What is it about Tofu!
Bland?, never, boring?, never, hippy food?, never, or at least not when you prepare it this way.
Spicy, sweet, hot, sour, salty, chewy, it’s got it all
Black Pepper Tofu
A large packet of firm tofu, 900 grams feeds three hungry people
Vegetable oil for frying
Cornstarch to dust the tofu
Butter or some kind of frying medium, we used canola spread
12 small shallots , thinly sliced
8 fresh red chillies , thinly sliced
12 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
3 tbsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar, either white or palm
5 tbsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns (use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder)
16 small and thin green onions, cut into 2cm segments.
Start with the tofu.
Pour enough oil into a large frying pan or wok to come 2 cms up the sides and heat.
Cut the tofu into large cubes, about 2 cms square. Toss them in some cornstarch and shake off the excess, then add to the hot oil. (You’ll need to fry the tofu pieces in a few batches so they don’t stew in the pan.) Fry, turning them around as you go, until they are golden all over and have a thin crust. As they are cooked, transfer them onto paper towels to drain.
Remove the oil and any sediment from the pan, then put the butter/canola inside and melt it.
Add the shallots, chilles, garlic and ginger. Sauté on low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients have turned shiny and are totally soft.
Next, add the soy sauces and sugar and stir, then add the crushed black pepper.
Add the tofu to warm it up in the sauce for about a minute. Finally, stir in the green onions.
Serve hot, with steamed rice.