This black pepper tofu in sesame-miso broth is a perfect combination of crispy tofu and aromatic broth. Crunchy, aromatic peanuts on top are the perfect finish for this meal.
As I worked on my first plant-based cookbook, I learned to love the versatility and ease of cooking with tofu. Whether crumbling extra firm tofu as a filling for tacos or throwing silken tofu into soups for an extra creamy finish, my appreciation of this centuries-old staple sky-rocketed.
Fortunately, this black pepper tofu isn’t too difficult to prepare, though it does require some prep work.
How to make this black pepper tofu in sesame-miso broth:
Before starting, you’ll want to press the tofu by wrapping it in paper towels on a large plate. You’ll want to make sure your plate is large enough to catch any liquid that is released from the tofu. From there, simply pile heavy objects, like books or a heavy-bottomed pot on top and let sit for 30 minutes. You can also press the tofu the night before or the morning of to save yourself time at dinner!
Once the tofu is pressed, simply cut it into rectangles and season liberally with salt and lots of freshly cracked pepper. Dust it with cassava–or all-purpose–flour and then fry it up in a skillet with some high-heat oil.
Take the tofu out of the pot and then prepare the broth. The broth contains just a few ingredients:
- Diced onion
- Minced scallion whites
- Miso paste, white miso preferably
- Vegetable stock
- Sesame oil
- Soy sauce
Once the broth comes together, simply add the tofu to it and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
While the broth simmers, prepare the best part of this dish: the crunchy peanut garnish!
All that’s needed is peanuts, high-heat oil, scallion greens, and sesame seeds. It makes for the most delicious, crunchy, aromatic topping that works perfectly with the peppery tofu.
Black Pepper Tofu in Sesame-Miso Broth
- Wide pot
- Small pot
- 1 pound extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into squares
- 3 cups cooked white rice, warm
- 2 tablespoons cassava flour, plus more if needed
- 1–2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper, more if desired
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon avocado oil,
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into half-moons
- 6 scallions, white and green parts separated; minced
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 cup unsalted peanuts
- Minced scallion greens from above
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Prepare the tofu:
- Place the pressed tofu on a plate and dust with cassava flour on each side. Season with salt and the black pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Add the tofu in an even layer and cook without moving for 4 to 5 minutes until crisp and browned. Flip and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the tofu and transfer it to a plate. Wipe out the pot.
Prepare the broth:
- Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the pot. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the scallion whites and cook for 4 minutes more.
- Add white miso paste, pressing it into the onions, for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Pour in vegetable stock, stirring to incorporate it into the miso. Once the broth begins to bubble lightly, turn the heat to low and add the tahini, sesame oil, and soy sauce and whisk to incorporate.
Simmer the broth:
- Add the tofu to the broth and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the spinach and cook for 5 minutes until bright green and wilted. Taste and season.
Cook the peanut garnish:
- As the broth simmers, make the peanut garnish. In a small pot, heat the avocado oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the peanuts and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until they begin to turn golden brown. Be careful not to burn them! Turn off the heat and stir in the scallion greens and sesame seeds. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Divide the cooked rice between bowls and ladle the black pepper tofu and broth on top. Scatter the peanuts across each dish.