Chilli-fried tofu with egg-fried rice

Spice up your tofu with a fiery chilli sauce. Serve alongside egg-fried rice for a speedy vegetarian meal that is packed full of flavour.

Ingredients

For the tofu
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for shallow frying
  • 500g/1lb 2oz firm tofu, drained, patted dry with kitchen paper, cut into 1.5cm/½in cubes
  • 4 tbsp rice flour (potato flour or cornflour can also be used)
  • 2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
  • 75g/3oz cashew nuts
For the chilli sauce
  • 150ml/5fl oz rice wine vinegar
  • 150g/5oz caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 red chillies, finely diced
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 10cm/4in piece fresh root ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 2 carrots, peeled, julienned
For the egg-fried rice
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 200g/7oz basmati rice, cooked according to packet instructions, drained
  • 2 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves

Preparation method

  1. For the tofu, pour the vegetable oil into a deep heavy-based frying pan until it is 3cm/1in in depth. Heat over a medium heat. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  2. Meanwhile, mix the tofu with the two remaining tablespoons of vegetable oil.

  3. Mix the flour and crushed peppercorns together in a bowl. Dredge the tofu in the flour, shake off any excess, then carefully lower the coated tofu into the hot oil and cook the tofu for 1-2 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. (You may need to do this in batches.)

  4. Fry the cashew nuts in the hot oil for 1-2 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

  5. For the chilli sauce, heat the vinegar, sugar and soy sauce in a non-reactive frying pan until the mixture comes to the boil. Add the chillies, chilli flakes and ginger and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, or until the volume of the liquid had reduced.

  6. Add the fried tofu, fried cashew nuts and carrots to the pan, stir well and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the carrots have softened.

  7. For the egg-fried rice, heat the oil in a wok over a high heat, add the rice and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the rice is completely warmed through.

  8. Whisk the eggs and sesame oil together in a bowl and add to the wok. Stir-fry for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the eggs have cooked through completely.

  9. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper then stir through the spring onions and coriander.

  10. To serve, spoon the egg-fried rice onto four serving plates and top with a spoonful of chilli-fried tofu.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4