Delicious Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy – a simple vegan tofu stir-fry that can be made in 20 minutes flat! Serve this over noodles or rice for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Laugh because that is the purest sound. – Hafez
This Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy is a quick and easy weeknight dinner that can be made in under 30 minutes. It’s loaded up with healthy bok choy and can be served on its own, jasmine rice, black rice or rice noodles.
And even though this tofu stir fry is easiest made in a wok, don’t let this stop you if you don’t happen to have one.
Half the time I make this in my cast iron skillet. Either way, it’s a super tasty way to serve up tofu and the vibrant baby bok choy!
Black Pepper Tofu | 30-second video
TIP: As with most stir-fry recipes, my best advice is to make sure to prep all the ingredients beforehand and place them close to the stove, ready to go. The cooking part goes very quickly and it’s all too easy to burn things when you are not constantly stirring.
So always chop and prep before you turn on the pan.
This recipe for Black Pepper Tofu is perfect for two.
Brian and I normally eat this without rice or noodles, for a lower carb dinner, but feel free to add if you like.
Although it has a fair amount of crushed black peppercorns, the Black Pepper Sauce is not overwhelming. It perfectly accentuates the tofu and the bok choy, and the dish feels balanced.
And keep in mind, I’ve simplified this recipe quite a bit to prevent you from having to make an extra trip to the Asian Market for specialty items.
The baby bok choy turns a vibrant green in the wok and gets just slightly wilty.
And even though the dish tastes flavorful and saucy, it also tastes very clean. Which I love…
I’m not sure if it is just my imagination, but the natural water element of the bok choy feels very healing and restorative to the body.
A simple easy recipe to whip up when days are full and time is short. Give this Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy, a try this coming week and let me know what you think!
Have a great holiday weekend.
Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy
A simple delicious recipe for Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy – a tasty vegan meal that can be made in under 30 minutes!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Vegan, Gluten Free, Main
- Method: Stir fry
- Cuisine: Chinese
- 8–12 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes ( do not use silken tofu – or sub chickenor shrimp, see notes)
- corn starch for dredging ( optional)
- 2 tablespoons wok oil ( high heat oil like peanut, coconut or vegetable)
- 5 finger pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked peppercorns
- 1 fat shallot, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
- 6 ounces baby bok choy ( about 4) quartered lengthwise ( or if very thick, in half again)
Black Pepper Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce ( or Gluten-free Liquid Aminos)
- 2 tablespoons Chinese Cooking Wine ( Shaoxing Rice Wine) or sub dry white wine, pale sherry, or rice wine.
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar ( or sub palm sugar, coconut sugar or agave)
- ½ teaspoon fresh cracked peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon chili paste (optional)
- Cut tofu into cubes and blot dry with paper towels, pressing down gently.
- Make the wok sauce, stirring ingredients together in a small until most of the sugar dissolves. Place it by the stove.
- Prep the shallots, garlic and bok choy.
- Dredge the tofu in a light coating of cornstarch (cornstarch is optional, but provides a crispier texture).
- Heat oil in a wok or large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the salt and crushed peppercorns to the oil, swirling it around until fragrant, about one minute.
- Add the tofu to the seasoned oil, and sear on all sides until golden and crispy, turning the heat down if need be. Be patient and take your time, it will take about 5-6 minutes.
- Set the crispy tofu aside on a paper towel-lined plate, and wipe the pan out.
- Heat another teaspoon or two of oil over medium heat, and add shallots, garlic and bok choy. Stir continuously until bok choy begins to wilt and shallots become golden, about 3-4 minutes. It will smell amazing. Add the wok sauce to the pan, careful to get all the sugar that may have settled in the bowl.
- Simmer for a couple of minutes, or until bok choy is just tender.
- At the very very end, toss the tofu back into the pan with the bok choy and sauce ( just long enough to coat, only 5-10 seconds!) Cooking any longer will remove the amazing crispiness! Taste for salt and heat, adjusting to your preference.
- Serve immediately, diving between two bowls.
- Feel free to substitute chicken breast for the tofu, cut into cubes, and prepared the same way.
- Feel free to crisp the tofu in the wok, without using cornstarch. Just make sure to pat dry the tofu with paper towels and season the oil in the pan with salt and pepper. Don’t move the tofu around too much in the pan. The tofu will naturally release from the pan when it develops a “crust”. So just turn and flop every so often, letting it get crispy.
Keywords: tofu stir fry, tofu stir fry recipe, vegan stir fry, black pepper tofu, black pepper tofu recipe, black pepper beef, seared tofu with bok choy, tofu in black pepper sauce