• Salt and pepper silken tofu (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

Don't let the name fool you - a blend of spices elevates the humble salt and pepper tofu into a dish of addictive proportions! 






Skill level

Average: 2.4 (1118 votes)


  • 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

Cook's notes

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.

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