• 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 200g firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into cubes
  • 50g silken tofu
  • 2, green tops only spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chilli oil
  • ground to make 2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • a thumb sized piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp doubanjiang, (see details below)
  • 200ml kombu stock, (see details below)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing wine


  • STEP 1

    To make the sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan, add the peppercorns and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Scoop the peppercorns out of the oil and discard. Add the onions to the infused oil in the same pan and cook for 10 minutes until caramelised. Add the ginger and garlic, and fry for another few minutes, then add the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes on a low heat until thickened.

  • STEP 2

    Heat another 3 tbsp of vegetable oil in a frying pan and add the firm tofu. Fry for 5 minutes, turning often until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.

  • STEP 3

    Put the firm tofu onto a plate, pour over the sauce, and add the pieces of silken tofu, spring onions, a drizzle of chilli oil and some of the ground szechuan pepper.

Doubanjiang is a chilli bean sauce available in Chinese supermarkets and online at and Kombu stock is made from infusing dried sheets of seaweed in water. Put 30g of kombu seaweed into 1 litre of water (soak for 3-5 hours if you have the time) and then very slowly bring to the boil – this should take 20-25 minutes. When it reaches the boil, discard the seaweed. It will keep in fridge for 3-5 days. Alternatively, you can buy Mara seaweed kombu stock powder from or in large supermarkets.


Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating