Do you like your food spicy? This isn't the kind of dish where the spiciness builds gradually, like a slow burn — this one starts off strong, thanks to the addition of red chili peppers. Of course, there's more to this dish than just heat; it's seasoned with garlic, pepper, ginger, sesame oil, and a brown sugar glaze, to round it all out. If spiciness isn't your thing, then leave the chilis peppers whole while you cook them. But if you want to find out why this is called "fiery garlic tofu," then slice them just before you add them to the pan.

Fiery Garlic Tofu [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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For the Tofu:

  • 1 14-ounce package firm tofu, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil, plus 3 tablespoons, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 20 turns fresh black pepper
  • 10 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3–5 dried red chilis, cut in half, plus more if you like it spicy
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 red onion, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

For the Sugar Glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon water

For the Topping:

  • 1 green onion, cut into 2-inch strips, for garnish


  1. Evenly spread out cornstarch on a plate.
  2. Cut tofu and dredge evenly in cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup of the grapeseed oil in a non-stick pan.
  4. Place 1/2 of the tofu in oil. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 10 turns of black pepper.
  5. Cook for 9-10 minutes, turning so that all sides get brown.
  6. Take out of pan and place on a brown paper bag (placed on a plate) to soak up the oil.
  7. Place 3 more tablespoons of oil in the pan and add the remaining tofu.
  8. Add another 1/4 teaspoon salt and 10 turns black pepper and cook for 9-10 minutes.
  9. Take out and place on a paper bag.
  10. Use the same oil and pan and add the garlic, chilis, and ginger.
  11. Cook for 1 minute and then add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 6 tablespoons water.
  12. Add red onions and sesame oil and cook for 3 minutes.
  13. Add the tofu back to the pan, stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes.
  14. Add the glaze and cook for an additional minute.
  15. Garnish with green onions.


Do not serve the red chilis, they are added for flavor, not to eat directly. If you don’t like spicy then leave the red chilis whole. If you’re a lover of all things spicy, go ahead and cut the chilis in half and stir fry all of the hot and spicy goodness into the dish.

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Nutritional Information

Total Calories: 788 | Total Carbs: 19 g | Total Fat: 70 g | Total Protein: 28 g | Total Sodium: 1371 mg | Total Sugar: 15 g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


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  1. I used fresh chillies and sliced them. Nice and fiery but not for the faint hearted (or stomached). Might have over done it. Was still yummy though.

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