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Black Pepper tofu

Black Pepper Tofu or Intermission

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Chinese


This tofu cooked in black pepper sauce is amazing. And so easy to make!


Units Scale

1 3/4 lbs of firm tofu
vegetable oil for frying
cornstarch to dust the tofu
911 T butter
812 small shallots
8 fresh mild red chiles, thinly sliced
12 crushed garlic cloves
3 T chopped fresh ginger
3 T sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
3 T light soy sauce
2 T sugar (use brown for a more Vietnamese flavor)
5 T coarsely crushed black peppercorns (I would suggest no more than three)
16 small green onions, cut on the diagonal into 1” segments


Pour enough oil into a large frying pan or wok to come 1/4″ up the sides and heat.

Cut the tofu into 1″ cubes and dust with cornstarch. Shake off excess. Add to hot oil. (You will probably need to do this in batches.) Fry until they are golden all over and have a thin crust. Transfer them to a paper towel lined sheet.

Remove oil and sediment from pan. Melt the butter. (You can use less, but this helps create the sauce.)

Add the shallots, chilies, garlic and ginger and saute on low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the ingredients have turned shiny and are totally soft.

Add the soy sauces and sugar and stir, then add the crushed peppercorns. (OK. I admit to adding some Szechuan peppercorns, too.)

Add the tofu and warm it in the sauce for about one minute. Finally, stir in the green onions. Serve hot with steamed rice.


From Yotam Ottolenghi

Keywords: black pepper sauce, recipe for black pepper sauce, black pepper tofu, tofu recipes Chinese, easy tofu recipes