tbsp Vegg, premixed”, how much water did you use to premix that? By my math, 2 tbsp required 1 ½ cups of water. Maybe that was my mistake???

    • Aloha Angela,I’m sorry yours didn’t turn out on the first try. When I mix the Vegg, I use 1 cup water + 2 tablespoons dry Vegg mix. Then, I add only 2 tablespoons of the (now liquid) Vegg mix to the pajeon batter, so that it would be the equivalent of adding 2 egg yolks. Does that make sense?

  2. That totally makes sense, and totally explains it, thank you! Oops, no wonder I had a globby mess. Can’t wait to try again 🙂

  3. This made my day! Do you have any ideas for a veg version of Kimchi Jigae?

    • Aloha Jody, I’m so glad you liked it. I might try substituting bean curd threads for the pork belly…I’m thinking that would give a satisfying mouth feel. I will play with a recipe and post of video when it’s perfected.

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