This Chinese Salt and Pepper Tofu Recipe is a vegan Chinese recipe that is a copycat of my Salt and Pepper Chicken recipe
If you are a vegetarian and want to try a Chinese tofu dish, then give this Salt and Pepper Tofu recipe a try! It's spiced with peppers, onions, and of course salt. The end result is a delicious 5 spice Chinese tofu recipe that is finger-licking good!
I highly recommended trying this delicious crispy tofu recipe with fried rice or noodles to make it a complete meal. It also pairs well with cold beverages.
A great dish to take to gatherings or enjoy on a weekend with your loved ones.
- corn starch
- Chinese 5 spice
- white pepper
- black pepper
- white onion
- jalapeno pepper
- extra firm tofu, patted dry - (Trader Joe's Sprouted Tofu is a great choice)
- green onion (scallions)
Make the corn starch mixture by mixing the corn starch, Chinese 5 spice, black pepper, and salt together. Set it aside.
Pat the tofu dry using kitchen towels or paper towels. Remove as much excess water as possible from the extra firm tofu. Then cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces and coat them in the corn starch and 5 spice mixture.
Deep fry the tofu for about three minutes or until it is crisp. I love using my HexClad pans to fry in.
In another pan, heat a little oil and saute the chopped white onion and jalapeno until al dente. Add the grated or chopped garlic, salt, black pepper, green onion, and white pepper.
Mix quickly and then add the fried tofu pieces. Saute for about 2 minutes and serve warm.
- deep frying pot (I love my Hexclad pans for frying)
- wok or equivalent
- microplane (optional)
- cutting board and knife
- paper towels
- skimmer or frying ladle
- Extra Firm Tofu - substitute with chicken, shrimp, or cauliflower
- Jalapeno- bell pepper for a less spicy version
- White Onion- substitute with red onion
- Gluten Free- This recipe is naturally gluten-free. If Celiac, be sure to use gluten-free labeled ingredients to prevent contamination.
- Air Fry- I do not recommend air-frying this recipe.
- Garlic- can used minced, chopped, or blended garlic but fresh is recommended.
Storage and Reheating
Freezer Friendly- the fried tofu pieces may be frozen for a few months
Reheating- Simply air fry the fried tofu pieces until they are heated through. Then toss it with the onions, jalapenos, and spices.
Pair it with...
Other Vegan Recipes...
- Pat the tofu as dry as possible with towels
- Fry the tofu on high heat to get crispy tofu
- The smaller the tofu pieces the quicker the frying time will be.
- This recipe calls for extra salt. It really does make the recipe come together.
Other Asian Inspired Recipes...
Chinese Salt and Pepper Tofu Recipe
- Wok or equivalent
- Frying Ladle
- Frying pan to fry
- Bowl + Paper Towel to drain fried chicken
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Microplane (optional for garlic)
Corn Starch Mixture
- ¾ cup corn starch
- 1 tablespoon Chinese 5 spice
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- ¾ tablespoon salt (I use Morton's Iodized salt)
- 14 oz tofu, patted dry with a towel and cut into small pieces
Salt and Pepper Chicken Ingredients
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 2 medium jalapenos, diced
- 4 sprigs green onions/scallions, diced
- ½ tablespoon oil
- oil, for frying (I use extra light olive oil)
- 3 cloves garlic, either minced, grated, or chopped finely
Corn Starch Mixture
- Combine the corn starch, Chinese 5 spice, salt, and black pepper together.
- Add the tofu to the corn starch mixture, mix it until coated, and set it aside.
Frying the Tofu
- Heat oil in a frying pan on high heat.
- Dust off the extra corn starch mixture from the tofu and then fry it until golden brown (about 3 minutes).
- Drain excess oil from the fried tofu by placing it in a bowl/tray with paper towels under it.
Salt and Pepper Tofu
- In a pan, heat ½ tablespoon of oil and cook the diced onions and jalapenos for about 2-3 minutes on high heat (add extra oil if needed).
- Add in the garlic, white pepper, green onions, and salt.
- Mix quickly and then toss in the fried tofu pieces immediately.
- Cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Serve warm
How to make Salt and Pepper Tofu Video
For this recipe, I do not recommend it.
Yes! It will actually give a really firm texture after being frozen. Thaw it completely and pat it dry before continuing with this recipe.
Yes! The ingredients used to make this recipe do not contain any animal products.
Pair it with fried rice or lo mein noodles.
Yes! Hodo Tofu makes a great variation of this and it is perfect to use.