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SEASONAL RECIPES

Recipe: Crispy cubes of salt-and-pepper tofu with soy dipping sauce are a riff on the popular shrimp dish

Salt-and-Pepper Tofu with Soy Dipping Sauce.
Salt-and-Pepper Tofu with Soy Dipping Sauce.Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 4

Salt-and-pepper tofu, popular on Chinese and Vietnamese menus, are made with cubes of tofu that are tossed with seasoned cornstarch and lightly fried until crispy. A similar technique is often used with shrimp. They're accompanied by a gingery soy dipping sauce. To save time before dinner, make the dipping sauce a day or two in advance and store it in the fridge. Serve the tofu on Napa cabbage salad; stuff the cubes into a banh mi sandwich with pickles, cilantro, and cucumbers; or set them beside a plate of stir-fried bok choy or veggies.

SAUCE

4 scallions, thinly sliced
1piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, finely chopped
1clove garlic, finely chopped
3tablespoons soy sauce
1tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
3tablespoon canola oil
¼teaspoon black pepper

1. In a bowl, combine the scallions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, canola oil, and black pepper.

2. Stir well and set aside.

TOFU

1package (14 ounces) firm or extra-firm tofu
¾cup canola oil, or more if needed
½cup cornstarch
1tablespoon kosher salt
1tablespoon ground white pepper
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1small jalapeno or other chile pepper, thinly sliced
1teaspoon sesame seeds

1. With a paper towel, lightly pat the tofu dry. Slice the brick in half horizontally, and pat dry again. Cut the 2 halves together into 1-inch cubes to make 24 total.

2. In a large skillet over high heat, heat the oil. It should be at least 1/4-inch deep in the pan; add more oil if necessary.

3. In a bowl, whisk the cornstarch, kosher salt, and white pepper. Gently toss half the tofu in the cornstarch mixture until the tofu is fully coated.

4. Line a plate with paper towels. Dust off the excess cornstarch from the tofu and place the cubes in the pan. Cook, turning occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until all sides are light golden brown. Transfer to the paper towels. Repeat with the remaining tofu, adding more oil to the pan if necessary.

5. Set all the cubes on a serving dish. Sprinkle with the chile pepper and sesame seeds. Serve with the dipping sauce.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 4

Salt-and-pepper tofu, popular on Chinese and Vietnamese menus, are made with cubes of tofu that are tossed with seasoned cornstarch and lightly fried until crispy. A similar technique is often used with shrimp. They're accompanied by a gingery soy dipping sauce. To save time before dinner, make the dipping sauce a day or two in advance and store it in the fridge. Serve the tofu on Napa cabbage salad; stuff the cubes into a banh mi sandwich with pickles, cilantro, and cucumbers; or set them beside a plate of stir-fried bok choy or veggies.

SAUCE

4 scallions, thinly sliced
1piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, finely chopped
1clove garlic, finely chopped
3tablespoons soy sauce
1tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
3tablespoon canola oil
¼teaspoon black pepper

1. In a bowl, combine the scallions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, canola oil, and black pepper.

2. Stir well and set aside.

TOFU

1package (14 ounces) firm or extra-firm tofu
¾cup canola oil, or more if needed
½cup cornstarch
1tablespoon kosher salt
1tablespoon ground white pepper
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1small jalapeno or other chile pepper, thinly sliced
1teaspoon sesame seeds

1. With a paper towel, lightly pat the tofu dry. Slice the brick in half horizontally, and pat dry again. Cut the 2 halves together into 1-inch cubes to make 24 total.

2. In a large skillet over high heat, heat the oil. It should be at least 1/4-inch deep in the pan; add more oil if necessary.

3. In a bowl, whisk the cornstarch, kosher salt, and white pepper. Gently toss half the tofu in the cornstarch mixture until the tofu is fully coated.

4. Line a plate with paper towels. Dust off the excess cornstarch from the tofu and place the cubes in the pan. Cook, turning occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until all sides are light golden brown. Transfer to the paper towels. Repeat with the remaining tofu, adding more oil to the pan if necessary.

5. Set all the cubes on a serving dish. Sprinkle with the chile pepper and sesame seeds. Serve with the dipping sauce.Karoline Boehm Goodnick