Szechuan style crispy tofu with chilli and salt is mixed with salt and pepper seasonings and crisp veggies in this Chinese Salt and Pepper Tofu recipe. One of the most popular takeaway tofu recipes in China. Learn how to make it at home with our simple ingredients.
Who knew that tofu could be so tasty? Here are some tasty, crunchy nuggets that taste like the Sichuan Province in China.
What is CRISPY TOFU WITH CHILLI AND SALT?
These are cubes of extra-firm tofu that have been coated and cooked until they are crispy. They are then sautéed with a fragrant mixture of salt, white pepper, Chinese five spices, garlic, onions, and chilies for extra heat.
What type of tofu?
For this recipe, I like to use firm or medium-firm tofu, which in Chinese is called Lao Dou Fu or Bei Dou Fu. It’s less likely to break than soft tofu when it’s being handled. Also, it has a stronger taste of soybeans, which I really like.
To make this recipe you’ll need the following ingredients:
- ½ tbsp salt
- ½ tbsp dried chilli flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ½ tbsp Szechuan peppercorns, ground
- ½ tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- groundnut oil for deep-frying, plus 1 tbsp
- 100g (1 cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 egg
- 225g (8oz) firm tofu, cut into 2cm (¾in) cubes
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- ½ green (bell) pepper, de-seeded and finely diced
How to make SZECHUAN STYLE CRISPY TOFU WITH CHILLI AND SALT?
- Firstly, In a small bowl, mix the salt, ground Szechuan peppercorns, and black pepper.
- In a wok or deep-sided saucepan, heat enough oil to deep-fry the tofu cubes to 180°C (350°F).
- Put the cornflour on a plate and beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Coat each piece of tofu with cornflour, shaking off any extra, then dip it in an egg, and then back into the cornflour. Drop the tofu gently into the hot oil in small batches. Deep-fry for about 3 minutes, turning each piece once or twice to make sure it browns evenly and cooks through. Move to a wire rack or a plate with paper towels on it to drain.
- Finally, In a separate wok or frying pan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil until it just starts to smoke. Stir-fry the onion, green pepper, and chili flakes for 30 seconds over high heat. Then, add the garlic and mix everything together well. Sprinkle the Szechuan pepper mixture evenly over the crispy tofu. Mix the ingredients quickly, then add the water and mix quickly again to coat each piece. Put an end to the cooking, drizzle with sesame oil, and serve right away.
How to serve this dish?
Serve with plain rice, egg fried rice, or noodles. However, you can also make a great family dinner by serving it with Chinese Beef Noodle Soup, Chicken Fried Rice, or Soy Sauce Chicken Noodles.
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