Crispy Tofu with Black Pepper Sauce

food, crispy tofu with black pepper sauce

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Sometimes tofu can be boring and tasteless, but not in this recipe! Here, the crispy vegetarian bean curd is so loaded with flavor, you’ll never shy away from tofu again. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.


4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 4 green onions
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 8 ounces fresh sugar snap peas (about 2 cups), trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot

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  1. Mix first 4 ingredients. Mince white parts of green onions; thinly slice green parts.
  2. Cut tofu into 1/2-in. cubes; pat dry with paper towels. Toss tofu with cornstarch. In a large skillet, heat 4 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add tofu; cook until crisp and golden brown, 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan; drain on paper towels.
  3. In same pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add peas; stir-fry until crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan.
  4. In same pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add pepper; cook 30 seconds. Add garlic, ginger and minced green onions; stir-fry 30-45 seconds. Stir in soy sauce mixture; cook and stir until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in tofu and peas. Sprinkle with sliced green onions.

Fried Tofu Recipe Tips

What is the best oil to fry tofu in?

We use canola oil to fry the tofu in this recipe, but you can use any other neutral-flavored oil that has a high smoke point, like vegetable oil or peanut oil. (Learn more about the best cooking oils for frying.)

How do you fry tofu without sticking?

To prevent the tofu from sticking, use a nonstick skillet or a cast-iron pan with a generous amount of oil. Make sure the oil is nice and hot before adding the tofu, and allow the tofu to sear in the pan for a few minutes before flipping it. We also recommend using firm or extra-firm tofu. (Here are other mistakes to avoid when cooking tofu.)

What do you eat with fried tofu?

Serve fried tofu with hot cooked rice and/or stir-fried vegetables to make it a complete meal! This recipe uses Asian-inspired flavors, but you can also serve fried tofu with buffalo sauce or barbecue sauce for a different flavor profile. Check out our best tofu recipes for more inspiration!

Research contributed by Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 316 calories, 24g fat (2g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 583mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.

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