Vegetarian Recipes Wiki
Black Pepper Tofu


This recipe is from Yotam Ottolenghi's vegetarian cookbook "Plenty". It was published in

  • Serves four.


  • 800 g firm tofu
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • cornflour, for dusting the tofu
  • 150 g butter
  • 12 shallots (350g), thinly sliced
  • 8 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
  • 12 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce (shoyu)
  • 4 tsp dark soy sauce (tamari)
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 5 tbsp black peppercorns, coarsely crushed (use a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder)
  • 16 small, thin spring onions, cut into 3cm segments


  1. Start with the tofu.
  2. Pour enough oil into a large frying pan or wok to come 5mm up the sides; heat up.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the tofu into large cubes, about 3cm x 2cm, toss them in cornflour and shake off any excess.
  4. Add the tofu to the hot oil in batches (so it doesn't stew) and fry, turning it around as you go, until golden all over and with a thin crust.
  5. As each batch is cooked, transfer the tofu pieces to kitchen paper.
  6. Remove the oil and any sediment from the pan, then add the butter.
  7. Once it has melted, add the shallots, chillies, garlic and ginger, and sauté on a low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients have turned shiny and are totally soft.
  8. Next, add the soy sauces and sugar, stir, then add the crushed black pepper.
  9. Add the tofu to warm it up in the sauce for about a minute, stir in the spring onions and serve hot, with steamed rice.