Friday, February 21, 2014

Black Pepper Tofu

This spicy tofu dish is packed with heat and flavor. The recipe calls for kecap manis  (pronounced KEH-chup MAH-nees), which is sweet soy sauce flavored with garlic, star anise, soybeans, and palm sugar. Kecap Manis has a more thicker consistency than soy sauce because of its high content of palm sugar. They are sold in Asian supermarkets. You can buy also buy it online. 

You can reduce the amount of serrano chiles and black pepper if you prefer to make this dish less spicy. 



2 cups canola oil
1 ¾ lb. firm tofu, cut into 1″ cubes
½ cup cornstarch
11 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. finely chopped ginger
12 small shallots, thinly sliced
12 cloves garlic, crushed
8 red serrano chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced
5 tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper
3 tbsp. kecap manis (available at Amazon)
3 tbsp. light soy sauce
4 tsp. dark soy sauce
2 tbsp. sugar
16 small scallions, cut into 1 ¼″ pieces
Cooked white rice, for serving


1) Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. 
2) Toss tofu and cornstarch in a bowl until evenly coated. Fry tofu until browned all over, about 3 minutes. 
3) Drain and set aside; discard oil, and wipe skillet clean. Return skillet to medium heat with butter. 
4) Add ginger, shallots, garlic, and chiles; cook until soft, about 15 minutes. 
5) Stir in pepper, soy sauces, and sugar. 
6) Return tofu to skillet; cook, stirring, until warmed through, about 2 minutes. 
7) Stir in scallions; serve over rice.

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