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Black Pepper Tofu with Green Beans (vegan)

Happy New Year! Well done for making it through another crazy one, and thank you for coming back to On the Hobb. If you're giving Veganuary a go this year, or you're just looking to experiment with more plant based alternatives, I've got the perfect recipe for you to try over the weekend. My Black Pepper Tofu with Green Beans! It's a quick and easy stir fry dish that's packed with flavour and has a lovely slow building peppery heat, without it being too much.

I came across a Guardian new year article earlier today that listed 'always use freshly ground black pepper' as one of the many ways to slightly improve your day to day life in 2022 without any effort and I couldn't agree more with this sentiment. I love freshly ground black pepper and it goes so well with tofu.

The last tofu stir fry recipe I put on the blog (my Crispy Chilli Tofu) became the most popular recipe on the site, so I hope that this new recipe will be just as appealing to you. I think *dare I say it* I might even prefer this one... Let me know!

INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2), 15 minutes prep, 15 minutes cooking:

  • 1 pack of firm tofu

  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped

  • 1/2 red chilli, finely chopped

  • Approx 150g fine green beans, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked peppercorns

  • large pinch of salt

  • Large glug of rapeseed oil (approx 6 tablespoons but you don't need to be strict about this.

  • 1 cup of cornflour

I tend to use the Toofoo tofu brand which is readily available in supermarkets. Whatever brand you choose to use, make sure you're using firm tofu otherwise it will disintegrate and won't hold its shape.

Black Pepper Sauce:

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Chinese Cooking Wine ( Shaoxing Rice Wine) or you can sub dry white wine if you don't have any

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar


As is the case with all stir-fry recipes, make sure to prep all the ingredients first. The cooking part goes very quickly and it’s easy to burn things when you are not ready.

  1. Make the black pepper sauce by mixing everything together in a bowl and put aside.

  2. Chop the tofu into cubes and blot dry with kitchen roll to make sure all the moisture is removed.

  3. Place a wok/frying pan over a medium high heat, and add the rapeseed oil to the pan shortly followed by a large pinch of salt and a teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Swirl around in the oil for 1 minute until fragrant.

  4. Dredge each piece of tofu in the cornflour until coated on all sides then place in the hot oil and repeat. You'll need to turn each piece of tofu every minute until it's crisp on all sides but this doesn't take long when the oil is hot, approximately 5 minutes. Make sure you don't overcrowd the pan. It's better to do two batches of tofu that have a nice covering of pepper and a slight crispiness.

  5. Once the tofu is ready, remove with a slotted spoon and place them on some kitchen roll to remove any excess oil. You can put a piece of foil over the top to keep them warm until they're needed a little later on.

  6. Once all the tofu is cooked, carefully wipe the pan out, add another splash of oil over a medium high heat then add the spring onions, chilli and green beans to the pan to fry for 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid burning.

  7. Add the black pepper sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes until the green beans are fully cooked. Then at the last minute, toss the tofu back into the pan for 10 -20 seconds just to coat them in the sauce, but as soon as everything is mixed serve it up immediately to avoid the tofu losing its crispiness!

I usually serve this dish up over a small portion of rice but if you wanted to make this low carb you could substitute cauliflower rice or just add in more green beans and serve as it is. I've not tried it with other vegetables but I imagine this would also work well with pak choi, baby corn and edamame beans. As ever if you give this one a try, please do let me know. I love hearing feedback and what ways you've changed the recipe to suit your own tastes. Don't forget to snap a picture and tag me on instagram or twitter. Happy Cooking!

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