Black Pepper Tofu

Serves 2 (plus some leftovers)
Prep Time:
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Just a moment please...

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This is a simple, but spicy tofu stir fry recipe that gets most of its flavor from a lot of crushed black pepper, and it’s vegan!

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.


1 pound extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed
2 cups peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
Cornstarch, for dusting
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or oil (use oil for truly vegan version of dish)
2 red chiles, I like red jalapenos
1/2 cup shallots, about 3 large shallots
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 inches fresh ginger, diced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, roughly ground
6 scallions, chopped
Rice for serving


1) Slice tofu block into three or four large slices and press them between a few paper towels with some weight on top for about five minutes to press out some of the water.

2) Cube tofu and toss with cornstarch until the cubes are lightly coated. A few tablespoons of cornstarch will be enough.

3) Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan and fry tofu in two batches at 350 degrees until the tofu is nicely crisp, about 6-8 minutes per batch.

4) Remove tofu and let drain on a paper towel. Pour out oil. Don’t worry about cleaning wok or pan.

5) Add butter to wok and once melted, add shallots, chiles, garlic, and ginger. Cook over medium-high heat until veggies start to get soft, about 3-4 minutes.

6) In a separate bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Grind peppercorns roughly.

7) Pour soy sauce mixture into wok and let reduce for a minute or two. Add black pepper and tofu and toss to combine and heat tofu.

8) Serve immediately with rice and chopped scallions.