It’s all Ottolenghi, all the time round here at the moment. The black pepper tofu recipe seems to be near the top of everyone’s list to try from Plenty. The recipe was first published in the Guardian, so many people have tried it already. I happen to love tofu, so I was very keen to give it a go.
I brought some black pepper back with me from Sri Lanka. It has quite a different flavour from the pepper I’m used to – almost earthy, and slightly smoky. It has a habit of overpowering any food I add it to, but I figured that since the recipe was called black pepper tofu, that wouldn’t exactly be a problem!
I reduced the quantities of everything as I was only cooking for one. The recipe calls for eight red chillies. I used two very large red chillies. I think they were fairly mild, which is why I didn’t get the same chilli burn others seem to have experienced. They still added a pleasing warmth to the recipe, and the flavour of the black pepper definitely came through. I have a fairly high spice tolerance though, so I perhaps next time I make it I’ll use a flatmate as a control (they’re generally quite game for my kitchen experiments). I also didn’t have any sweet soy sauce, so I just added extra light soy sauce. Now that I know I love the recipe, sweet soy sauce is on the shopping list.
Just writing about this recipe makes me want to go out and buy some more tofu. It tasted incredible. Because I’m lazy, I ate it with noodles, but it would have been even better with rice. Next time I make it, I might try it with regular black pepper, but I still have plenty from Sri Lanka too.
If you want to try it, the recipe is on the Guardian website here.