Salt & Pepper Tofu

Looking for a bit of change from your usual evening meal?Try this delectable salt and pepper fried tofu garnished with peppers, red onion , spring onions , chillis , carrots , sesame seeds.Topped off with MAHi's Tamarind & Mango glaze on the tofu. This one will have you licking your lips for sure.

Pre Time And Cook time

Prep Time: 15min
Cook time: 25min


500 g extra firm tofu

For Frying: 

Neutral oil such as vegetable, canola, safflower, etc.

Spice Mix For Sprinkling: 
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp
5 spice powder

Tofu Coating: 
1/2 cup cornstarch plus 1-2 tbsp more if needed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp
5 spice powder

For Sautéing: 
2 tbsp neutral oil
1 medium onion diced
2 tbsp minced garlic from 1 head garlic
3 long green chiles I used siling haba
3 bird’s eye chilies or other red chiles optional for spice (I used siling labuyo)
1 small green or red bell pepper
3 scallions sliced
Additional 1/4 tsp sea salt if needed


  1. Drain the excess water from the tofu for 10 to 15 minutes. I like to do this by wrapping them in paper towels and placing them on a flat surface before putting a plate or flat heavy surface on top. You can also opt to use a tofu press.
  2. Slice the tofu into 1” cubes or other shape of choice. I personally prefer to slice them into small cubes since they’re much crispier in small pieces compared to larger ones.
Mix for Sprinkling:
  1. Prepare the salt and spices in a small bowl. Mix well then set aside for later.
Before Coating and Frying:
  1. Before you start coating your tofu, heat a large pan or wok over high heat with oil enough to submerge at least half of your tofu. I prefer to completely submerge them in oil to really evenly crisp the sides.
  2. This step is important—you’ll want to make sure your oil is VERY hot before you cook the tofu. I also prefer to coat them right before frying so the tofu doesn’t sit i the starch too long—when it does the tofu starts to release some liquid and dampen the starch, causing it to stick to one another.
Coating and Frying the Tofu:
  1. In a large bowl, mix the cornstarch, salt, pepper, and 5 spice powder.
  2. Coat the tofu in batches. You can add around 1/3 of the tofu cubes (depending on the size of your pan/wok) into the cornstarch mix. Roll the tofu into the starch until they’re white and well coated well.
  3. Check the heat of the oil. If you see small bubbles, you can test it out by getting a small piece of tofu. Add it in the oil and if it immediately sizzles very rapidly, it’s good to do! Remember, you’ll want to fry the tofu quickly to get them crisp evenly so the oil has t be very hot.
  4. Add in the first batch of coated tofu. Make sure not to overcrowd the pieces of tofu so they can all cook well.
  5. Leave the tofu to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, flipping halfway through as needed, until all sides are cooked through and crisp. You’ll know the cornstarch s cooked through when it dries up and gets firm and crisp. The tofu won’t turn to a golden brown—just a very pale yellow.
  6. While the first batch of tofu cooks, you can go ahead and add in another batch of tofu cubes into the starch mixture to coat it well.
  7. When the first batch is done cooking, remove the tofu cubes from the oil. Transfer it to a strainer or cooling rack to cool. Don’t place them on a plate with paper towels since they’ll get soggy. Do not cover them as well.
  8. Add in the next batch of tofu cubes into the oil. Repeat the coating and frying process for the rest of the tofu—so you’ll repeat this 3 to 4 times depending on the size of your pan/wok.
  9. Set aside the fried tofu cubes while we sauté the rest of the ingredients.
  10. Remove the oil form the wok/pan.


  1. In the same pan/wok over high heat, add in some oil.
  2. When hot, add in the onions and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Move the onions to the side of the pan/wok and then add in the garlic.
  4. Leave the garlic to cook over medium high heat until golden brown and crisp for 3 to 4 minutes. You can add in the chiles and peppers to cook down as well.
  5. When the garlic is golden brown, add in the scallions then mix everything together and leave to cook for 1-2 more minutes until the chiles and onions are cooked.
  6. Over high heat, add in the first tofu cubes.
  7. Sprinkle 1/2 of the salt and spice mix first.
  8. Mix the tofu well, then sprinkle in the rest.
  9. Taste the tofu and feel free to add more salt, to taste, if needed.
  10. Serve and enjoy immediately while still hot and crisp.
  11. Garnish with additional scallions, if desired. You’ll want to scoop up those little bits of crispy garlic, onions and chiles, and enjoy it with rice. So good!


  1. Veg Base & Mix: Finely slice the green chilli, White onion, red and green pepper. Finley chop the garlic. Then add to a wok with a little bit of oil on a medium heat. Saute these off for 5 minutes, then add all your spices and fry off for 2 extra minutes. Take the pan off the heat and leave on the side.
  2. Tofu: You can buy pre fried tofu already from any asian supermarket, or you can fry it yourself. To fry yourself, you wanna drain the water out of the tofu packet. Then press your tofu to get rid of an excess water thats in the tofu, you dont need a tofu press to do this. You can either place your tofu in between 2 chopping boards and wrap with cling film and leave to drain for an hour. Or you can place a tea towel on top then put something heavy on top of the tofu and leave for an hour. Once youve let the water drain from the tofu, chop it up into 1 inch cubes. Then Place them in the fryer, youll see them slowly change colour. Once theyre a nice golden brown lift from fryer and let the oil drain from them.
  3. Glaze: Place a medium size saucepan onto a medium heat, then add your sugar and orange juice. Stir this until all the grains of sugar have gone, then add your Tamarind & Mango sauce. Turn the heat down to a low heat and reduce for 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes so catch on the bottom of the pan. This will looks like a nice shiny glaze, once it looks nice and sticky take off heat.
  4. Garnish: This it totally optional. For the garnish you will need to finely slice the red chilli, spring onion and carrot. Then add into a mixing bowl with ice and water. What this will do is shock the veg and curl it up to make a really nice garnish to finish any dish off. leave in the water for about 15 mins then drain.
  5. Bringing the Dish Together: Grab the pan with all your sauteed veg in and place on a medium heat. add your tofu and stir constantly for 2 minutes ( wok would be amazing for this ) then add your glaze and stir for another 2 minutes. Place into a bowl add your veg garnish and some sesame seeds.