Don't let the name fool you - a blend of spices elevates the humble salt and pepper tofu into a dish of addictive proportions!
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 250 g silken tofu, cut into 2-3cm rectangles
- 100 g potato starch
- 2 spring onion (scallion), thinly sliced
- 3 red bird’s eye chilli, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Micro-herbs, to garnish
Salt and pepper mix
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp five-spice powder
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
For the salt and pepper mix, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Fill a wok one-third full of oil and heat to 180°C or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds. Dust the tofu pieces gently with the potato starch, shake off the excess starch, then add them a few at a time in quick succession to the oil. Deep-fry for 2 minutes or until crisp, then carefully transfer to a tray lined with paper towel to drain the excess oil.
Place the tofu into a mixing bowl, then sprinkle with the salt and pepper mix and toss gently. Transfer to a serving plate.
Drain all but 2 tbsp of oil from the wok, then return the wok to medium-high heat. Add the spring onion, chilli and garlic and stir for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Scatter over the tofu, then garnish with the micro herbs and serve immediately.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Tammi Kwok.