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Salt and Pepper Tofu

4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 2
Author: Maggie Zhu


For the tofu

  • 1 pack 400 grams firm tofu
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

(optional) For the Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons sliced Chinese scallion or green onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large red cayenne pepper or red Jalapeño about 100 grams
  • 1 large green cayenne or green Jalapeño about 100 grams

For dipping


To cook tofu

  • Drain water from tofu. Place tofu on a strainer or a pair of chopsticks over a small bowl, set aside, and allow to drain for 1 hour. To save time, you can slice the tofu without straining and press each slice with a paper towel, trying to get as much water out as you can, in the process.
  • Slice tofu into 5 millimeter-thick (1/2 inch) squares. Place a piece of paper towel on top of tofu and gently press to drain extra moisture. Lightly season one side of tofu with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet until warm. Add tofu and cook until the bottom side turns golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip with spatula and cook the other side until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • If the skillet is not large enough to hold all the tofu, cook tofu in batches in this same manner.

To cook garnish

  • Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, scallion and garlic into the same skillet and heat over medium heat. Stir a few times until fragrant. Add red pepper and green pepper, stir a few times. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook until the pepper is cooked through but still crisp, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add chili powder, cumin powder and Sichuan pepper sea salt into three separate small plates.
  • Garnish tofu with scallion and pepper. Serve warm with the three seasonings as appetizer, side dish or snack. To eat, dip a piece of tofu, together with a piece of pepper, into one or any combination of the three seasonings.