Sunday, 16 August 2009
Yotam Ottolenghi's Fiery Black Pepper Tofu
This dish was featured in The Guardian's "New Vegetarian" section back in October 2008. I immediately cut it out as it looked so good and filed it away to make some other time. Totally forgot about it until I was looking through my recipe file. He explains that the original recipe called for double the amount of chillies but that even this version was very hot and you may want to tone it down again.
Man, he wasn't kidding, it's not just hot it's 'Oh My God, I think I'm being cooked from the inside out hot'!!! So hot in fact that I couldn't finish mine....I was even getting the upper lip heat sweats and my mouth was burning for hours after. Shame as the flavours were wonderful and I loved the tofu prepared this way. So I will definitely be making this again, just with far less pepper. I don't think it was the chillies doing it as I only used 2 de-seeded which weren't very hot and I would normally use that amount for 2 people, but a tablespoon of crushed black peppercorns was just too much for me! **(I highly recommend making this with just a good grinding of black pepper and not measuring out so much.)
The original recipe is here but I'll post a scaled down version here that serves 2 people. I'll also post the original spice levels too as there are lots of people out there who can take their heat a lot more than I can :)
EDIT - I have re-blogged this one and toned down the heat levels - it's perfect now!
Crispy Fried Tofu in Spicy Teriyaki Sauce.
Please visit the new recipe, unless you like things lethally hot!!! :-)
200g firm, fresh tofu (he recommends getting the fresh tofu that's set in a tub like in Asian Grocers as it has a silky light texture) I also lightly pressed mine.
Cornflour, to dust the tofu
Vegetable oil, for frying
15g vegan margarine
3 small shallots, sliced thinly
2 red chillies, thinly sliced (I de-seeded mine)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
1 Tbsp crushed black peppercorns, ground in pestle and mortar or spice grinder, coarse.**
1 1/2 tsp sweet soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp sugar
4 spring onions, sliced thin and about 3cm long
Steamed rice to serve
Cut the tofu into 3cm x 2cm blocks and toss them in cornflour, shake off excess. Pour enough oil to come 1/2 cm up the sides of a large frying pan, I used my wok, and bring up to frying heat. Fry the tofu in batches until golden and with a thin crust. Transfer to paper towel to drain.
Remove the oil and any sediment from the pan then add the margarine. Once melted add the shallots, chillies, garlic and ginger and saute for about 10 - 15 minutes on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally until shiny and soft. Add the soy sauces and sugar, stir, then add the pepper. Warm the tofu in the sauce for about a minute then stir through the spring onion. *I found there wasn't quite enough sauce with this, you may want to double the soy sauces and sugar*
Serve hot with plain steamed rice.