Black Pepper Tofu

I discovered this recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi’s book, Plenty. I don’t cook much tofu, but I really enjoy this dish. I adjusted the recipe slightly in my notes below. You can also modify for spiciness by adding or reducing the chiles and the black pepper. I served with steamed rice.


300 g firm organic tofu
Safflower oil for frying
Cornstarch to dust the tofu
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 medium thinly sliced shallots
2 dried chiles de árbol
6 crushed garlic cloves
1 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
3 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. Bragg liquid aminos
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. coarsely crushed black Malabar peppercorns
1 tbsp. coarsely crushed Szechuan peppercorns
6 small and thin green onions, cut into 1¼-inch segments

  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan.
  2. Cut the tofu into large cubes, about 1 x 1 inch. Toss in cornstarch and shake off the excess.
  3. Add the tofu to the hot oil. Fry, turning each piece around, until they are golden all over and have a thin crust. Transfer onto paper towels.
  4. Meanwhile, in a separate large frying pan or wok, melt butter and sauté the shallots, chiles, garlic and ginger on low to medium heat for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, until the ingredients have turned shiny and are totally soft. Add the soy sauce, Bragg liquid aminos and sugar and stir, then add the crushed peppercorns.
  5. Add the tofu to the sauce and warm for about a minute. Finally, stir in the green onions and serve.