Tofu with caramel and sichuan pepper

Tofu with caramel and sichuan pepper
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min

”Tofu has been misunderstood by some as a bland rubbery filler food, but when cooked well it’s surprisingly addictive. Take the time to really dry out the tofu and crisp up the edges.” – Ravinder Bhogal

Tofu tossed in a stir-fry also makes an easy weeknight win.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
324kcal
Fat
14.7g (2.4g saturated)
Protein
13.7g
Carbohydrates
32.9g (32.1g sugars)
Fibre
2.5g
Salt
1g
Calories
324kcal
Fat
14.7g (2.4g saturated)
Protein
13.7g
Carbohydrates
32.9g (32.1g sugars)
Fibre
2.5g
Salt
1g

Ingredients

For the tofu:

  • 396g block firm tofu (we used Cauldron, from large supermakets)
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted briefly in a dry pan until fragrant
  • Crispy fried shallots (from a tub) and micro coriander to serve

For the caramel sauce

  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tbsp Chinese black rice vinegar
  • 25ml light soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp chilli bean paste
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ tsp sichuan pepper
  • ½ bird’s eye chilli, finely sliced

Method

  1. Put the tofu block on a plate between 2 thick wads of kitchen paper. Press down firmly to squeeze out as much moisture as possible, then use more kitchen paper to pat the surface of the tofu block dry.
  2. Heat a glug of oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the tofu on both sides for 4-5 minutes in total until crisp and golden. Remove from the pan (reserve the pan) and set aside.
  3. To make the caramel sauce, put the sugar and 3 tbsp cold water in the pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves and turns into an amber caramel. Add the remaining caramel sauce ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Return the tofu to the pan and baste in caramel sauce. Slice thickly, then serve on a platter, drizzled with the remaining caramel sauce and topped with the toasted sesame seeds, crispy shallots and micro coriander.

delicious. tips

  1. We used a 70g pack of Growing Underground Asian Micro Herbs Mix from Ocado. You could use micro herbs from finefoodspecialist.com or use chopped fresh coriander leaves instead.

    Find Chinese black rice vinegar online at souschef.co.uk. Or mix
    ½ tsp balsamic vinegar with ½ tsp rice wine vinegar and ½ tbsp water.

    Chilli bean paste is available at souschef.co.uk. If you can’t find it, use sriracha sauce (from large supermarkets) instead.

  2. Any leftover sauce will keep in an airtight container for up to a week

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