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Black pepper tofu


Tofu might seem bland and uninteresting to some but add some spices and condiments, and voila!  A whole different dish.  This is another Ottolenghi recipe, which brings fire and texture to a plain tofu dish.  It might not look appetising but don't be fooled by appearances.  This dish is amazing!








Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 120ml/1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying
  • 150g/ 5 Tbsp butter
  • 12 small shallots
  • 8 fresh red or green chillies (mild ones), thinly sliced
  • 12 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 45ml/ 3 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 45 ml/ 3 Tbsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 45 ml/ 3 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 60ml / 4 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 30ml/ 2 Tbsp caster sugar
  • A few generous pinches of coarse black pepper
  • 4-5 Tbsp of cornflour
  • 800g firm tofu, drained and cut into 2cm cubes



1. Pour the oil in a large frying pan.  Toss the tofu cubes in cornflour and shake off the excess, then add to the hot oil.  Fry, turning them until they are golden and have a thin crust.  Transfer the cubes onto kitchen towel.

2. Add butter to a clean frying pan and melt it.  Add the shallots, chillies, garlic and ginger.  Saute on a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The ingredients should turn shiny and soft.  

3. Add the soy sauces and sugar and stir.  Add the black pepper.

4. Add the tofu to the sauce and warm it up for about a minute.

5. Serve hot with steamed brown rice and steamed vegetables, such as broccoli.


Recipe taken from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi

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