Crispy Fried Salt and Pepper Tofu

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This salt and pepper tofu is so crispy and makes the perfect snack or easy dinner. Serve with plenty of soy sauce and rice or noodles to make it a full meal.

This classic recipe is such a great snack or dinner idea, I cannot get enough!

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Overhead shot of blue bowl of salt and pepper tofu with lime and coriander on a marble background

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times now I’ve recently had a new found love for tofu. It has never featured very heavily in my diet because it can sometimes be a bit bland and I am all about that flavour.

But then I realised that the fact I didn’t like tofu was really all down to me and my failure to cook it with all the flavour it needed and so I’ve been on a bit of a journey the last few months (and Will has been my somewhat unwilling passenger) to find all the delicious ways to cook with tofu.

I kicked off with a super simple spicy noodles with crispy tofu which was great for adding loads of flavour to the tofu and made a perfect weeknight dinner and now I’m all about this salt and pepper tofu which works great with noodles for a main meal but also makes the most amazing snack or appetiser!

Blue bowl of salt and pepper tofu on a marble background with soy sauce

Chopsticks holding a piece of salt and pepper tofu over a blue bowl

The key things I’ve learned about making tofu are that pressing the tofu is very important. The few times we cooked it without pressing it were pretty disappointing but pressing it makes such a difference to the texture of the tofu so I highly recommend doing it, even just for 10 minutes.

I don’t have a fancy tofu press, all I do is put a couple of pieces of kitchen roll on the top of bottom of the tofu between two plates then put a couple of tins of food or a cast iron skillet on top and leave it for as much time as I have.

The other thing that’s most important is to fry it in hot oil until crispy. I haven’t tried any other methods of cooking tofu yet but if you’re frying it then it needs to be in hot oil and it needs to be tossed in cornflour first to make it extra crispy. For this recipe I also mix a little chilli powder into the cornflour to add a little extra flavour.

Blue bowl of salt and pepper tofu on a marble surface with soy sauce and sesame seeds

Close up of salt and pepper tofu with lime, chilli and coriander

Salt and Pepper Tofu Ingredients:

  • Firm Tofu: Make sure you get firm, very important, the silken stuff will not work at all in this recipe
  • Vegetable Oil: For frying the tofu
  • Cornflour: To toss the tofu in before frying to get it extra crispy
  • Spices: Chilli powder, sichuan peppercorns, garlic and chillies all go into the recipe to make the tofu extra flavourful with a spicy kick
  • Sugar: Just a little to add a hint of sweetness
  • Salt: The perfect balance to the pepperiness of the spices
  • Spring Onions, Fresh Coriander and Lime Wedges: For serving and adding that touch of freshness

Overhead shot of salt and pepper tofu in a blue bowl with toppings on a marble background

Close up of salt and pepper tofu in a blue bowl

Salt and Pepper Tofu Instructions:

  1. Prep the tofu: Pat the tofu dry then press for at least 10 minutes. Slice into cubes and toss in the cornflour and chilli powder.
  2. Fry the tofu: Heat the oil then fry the tofu in batches until it’s crispy, drain on a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Add the spices and toppings: Mix the peppercorns with sugar and salt. Fry the garlic, chilli and spring onion then add the tofu and sprinkle over the salt and pepper mixture. Serve topped with coriander and lime.

Equipment you need to make this recipe…

Overhead shot of blue bowl of salt and pepper tofu with soy sauce and chopsticks

Chopsticks dipping salt and pepper tofu into soy sauce

Want more? Try these other spicy recipes!

Overhead shot of salt and pepper tofu in a blue bowl with toppings

Close up of salt and pepper tofu in a blue bowl

WONDERING WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVER INGREDIENTS YOU’VE GOT FROM MAKING THIS SALT AND PEPPER TOFU?

If you’re anything like me then you’re always looking for ways to save money and avoid food waste so I want to make sure you’ve get plenty of ideas on how to use up any ingredients that are leftover from my recipes!

Mushroom Bao with Sesame Cucumber Salad

Use up leftover spring onions sprinkled over these mushroom bao

Overhead shot of mushroom bao in a steamer basket

Veggie Chilli with Lentils & Sweet Potato

Add chilli powder to this yummy veggie chilli

Side on shot of veggie chilli with rice in a white bowl on a dark background

Overhead shot of salt and pepper tofu in a blue bowl with toppings on a marble background

Crispy Fried Salt and Pepper Tofu

This salt and pepper tofu is so crispy and makes the perfect snack or easy dinner. Serve with plenty of soy sauce and rice or noodles to make it a full meal. 
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 96kcal
Author: Amy

Ingredients

  • 340 g Firm Tofu
  • Vegetable Oil for frying
  • Cornflour for dusting
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Sichuan Peppercorns crushed
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt Flakes
  • 3 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 3 Chillies sliced
  • 2 Spring Onions sliced
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Lime Wedges to serve
  • Soy Sauce to serve

Instructions

  • Pat the tofu dry and press for at least 10 minutes. Cut into small cubes. 
  • Heat 4cm oil to 180°C/350°F in a large frying pan or wok. Dust the tofu with cornflour and chilli powder, add to the oil and fry until crisp on all sides. Cook in batches if you need to then drain on kitchen paper.
  • Mix the crushed sichuan peppercorns with the sugar and salt. Pour all but 2 tbsp oil away then return to the heat and add the garlic, chilli and spring onions then add the tofu and sprinkle over the seasoning and cook for 2 minutes. Tip out onto a plate and top with coriander and lime. Serve with soy sauce.
Nutrition Facts
Crispy Fried Salt and Pepper Tofu
Amount Per Serving
Calories 96 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Potassium 147mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 3g
Protein 8g 16%
Vitamin A 11.6%
Vitamin C 61%
Calcium 11.9%
Iron 8.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @amycookreport on Instagram and hashtag it #thecookreport!

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Chantal
    10/02/2019 at 9:45 PM


    This looks so good! I love the texture you were able to achieve in this recipe!

  • Reply
    Jill
    10/02/2019 at 10:03 PM


    Your tofu looks amazingly crispy and flavorful! I don’t normally fix tofu but this is inspiring me to make some.

  • Reply
    Pam Greer
    10/02/2019 at 11:56 PM


    That is the crispiest looking tofu that I’ve ever seen! I love how crispy it fries up and all the flavor!

  • Reply
    Valentina
    11/02/2019 at 1:53 AM


    Amy, this is probably the best looking tofu dish I’ve ever seen. Seriously, it looks and sounds SO delicious. Pinning & bookmarking right now!

  • Reply
    Caroline
    11/02/2019 at 2:01 AM


    I’m with you, I’ve tended to avoid tofu as it can be bland, but this looks wonderful! Love that it seems to have tons of flavor and gets all crispy.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    11/02/2019 at 3:58 PM

    This looks so good. I love tofu so I’m going to give it a try. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Reply
      Amy
      11/02/2019 at 9:48 PM

      Thanks Sarah!

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