I love salt and pepper tofu when we eat out, but previous experiments making it at home have not been all that successful. I thought I would try a more flavoursome flour coating, making it gluten free as well at the same time. This was delicious, and the quick dipping sauce I whipped up made it even better!
Everybody says you have to deep fry silken tofu or it falls apart, but if you are careful, you can shallow fry. You still have to use quite a lot of oil, but not as much as a deep fat fryer would use!
Large pack medium silken tofu (I used Woolworths Macro brand 500 g)
1/4 cup gluten free flour (I used Orgran All Purpose Plain Flour)
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 tablespoon Schezuan peppercorns, crushed in a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder that you keep especially for spices
1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
¼ cup rice bran oil
Garnish: finely sliced spring onions, crispy fried shallots (available in Asian supermarkets), fresh coriander sprigs
Place the tofu slab on a plate between two pieces of kitchen paper and with another plate on top. Put something heavy on the top plate to weigh it down. After 5 minutes or so, change the kitchen paper if it is soaked through. You may need to do this more than once.
Mix the flour, salt, crushed peppercorns and 5-spice powder in a small bowl.
Heat the rice bran oil in a frying pan.
Cut the tofu carefully into cubes, about 2 cm across. Dip each cube into the flour mix and roll around to coat, then place carefully into the hot oil. Don’t fiddle with it! You need to leave it to firm up on the bottom before you can, again very carefully, turn the cubes around to brown the other sides.
When they are brown and crispy, remove and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
Serve with garnishes and dipping sauce. We had it with vegetable fried rice and spicy eggplant – yum!
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
2 tabelspoons plum sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons tamari
Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.