I posted this recipe a few months back, and I’m re-posting because I made it last night and was quite taken by how unbelievably delicious this is. How could I have forgotten? (Am I being immodest?)
This dish is sweet and spicy, and it’s made its way into my list of favorite dinners, hell (!), foods. The soy sauce, butter, and pinch of sugar create a rich sauce that’s flavored with shallots, ginger, and eight cloves of garlic.
It’s slightly more labor-intensive than most dinners I make, but it’s totally worth it. (Buy a garlic press if you don’t have one. It’ll save you some trouble; plus, I think they’re fun to use.)
My boyfriend said this is the best tofu dish he’s ever had, and I think I may agree, save for Tamarind Tree’s Lemongrass Tofu. I just checked the fridge hoping for leftovers but none in sight! Enjoy!!
Black Pepper Tofu
Serves 3 generously
Adapted (AKA “healthified) from Lottie + Doof
600 grams extra firm tofu, pressed
All purpose flour
Vegetable or olive oil
3″ piece ginger, chopped finely
1 serano chili, seeds removed, sliced thinly
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2 large)
8 large garlic cloves, minced
3-4 Tbl unsalted butter
2 Tbl peppercorns, coarsely crushed
3 Tbl tamari (strongly flavored soy sauce)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp caster sugar (superfine sugar)
10 thin scallions, chopped into 1/2″ segments
Jasmine or brown rice, for serving
Cut the tofu into 1/2″ blocks and toss them in flour, shaking off the excess. Pour enough oil into a nonstick frying pan to create a shallow coat, and bring up to frying heat. Cook the tofu in batches in the oil, turning the pieces as you go. Once they are golden all around, and have a thin crust, transfer to a paper towel to drain excess oil.
Remove the oil and any sediment from the pan, and add the butter. Once it has melted, add the shallots, chillies, garlic and ginger, and sauté for about 15 minutes on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the contents of the pan are shiny and totally soft. While you wait, crush the peppercorns, using a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder. They should be quite coarse.
When the shallots and chillies are soft, add the soy sauces and the sugar, stir; then stir in the crushed pepper. Warm the tofu in the sauce for about a minute, then add the spring onion and stir through. Serve hot with steamed rice and a side of vegetables.