Crispy salt and pepper tofu with garlic, chilli and spring onion


I understand that tofu is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you’ve had it before and hated it, vowing to never try that slippery, bland, weird textured piece of I don’t even know what again, then please, please try this dish and it will completely change your mind!!!

If there is ever an example of this, then please take my husband. An absolute meat eater but honestly now loves it, ordering it whenever we eat out and asking for me to cook this often! So if he likes it, then I’m sure you will to!

So it’s not the healthiest way to cook it (sorry!) but this Chinese classic is absolutely delicious and is so moreish. Try it this weekend for your Saturday night ‘fakeaway’!

Enjoy this one, because I LOVE it!


Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main)

1 pack of fresh, firm tofu (around 300-400 grams)

1/2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

2 red chillis, sliced – leave the seeds in 😉

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 spring onions (plus one more for garnish), sliced

1 white onion, cut into chunks

1/2 tsp salt

1-2 tsp freshly ground black pepper – the more you use the spicier it is

1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice

1 tsp sugar

5 tbsp cornflour (might need more)

500ml vegetable oil

First thing is to prep your tofu by removing as much water as you can. Firm tofu should be ok to use as is, but it’s best to take precautions since we are frying it.

Wrap the tofu well in kitchen roll and put a heavy chopping board on top, leaving it for about 15-30 minutes to remove the water.

Cut your tofu into bite sized chunks and then gently mix with the soy sauce and sesame oil, then leave to marinate for as long as you have, but for at least 15 minutes.

Mix together the salt, black pepper, sugar and five spice in a small bowl, then leave to one side.

Heat up your oil in a pan that is suitable for frying.

Pour the cornflour out onto a plate, season with salt and pepper, then coat each piece of marinaded tofu in the cornflour. Fry the tofu in batches until crispy and brown; It should be hard and firm on the outside, but will remain soft and fluffy inside. Drain on kitchen paper and leave to one side.

Next, heat a little of the frying oil in a frying pan and stir fry the chilli, garlic, spring onions and white onion for a few minutes. Add in the tofu pieces, then pour the salt, pepper, five spice and sugar mix. Stir well to coat everything well.

Serve with an extra garnish of chopped spring onions, along with some sweet chilli sauce.

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