It has been too hot to even grill so I needed quick meals that didn’t heat up the kitchen too much this week. I have also been trying to incorporate vegetarian meals as meat can be expensive, even though we have small portions of meat. It does add up! My husband is very lukewarm when it comes to tofu so I try to make dishes that have loads of flavour. I saw several different recipes for Black Pepper Tofu and decided to come up with one myself.
I can’t complain too much about the heat, the rest of the states are getting pummeled by unyielding heat at the moment. Hopefully it will break soon and there will be relief.
Technique for Black Pepper Tofu
This meal takes about 20 minutes to make, just prep the tofu about 1/2 hour before hand. You don’t want the tofu wet otherwise it won’t crisp up.
Cube the tofu and place between paper towels/kitchen roll. Press and set aside.
Add the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir frequently. Simmer on low while the rest of the dish is cooked.
Dredge the tofu cubes in corn starch/corn flour and tap the excess off. In a large skillet, heat up the peanut oil.
Cook each side until the tofu is crispy and golden. Remove the tofu from the skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towel/kitchen roll. Set that aside. Add more peanut oil if need be to the skillet. If there are allergies to consider, vegetable oil will work just as well. Start cooking the udon noodles at this point.
Sautè the mushrooms until they start browning and then add the scallions. When the noodles are cooked add them to the skillet. I don’t drain the noodles but rather I use tongs to transfer the noodles as some of the cooking water comes along for the ride. This helps thicken the sauce a bit.
Add the tofu back into the skillet to make sure they are warm. When the noodles are cooked add them to the skillet. I don’t drain the noodles but rather I use tongs to transfer the noodles as some of the cooking water comes along for the ride. This helps thicken the sauce a bit. Add the sauce that has been simmering and reducing a bit at a time to the skillet. You don’t want to flood the dish but you want to make sure all the ingredients are well coated with the sauce.
I really enjoyed the punch of the black pepper with the ginger. Having leftovers the next day, the mushroom flavour really came through. Even though this wasn’t a heavy dish which we don’t want in the height of summer, it would be a very warming dish when needed.
Black Pepper Tofu
A easy vegetarian dish that is packed with great flavours of ginger and black pepper.
- 1 packet of udon noodles
- 15 oz extra firm tofu
- 2 tbsp corn starch/corn flour
- 1/2 cup soy sauce/amino acids 4oz
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar 4oz
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp minced ginger
- 2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 2 spring onions/scallions, chopped
- 6-8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
Drain the tofu for about half an hour. Then cube it and press between paper towel/kitchen roll. You don't need to press hard but you want the paper towel to soak up the moisture.
Put the soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and black pepper in a small saucepan. Simmer until it reduces about a third.
Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet. Dredge the tofu in the corn starch/corn flour. Tap the excess off and place in the skillet. Cook until both sides are golden and crispy. Remove from the skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Cover to keep warm.
Add more peanut oil if needed to the skillet. Toss in the shiitake, scallions and jalapeño. Sautè until the mushrooms start to brown and turn golden.
Add the tofu, noodles and sauce into the skillet and mix well with the veg. Serve immediately.