Szechuan Tofu and Peppers

Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Lord Byron's Kitchen
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  • 700 grams extra firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced, plus more for garnish

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Start by making the sauce. In a small saucepan, add all of the sauce ingredients and whisk together.
  • Over medium heat, bring the sauce mixture to a low boil. When slightly bubbling, remove from heat and set aside.
  • Next, coat the tofu pieces in the cornstarch by adding them to a bowl and lightly tossing them with your fingertips. Be careful to not break up the tofu pieces.
  • Over medium-high heat, add the olive oil to a large skillet and add the tofu bites gently - allow the excess cornstarch to fall off the tofu bites before adding them to the skillet.
  • Use metal tongs to turn the tofu every minute or so to ensure all sides are lightly browned. This cooking process should take about 6-7 minutes.
  • Once cooked, remove the tofu from the skillet and transfer to a glass bowl.
  • Next, add one tablespoon of sesame oil to the skillet and toss in all of the peppers. Season the peppers with the salt and pepper. Don't overcook the peppers. Saute them for about 4-5 minutes in the hot skillet. You want there to still be a nice colour and a bit of crunch when you're finished the cooking process.
  • Add the tofu back into the pan and pour in the entire contents of the sauce mixture.
  • Using silicone or rubber spatulas, lightly toss all of the ingredients together.
  • Add the sesame seeds and the green onions. Toss once more until well combined. Allow the skillet to simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sauce and tofu are heated through.
  • Serve immediately. Top with more sesame seeds and green onions for garnish.
  • Great with steamed brown rice!