Black Pepper Tofu

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


The recipe for this spicy, fried bean curd comes from Plenty (Chronicle Books, 2011) by Yotam Ottolenghi. This recipe first appeared in our December 2011 issue along with our cookbook roundup Readable Feast.


  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 1 34 lb. firm tofu, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 12 cup cornstarch
  • 11 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped ginger
  • 12 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 12 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 red serrano chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 5 tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. kecap manis (sweet soy sauce; available at
  • 3 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 4 tsp. dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 16 small scallions, cut into 1 1/4″ pieces
  • Cooked white rice, for serving


Step 1

Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Toss tofu and cornstarch in a bowl until evenly coated. Fry tofu until browned all over, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside; discard oil, and wipe skillet clean. Return skillet to medium heat with butter. Add ginger, shallots, garlic, and chiles; cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in pepper, soy sauces, and sugar. Return tofu to skillet; cook, stirring, until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Stir in scallions; serve over rice.

Want More Saveur?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.