I am a sucker for any salt and pepper dishes. If we dine out and I see in on the menu I will definitely order it. Most of the restaurant here will prepare it with pork, calamari or shrimps but for today I am doing it with tofu. These dishes are not difficult to prepare. Basically you just deep fried the main ingredients and sprinkle it with salt and Szechuan peppercorn mixture. As for the Szechuan pepper all you have to do is dry roast it over medium heat on a heavy-based pan until it begins to ‘pop’ and aromatic. Cool it down and then grind it into powder with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. I usually make more of it and store it in an airtight container.
1 block of firm tofu – cut into 1” cubes
½ cup of cornstarch
Salt to taste
For the salt and pepper dip
1 tsp of Szechuan pepper
2 tsp salt
1. Dry the tofu with some paper towel. Sprinkle it with some salt. Heat oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Lightly coat tofu pieces in cornstarch.
2. Carefully lower the tofu into the hot oil – it is important not to coat the tofu in advance of heating the oil, or it will become very moist and sticky.
3. Fried until lightly brown and crispy, remove and drain the oil on paper towel.
4. Arrange tofu on a platter and serve immediately with the salt and pepper mixture.