A quick and easy vegan tofu recipe with some classic Sichuan flavours like shallots, ginger and pepper. It is a little sweet, but mostly tangy! Serve with extra vegetables and cooked brown rice noodles or rice. If on a low-carb diet, serve with shiritaki noodles/rice.
Cut the tofu - no need to press first - into 8 or so slices. Peel and slice the shallot; peel and finely mince the gingerroot. Slice the tomatoes in half.
Saute the tofu slices in half of the oil until golden on both sides. Set aside and keep warm.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat over a low-medium flame. Scrape in the chopped shallots, ginger, 5-spice powder and Sichuan pepper and saute for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Finally add the tomato paste, sweetener and apple cider vinegar. Let this bubble up then add the tomatoes. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down and get soft and juicy.
Taste the sauce and adjust as needed. Some of you might want a splash of soy sauce or dash of salt. Or maybe a squeeze of lime. I like a grind of fresh black pepper. Then you add cooked noodles and vegetables to each plate and top with the cooked tofu and half of the sauce. Mix lightly to coat.
Variations: no need to use tofu. Feel free to use this sauce on fish or even cooked beans. Or make the sauce for a vegetable dish, like steamed eggplant cubes or green beans. Be creative!
Tips: heat up a pouch of brown basmati, Jasmine rice or precooked noodles instead of cooking rice or noodles from scratch. While the tofu is cooking, use another pan to steam some greens until just wilted.