Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Black Pepper Tofu - Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi

This black pepper tofu is a very tasteful dry tofu curry. This is a little spicy. We love this tofu curry and this is very similar to Yotam Ottolenghi's Black pepper tofu. I had checked out his book Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi from the library and found this recipe. This was very much similar to what I usually make. My recipe differs from Ottolenghi's in the reduction of spicy-heat. 

My recipe is really spicy for us. If you can take more heat, add one more tbsp. of pepper and a couple more fresh red chilies, just like his recipe. His recipe uses butter. I normally use sesame oil, it gives tons of flavor to Asian recipes. This recipe is vegan too. Also, I use only one soy sauce, which I normally use for most Asian recipes. The butter he had used balances the quantity of black pepper he has used. If you are ok with using butter and can handle the heat, go ahead and try. In anyways, you will love this tofu! I served them with Vegan Lo Mein Noodles. They can be served with rice or fried rice too. They give the perfect protein balance to the noodles or rice.

I am linking this recipe for February 2021 I Heart Cooking Club. It's Potluck week, the week where you get to choose any recipe from any of our chefs! We can make any dish from any of our 21 featured chefs. If you would like to participate check here.

I am also linking this to #FoodiesRead. Every post must feature a book about food. And you can talk about or give your views about the book in your post. Also, add recipes to your post if you make one out of it. Check here to know more about it.

The book, Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi is a great book. If you want to include more veggies and looking for more recipes, this is the perfect book serving the purpose. The book has recipes with stunning and fresh flavor combinations. The recipes are just not from one type of cuisine. It rather has recipes from different cuisines, and a great way to include many regional flavors to the plate. The recipes and simple, I mean easy and not over complicated. The book has stunning photography that you will be ogling at them. Yes, I did :-). I kept going through the book again and again and again. The book has 15 chapters. There are some recipes with eggs, but most of them are veggie-based. I loved many recipes from this book. Though you could list everything, I loved the black pepper tofu, lentils with broiled eggplant, burnt eggplant with tahini (we have similar Indian versions), Marinated buffalo mozzarella and tomato, Tomato, semolina, and cilantro soup (similar to our khichadi), Tomato party. I want to try lentil galettes and kisir. The vibrant photos will invite you to make from this book again and again. Overall, I would give a five-star rating for this book as you will not be disappointed when you try a recipe from this. 

I am sharing the black pepper tofu, my version, which is also equally tasty as well as vegan. Serve this with rice, quinoa, noodles, or with Vegan Lo Mein Noodles, just like how I served for a great weekend lunch or dinner, or for any weekday too! This is perfect to share for Weekend Cooking, all you need to make some easy recipes fitting the theme of a book. This tofu is quick and easy to make and nutritious too! Check here for more info.


Serves 4

Tofu - 12-oz, pressed to drain the water completely
Corn starch - 1.5 tbsp
Soy sauce - 5 tbsp
Black pepper powder - 1.5 tbsp
Shallots - 6, or 2 cups, sliced
Garlic - 6, minced
Ginger - 1.5, minced
Green onions - 6, chopped to 1-in pieces
Sesame oil - 1/3 cup
Sugar - 2 tsp
Fresh red chilies - 2, finely sliced


Cut the tofu into cubes and toss with corn starch. Heat sesame oil in a cast-iron pan. Fry the tofu pieces in two batches till golden brown flipping the sides once. Drain in a paper towel and set aside. 

In the same pan using the same oil, add the sliced shallots, ginger, garlic, and fresh red chilies. Sauté for 10-12 minutes till they are soft and translucent. Add the black pepper, soy sauce, sugar, and mix. Add in the tofu and green onions. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes till well combined and sizzling. 

Serve with rice or noodles.


  1. I am always in the market for more vegetarian options especially during Lent. Thanks Radha.

  2. Ottolenghi is a wonderful cookbook author! I have used quite a few of his recipes, both vegetarian and not, but haven't tried this one.

    be safe... mae at

  3. I love cookbooks with amazing photography!
    Thanks for linking up with Foodies Read.

  4. Oh my...this looks so tantalizing! I can see all the wonderful flavors and it looks just mouthwatering! I have wanted to try this recipe for some time.I will have to move it to the top of my list! Plenty is a wonderful cookbook. A real favorite. Thanks for joining us at IHCC!