BLACK PEPPER TOFU STIR FRY
Updated: Sep 2, 2020
This is a super easy recipe and tastes better than anything you could get from a restaurant! I like to switch up the veggies and serve it over a bed of white basmati rice.
For the Crispy Tofu:
1 Package firm/extra firm tofu, pressed*
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or tamari*
1–2 tablespoons cornstarch (or sub nutritional yeast for more flavor)
For the Black Pepper Sauce:
1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil (I use avocado oil)
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper*
2–3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
½ cup (120 ml) vegetable broth
¼ cup (60 ml) low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons coconut sugar*
1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
For the Stir Fry:
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2 celery stalks, cut into thin slices on a bias
3 ounces (85 g) mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin wedges
Cooked rice, for serving
Bake the Tofu: Preheat the oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. While the oven is preheating, slice and prep your produce and tofu. Cut the block of tofu in half, then cut each half into 16 equal cubes. Place the tofu into a medium bowl, then drizzle the soy sauce over the tofu. Use a spatula to gently mix the tofu until all of the liquid is absorbed; sprinkle with cornstarch, then gently fold again until the tofu is coated. Transfer the tofu to the lined baking sheet, then bake in the top rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden.
Make the Stir Fry: Once you get the tofu in the oven, prep your produce and prepare all the sauce ingredients. Bring a large wok or sauté pan to medium heat, then add in the oil. Once the oil is warm, add the coarsely ground black pepper; fry for 30 seconds, until the pepper is fragrant. Add the ginger and garlic to the oil and cook for an additional 60 seconds, until golden and fragrant.
Add the Veggies: Toss the onion and celery into the pan and sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Add the green bell pepper to the pan and sauté for 1 minute. At this point, the tofu should be cooked; carefully remove it from the baking tray and transfer to the pan.
For the sauce: whisk the broth, soy sauce vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch together in a small bowl, until the cornstarch and sugar are dissolved. Pour the sauce over the cooking vegetables and tofu, stirring it into the vegetables until everything is evenly coated. The sauce will thicken as it warms up; cook until everything is warm, or until the vegetables are softened to your liking.
Serve over cooked white rice, or as desired; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, though the tofu will soften once refrigerated.
Tofu: Pressing the tofu is very important. I wrap the tofu in a tea towel and place it between two cutting boards with a stack of textbooks on top for about 30 mins or until a significant amount of water has come out.
Soy Sauce: use a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari, if you have a gluten intolerance.
Black Pepper: you must use freshly ground black pepper here. Pre-ground black pepper does not taste the same and will burn in the oil without adding much flavor. If you do not have a pepper grinder that allows you to grind the pepper coarsely, place the peppercorns in a resealable plastic bag, and cover in a towel. Place on top of a cutting board, then use a hammer to smash the peppercorns until coarsely ground. Alternatively, you can also use a mortar and pestle.
Sweetener: as long as the sweetener is dissolved into the marinade before adding to the vegetables, it really doesn’t matter what you use here. Maple syrup or brown sugar would also be great substitutes!
I don't create these recipes!
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