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Black Pepper Tofu

Chinese New Year is just around the corner and I decided to indulge you today with a very delicious but easy-to-make Chinese recipe: Black Pepper Tofu.

Prep Time: 15 hours Cook Time: 15min Serves: 4 Servings


I have lived in Macau, China for almost 16 years and I love Chinese food. I was not like this when I moved here because initially, I found the flavors strong and very different from the Chinese food I was used to in Europe. Slowly, I started to taste more flavour, understand the combination of ingredients, the freshness of this food, the complexity of the recipe, and the cooking culture. Now, it is hard for me to live without this incredible, delicious and healthy food.

I am still impressed by how each region of China is notable for its particular methods of cooking and uniqueness. For example how Shandong cuisine is famous for its savory dishes like, Szechuan which has an abundance of seasoning and delicious spiced sauces, while Canton cuisine is notable for its contrasting innovative ideas and food cooking methods.

But as complex as Chinese food seems, some dishes are so simple to make, like this recipe I have for you today.

Black Pepper Tofu Recipe

The authentic black pepper sauce originates from Cantonese cuisine. Traditional Chinese black pepper sauce recipes have some specialty items that maybe can be harder to find outside of Asian markets: different types of soy sauces, Chinese cooking wine, and oyster sauce. But the recipe today is entirely plant-based, easy to make for everyone and the flavor is right there.

Crispy from the outside and soft on the inside, these tofu cubes are tossed in a delicious and flavorful black pepper sauce. Served as an appetizer or side, this tofu dish is perfect if you like Chinese food. This recipe can be made in 30 minutes and you can simply serve over steamed rice or your favorite grain for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

You don’t need to be vegetarian or vegan to enjoy the intense flavor and perfect texture of Black Pepper Tofu! Crispy tofu smothered in a thick savory sauce with crushed black pepper, garlic, ginger, and more. What’s not to like?


  1. Add extra veggies in the sauce if you like. Bell asparagus, broccoli, zucchini or carrots are the perfect choices.

  2. Double the tofu and leave out all the veggies, serving steamed broccoli on the side.

  3. If you are a lover of spicy food, then this simple recipe is perfect for adding extra chili.

  4. This dish saves well in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It’s perfect for meal prep and can easily be doubled.

  5. Serve with brown rice, brown rice & quinoa mix, basmati rice, or jasmine rice. Soba noodles would be great too.

  6. Add a large handful of chopped cilantro on the side which will add to the flavors while giving a nice dose of freshness to the pepperiness.



  • 1 tofu

  • 2tbsp cornstarch

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

  • 1 tbsp grain ginger

  • ½ tsp chili pepper

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • ½ tsp brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp green onion

  • ½ bunch cilantro


  • First, you must drain and press the tofu to remove excess water. Press the tofu with a tofu press or paper towel.

  • In a small bowl, add the oil and the tofu. Sprinkle the cornstarch, salt and black pepper.

  • Cook the tofu in the oven for about 15 min at 180 degrees or until golden on all sides. It doesn't have to be perfect.


  • Mix a bowl of soy sauce, sesame sauce, black pepper, and brown sugar.

  • In a pan add the oil and hit it.

  • When it is hot, add the ginger, garlic and chili.

  • Saute them for 30 seconds and add your sauce mix, green onion and half of the cilantro.

  • Cook it for 1 minute to make a glossy sauce mix.

  • Coat crispy tofu with the sauce and garnish with chopped cilantro.

  • Serve with brown rice, brown rice & quinoa mix, basmati rice, or jasmine rice.

  • Enjoy!

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