I know tofu can be a challenging ingredient to many people, but I defy anyone not to be totally converted to its delights after eating this fabulous dish. This is an adaptation of a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s fabulous veggie cook book ‘Plenty’. I think he describes it as a go-to crowd pleaser, and I have to agree. There is certainly NO WAY you could eat this dish and still think that tofu is bland, boring and best avoided. When I make it for the kids I seriously cut back the spices and pepper, and my version is already pared back from Ottolenghi’s original…. his is seriously hot, spicy and peppery. Try this and you’ll certainly come back for more.
Black Pepper Tofu (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)
- 800g firm tofu, drained and patted dry
- sunflower oil to shallow fry
- cornflour to coat the tofu (gives the crisp texture)
- 8 shallots, finely sliced
- 6 mild chillies, finely sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsps fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 3 tbsps balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsps light soy sauce
- 4 tbsps dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsps caster sugar
- 2-3 tbsps crushed black pepper
- 5 spring onions, finely sliced for decoration
– Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
– Cube the tofu and coat in cornflour. Cook in batches in the oil until golden and crispy all over (don’t overcrowd the pan as the tofu likes to stick together!)
– Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
– Wipe out the pan.
– Add some fresh oil along with the shallots, chillies, garlic and ginger. Saute until soft and slippery.
– Add the balsamic, soy sauces and sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
– Stir in the black pepper.
– Place the tofu back in the pan with the sauce and stir to combine and warm through.
– Serve over plain rice and garnished with the spring onion.