Southeast Meets West
December 7, 2011
At second glance, I questioned if Paula Deen got her her hot little hands on the original recipe. I mean, vegetable oil for frying and 11 TABLESPOONS of butter?!? Since when did Paula start fixing tofu???
After I got over the amount of oil and butter in the recipe, I realized it looked like a great dish with a lot of yummy flavors, so I may as well give it a shot. I tweaked it a bit with the addition of green bell pepper, decreased the amount of serranos (I mean, eight?!? I guess Bobby Flay got his hands on this, too) and I lessened the amount of butter, reflected below. I just can’t consciously tell people to put 11 tablespoons of butter in their food.
It turned out to be an extremely flavorful dish that I will definitely make again. I hope you enjoy it just as much as we did!
Black Pepper Tofu
- 1 3/4 lbs firm tofu
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 stick of butter
- 12 small shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced
- 12 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
- 3 tbsp sweet soy sauce
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 4 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp black pepper
- 16 small and thin green onions, cut into 1 1/4-inch segments
- I green bell pepper, julienned
Start with the tofu. Pour enough oil into a large frying pan or wok to come 1/4 inch up the sides and heat. Cut the tofu into large cubes, about 1 x 1 inch, then add to the hot oil. (You’ll need to fry the tofu pieces in a few batches so they don’t stew in the pan.) Fry, turning them around as you go, until they are golden all over. As they are cooked, transfer them onto paper towels.
Remove the oil and any sediment from the pan, then put the butter inside and melt it. Add the shallots, chiles, garlic and ginger. Sauté on low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients have turned shiny and are totally soft. Next, add the soy sauces and sugar and stir, then add the black pepper.
Add the tofu to warm it up in the sauce for about a minute. Finally, stir in the green onions and green bell pepper. Serve hot, with Jasmine rice.