This dish packs a powerful punch of flavor and heat and also tastes great with baby bok choy or broccoli rabe if you can find it.
Crisp tofu tossed in a sweet and salty soy sauce with fresh ginger, garlic, scallions, red chilies and tons of crushed black peppercorns.
Black Pepper Tofu
peanut oil for frying
1 lb fresh tofu*, medium cubes
1/4 cup rice flour
5 scallions, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2" piece fresh ginger, peeled, minced
2 red chili peppers, seeded, minced
2 tbl black peppercorns
3 tbl soy sauce
1/4 cup sweet soy sauce
2 tbl organic cane sugar
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
7 scallions, small dice
cooked jasmine rice
Fill a large saute pan up 1/4" of the way with oil. Heat to 360. Lightly toss the tofu in rice flour and lightly crisp on all sides. Drain on a paper towel. Pour off all but around 2 tbl of oil in the pan. Add the scallions, garlic, ginger and red chili. Saute until soft, 5 minutes.
While the scallions are softening, crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to a coarse consistency.
Add the pepper, soy sauce, sweet soy, sugar and broccoli. Toss to coat. Add the tofu and simmer for 5 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce and thicken. Add the scallions and toss to combine.
Serve over jasmine rice.
*Fresh tofu can be found mostly at Asian grocery stores. It comes without liquid and does not need to be drained or pressed. If you purchase tofu from the store, buy extra firm. Drain well and press for at least an hour to extract as much moisture as possible.