This recipe is based on Yotam Ottolenghi’s Tofu in Black Pepper Sauce. I struggled to like tofu until I gave this recipe a go, and I’ve found it is the only way to prepare tofu that makes it not only edible, but delicious. The original recipe is super spicy, and calls for a lot more butter. Yotam Ottolenghi is obviously a genius, but a little less heat is perfect for me. This recipe is easy to double.
- A large packet of firm tofu. Not silk tofu which will be too soft, and not hard or pre-fried tofu, which will not give you the right texture that makes this dish so special.
- 1 cup of plain flour
- Salt and pepper
- 6 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced,
- 2 teaspoons of minced ginger, or grate a piece as big as your thumb.
- 3 hot chilies, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper
- Olive oil
- 50g butter
- 3 tablespoons of dark soy (Kecap manis)
- 3 tablespoons of regular soy
- A splash of Chinese cooking wine
- Cut the tofu into cubes about 2cm square. Mix the plain flour with a pinch of salt and pepper to make seasoned flour, then very gently toss the tofu in flour until all sides are coated. Use a flat plate and a light touch.
- Heat 1cm of olive oil in a saucepan, when it is hot add the tofu and fry on all sides until it is golden and crispy. This takes a bit of patience and careful handling, but it is worth it. Drain on paper towels.
- Clean the pan, then gently saute the spring onions, ginger, chili, pepper and garlic in olive oil and butter until softened.
- Add the soy sauces and cooking wine and mix in over heat.
- Add the tofu to the pan, turn gently so that it is coated in the sauce but doesn’t break up.
This is perfect as a side dish on a table of Asian inspired dishes, especially to a group of people who think they don’t like tofu and need to be converted. Enjoy! x