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Spicy Black Pepper Tofu [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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This recipe is phenomenal not only in taste but visual appeal. Tofu is sautéed with shallots, fresh chili peppers, a healthy amount of garlic and ginger, and a special spice blend. This flavor-packed tofu dish is easy to make, cooks in under 30 minutes, and pairs wonderfully with rice or grains of your choice.

Spicy Black Pepper Tofu [Vegan, Gluten-Free]



Cook Time



For the Tofu:

  • Canola oil, for sautéeing
  • 1 12.3-ounce package of firm tofu packed in water, cut into 3/4-inch
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh red chili (go for milder ones), thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed or very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon blackening spice
  • 5-6 green onions cut into 1 1/4-inch lengths

For the Blackening Spice:

  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients for the blackening spice in an airtight jar.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the tofu cubes with the cornstarch.
  3. Heat a thin layer of oil into a large frying pan or wok over medium heat and fry half the cubed tofu at a time to prevent overcrowding.
  4. Fry for about 6-8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently.
  5. When they are done transfer the tofu to paper towels and complete your second batch adding oil first if needed.
  6. Remove any sediment from your pan and heat a couple tablespoon of oil in the same pan.
  7. Add your shallots, chili, ginger, and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes or until all the ingredients are soft.
  8. Add your soy sauce and blackening spice mixing well.
  9. Add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
  10. Add the tofu to the sauce and mix well to incorporate and warm.
  11. Add more syrup (1 tablespoon) if needed.
  12. Finally, stir in the green onions and serve.


Adapted from Miglore, Kristen's “Black Pepper Tofu from Yotam Ottolenghi” from Food 52 Genius Recipes.





Tara Binder is passionate about showing omnivores that vegan food is delicious. As a part-time nurse and a full-time foodie she wants to show the world that you can eat scrumptious food without sacrificing your health. Residing in Vancouver, Canada this mom of two adorable boys spends her free time cooking and blogging at What The Heck Do I Eat Now.



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One comment on “Spicy Black Pepper Tofu [Vegan, Gluten-Free]”

Click to add comment
Cara Jane
7 Months Ago

So delicious but the sodium content is ASTRONOMICAL. I am always swollen and feel sick the next day. I recommend less salt for the spices and instead of tamari maybe coconut aminos? It is my absolute favorite meal, just a tiny tweak.


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