For my gluten free Salt and Pepper tofu recipe, I am using firm tofu as my main ingredient. Likewise, I season the tofu with Chinese five spice powder, paprika and corn starch mixture. Then I serve this salt and pepper tofu with pickled chillies and fragrant garlic oil. Besides, I serve this salt and pepper tofu together with balsamic vinegar for extra flavour. Moreover, this gluten free salt and pepper tofu recipe is also vegan, dairy free, egg free and nut free. As well as paleo and low carb.
Cantonese Salt and Pepper Dishes
Salt and pepper flavourings is an ingenuous way in Cantonese cuisine to make a really humble and yet delicious dish. While retaining the freshness and taste of the meat, tofu or seafood used as ingredients. Besides, they use many variations of ingredients in preparing salt and pepper dishes. Namely prawns, pork, chicken, quails, fish and tofu.
About Cantonese Cuisine
Cantonese cuisine, also known as Yue cuisine, originated from the Guangdong province in the Southeast region of China. Likewise, Cantonese cuisine is the most common style of Chinese cuisine chefs serve in Chinese restaurants all over the world. This is due to the fact that majority of the early Chinese immigrants from China are mainly from Guangdong. Likewise, salt and pepper dishes are also a favourite entrée and often served as finger food at any parties.
Tofu or bean curd and its origin dated all the way back in China for more than 2000 years ago. Besides, they make tofu from soy beans by solidifying soy milk. Then compressing the soy bean curds into soft white portions. Besides, they use tofu regularly as a main ingredient in many Chinese and Asian cuisines. Moreover, the varieties of tofu available for sale are soft, silken, firm or extra firm.
In addition, tofu is highly versatile and they use it not only in many savoury dishes but desserts as well. Likewise, they make tofu from soy beans that are not only low price and abundant. But rich in protein as well. The longstanding popularly known benefit of tofu is that of being the “poor man’s protein”. However, many people are widely aware of the health benefits of tofu as a meat alternative. As a result, more people are treating tofu as a crucial source of lean protein especially for vegetarians or vegans.
Nutritional Values and Health Benefits of Tofu
Tofu is naturally gluten free, it is not only high in protein and low in calories. But it is also an excellent source of calcium, manganese, copper, selenium and phosphorus. In addition, Tofu is also a good source of iron, magnesium, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B1 (Thiamine). Besides, tofu also contains isoflavones and has antioxidant properties.
On the whole, the health benefits of tofu may include:
- Decrease risks of cardiovascular diseases;
- Assist in lowering bad LDL cholesterols;
- Reduce risks of breast and prostate cancer;
- Lower risks of type 2 diabetes;
- Treat menopause symptoms;
- Prevent and treat obesity; and
- Avert incidents of age-related neurological disorders.
Salt and Pepper Tofu
- Rice bran oil for pan frying
- 750 g organic firm tofu cut into 1½ inch pieces
- Steamed basmati rice to serve
For The Flour Mixture:
For the garlic oil:
- 3 tablespoons rice bran oil
- 5 cloves garlic finely minced
- 2 spring onion (shallots) finely sliced
- Pinch salt
For the Pickled Chillies:
For the Dipping Sauce:
- some balsamic vinegar optional
For the pickled chillies:
- Mix and combine well all the ingredients for the pickled chillies in a small bowl. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and set aside in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Drain the pickled chillies before serving.
For the garlic oil:
- Heat up a small pot with the rice bran oil, pan fry the garlic on low heat until lightly golden, then add in the spring onion (shallots) and pinch of salt and briefly stir-fry for another 1 minute. Turn off the heat and set aside in a small bowl.
For cooking the tofu:
- Heat up a non-stick frying pan with ½ inch of rice bran oil.
- Coat each tofu piece with the flour mixture, shake off any excess flour, and pan-fry for 2 minutes on each side or until lightly golden brown on medium to low heat. Remove from pan drain on kitchen paper towel. Repeat the same process in 2 batches until all the tofu are cooked.
- To serve, drizzle the tofu pieces with the garlic oil and garnish with the drained pickled chillies prepared in step 1.
- Serve with steamed basmati rice.