Salt and Pepper Tofu (椒盐豆腐)

Salt and pepper tofu is a super quick and easy dish for mid-week lunch or dinner. The pepper in this dish traditionally refers to Sichuan pepper and not black/white pepper. Most of the flavour of this dish is in the batter. Combined with a topping of crunchy garlic and chillies, this crispy tofu dish is a definite winner! I like to add 1 tbsp of Sichuan pepper oil at the end when tossing, just to be excessive. (This is why my tofu bits are so shiny.) But it's completely optional. When making salt and pepper tofu for kids, reduce the amount of ground pepper in the batter, and replace the chillies with sweet peppers. This goes great with something saucy or soupy like Hot & Sour Soup (酸辣汤) or Enoki in Tofu Skin (金针菇豆皮卷).
Servings: 2 yield(s)
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
  • 250 g tofu
  • Batter
  • 0.25 cup flour
  • 0.25 cup corn starch
  • 1 tbsp rice flour
  • 0.5 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground Sichuan pepper
  • 0.4 cup water (a little less than 0.5 cup)
  • Topping
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 green chilli (or sweet peppers)
  • 1 red chilli (or sweet peppers)
  • 0.5 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan pepper oil (optional)
  1. Mix all the batter ingredients together. When you add the water it should look like a runny pancake batter.
  2. Coat your tofu thoroughly.
  3. Heat about 800ml or four fingers depth of oil in a large and deep saucepan. Drip a small amount of batter into the oil, if the batter cooks and rises immediately, the oil is hot enough. Deep fry the tofu until golden. Drain and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, mince the garlic and chillies or peppers.
  5. Heat 0.5 tbsp of oil in the pan and fry the toppings until fragrant.
  6. Toss the tofu with the toppings in the pan briefly. Add Sichuan pepper oil if you like (I like).
  7. Serve hot with rice.