Emily's Black Pepper Tofu

I love this recipe from Ottolenghi’s amazing book Plenty.

Black Pepper Tofu


·800g firm tofu

Vegetable oil (for frying)

Cornflour (to dust the tofu)

150g butter

12 small shallots

4 fresh red chilies thinly sliced

6 garlic cloves

3tbsp chopped fresh ginger

7tbsp soy sauce

2tbsp caster sugar

1  tbsp. coarsely crushed black peppercorns

4 small and thin spring onions


  1. Pour enough oil into a large frying pan or wok to come 5mm up the sides and heat. Cut the tofu into large cubes, about 3 x 2cm. Toss them in some cornflour and shake off the excess, then add to the hot oil. Fry, turning them around as you go, until they are golden all over and have a thin crust. As they are cooked, transfer them onto kitchen paper.

  2. Remove the oil and any sediment from the pan, then put the butter inside and melt it. Add the shallots, chillies, garlic and ginger. Sauté on low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients have turned shiny and are totally soft. Next, add the soy sauces and sugar and stir, then add the crushed black pepper. 

  3. Add the tofu to warm it up in the sauce for about a minute. Finally, stir in the spring onions. Serve hot, with steamed rice.

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