Spicy black bean tofu

Spicy black bean tofu

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

This is an easy, quickly made home-style meal to serve with rice and maybe a simple green vegetable stir-fry. The mix of chilli, black beans, garlic and dark soy sauce makes for a flavoursome combo that lifts tofu from the ordinary to the sublime. Vegetarians can swap the chicken stock for vegetable and ditch the pork; its inclusion here isn’t make-or-break.


Quantity Ingredient
600g firm tofu
750ml vegetable oil
cornflour, for dusting
150g minced pork
4 garlic cloves, crushed
6 spring onions, cut into 1 cm pieces
3 large red chillies, finely sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons fermented black beans, rinsed
250ml Chicken stock
1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine
3 teaspoons dark soy sauce
Strained chilli oil, to serve (optional)


  1. Drain the tofu well, then cut into 8.5 x 3 cm rectangles, about 1 cm thick.
  2. Pour the oil into a large wok and heat to 180°C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns deep golden in 15 seconds. Dust the tofu slices in cornflour to coat well, shaking off the excess. Add the tofu to the hot oil in three batches and deep-fry for 5–6 minutes, or until light golden, then remove and drain on paper towel.
  3. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the wok. Return the wok to a high heat, then add the pork and stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until it changes colour, stirring constantly to break up the meat. Add the garlic and spring onions and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, or until the spring onions have softened slightly. Add the chillies, black beans, stock, rice wine and soy sauce and bring to the boil.
  4. Add the fried tofu to the wok and cook, gently tossing the tofu to coat well, for about 4 minutes, or until the tofu is heated through and the sauce has thickened slightly. Serve the tofu immediately, drizzled with chilli oil to taste, if desired.
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