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. Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy - a simple healthy tofu stir fry that is vegan and can be made in under 30 minutes! Vegan and Gluten Free! #tofustirfry #tofustirfryreicpes #blackpeppertofu #vegan #healthystirfry #stirfry #tofu #bokchoy #veganstirfry 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

Stir Fry Tips

  1. As with most stir-fry recipes, my best advice is to make sure to prep all the ingredients beforehand. The cooking part goes very quickly and it’s all too easy to burn things when you are not prepped and ready.
  2. Place ingredients close to the stove, ready to go.
  3. Stir stir stir! This prevents burning when using high heat!
  4. Use high heat oilpeanut oil has the BEST flavor.
  5. Don’t overcrowd! 

 

Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy - a simple healthy tofu stir fry that is vegan and can be made in under 30 minutes! Vegan and Gluten Free! #tofustirfry #tofustirfryreicpes #blackpeppertofu #vegan #healthystirfry #stirfry #tofu #bokchoy #veganstirfry

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.

Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy - a simple healthy tofu stir fry that is vegan and can be made in under 30 minutes! Vegan and Gluten Free! #tofustirfry #tofustirfryreicpes #blackpeppertofu #vegan #healthystirfry #stirfry #tofu #bokchoy #veganstirfry

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.

Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy - a simple healthy tofu stir fry that is vegan and can be made in under 30 minutes! Vegan and Gluten Free! #tofustirfry #tofustirfryreicpes #blackpeppertofu #vegan #healthystirfry #stirfry #tofu #bokchoy #veganstirfry

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.

Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy - a simple healthy tofu stir fry that is vegan and can be made in under 30 minutes! Vegan and Gluten Free! #tofustirfry #tofustirfryreicpes #blackpeppertofu #vegan #healthystirfry #stirfry #tofu #bokchoy #veganstirfry

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.

xoxo

Sylvia

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A simple delicious recipe for Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy - a tasty vegan meal that can be made in under 30 minutes! 

Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Vegan, Gluten Free, Main
  • Method: Stir fry
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A simple delicious recipe for Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy – a tasty vegan meal that can be made in under 30 minutes!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 812 ounces firm tofu, patted dry, cut into 1-inch cubes (do not use silken tofu – or sub chicken or shrimp, see notes)
  • corn starch for dredging (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons wok oil (high heat oil like peanut, or coconut )
  • generous, 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 cooking 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)

Serve with rice, or on its own.


Instructions

  1. Cut tofu into cubes and blot dry with paper towels, pressing down gently.
  2. Make the wok sauce, stirring ingredients together in a small until most of the sugar dissolves. Place it by the stove.
  3. Prep the shallots, garlic and bok choy.
  4. Dredge the tofu in a light coating of cornstarch (cornstarch is optional, but provides a crispier texture).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Set the crispy tofu aside on a paper towel-lined plate, and wipe the pan out.
  8. 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.
  9. Simmer for a couple of minutes, or until bok choy is just tender.
  10. 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.
  11. Serve immediately, diving between two bowls.

Notes

  1. Feel free to substitute chicken breast for the tofu, cut into cubes, and prepared the same way.
  2. 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.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 463
  • Sugar: 10.8 g
  • Sodium: 1117.8 mg
  • Fat: 24.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.5 g
  • Fiber: 6.5 g
  • Protein: 24.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. A family favorite! I like to double the sauce, use vegetarian stir-fry sauce instead of soy sauce, and prefer the texture w using potato starch instead of cornstarch .

  2. I haven’t made it yet but what ingredients did you leave out by simplifying? I’d love to see the complete/authentic recipe.

  3. I absolutely loved my tofu this way. The sauce taste so goood! Thank you so much for sharing this ❤️

  4. Very flavorful and great texture! Didn’t miss meat at all. Added hot Chilis to the shallot and sprinkled with chopped peanuts and green onion when complete.

  5. So yummy! I like lots of sauce, so I took a tip from the other commenter and increased the liquids by one half.

    Added the whole thing to square rice noodles and mixed it up. Perfect! New treat in my repertoire.

  6. This was quite delicious. Followed the recipe exactly, except I omitted the salt as we are on a lowso diet. It was very flavorful without. We served it over bean thread noodles. Yum!

  7. I skipped the corn starch and the salt as I find the soya sauce has plenty. I added fresh ginger, more garlic and lime zest and went heavier on the soya sauce and Chinese wine for more sauce volume. I added more chili flakes than prescribed and also added some extra fresh chillies because I like to cry when I eat. To the veggies I added spring onion. When I can’t get bak choi, broccoli and asparagus also works. Serves also well with cargo rice!

  8. I used the cornstarch and the tofu turned out so nice and crispy! We love this recipe. I used green beans with baby bok choy and it was so good. I boiled green beans first for a minute or so and they were perfect when added in to the bok choy at the end. We will be making this quite often!

    1. The wine adds a nuanced flavor here- but you could try it without. Maybe sub with water, a pinch more of sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar?

  9. I made this because it seemed simple to make – which it was. What I wasn’t expecting was the flavour coming from the sauce and the cracked peppercorns. So delicious. I had scallops on hand and used them for the protein. It worked very well. Thanks for this tasty bit!!

  10. Cooking this dish made me proud of myself. My husband love it and requested me to cook it again the following week. Thank you for the recipe❤️

  11. This sounds like the perfect vegan West Coast meal to me! I have Szechuan peppercorns not regular black ones. I’m making this for lunch today! Thank you!

  12. My husband and I love this recipe. I’ve made it twice now! I especially love this method of cooking tofu. Thank you!

  13. I can’t wait to try this recipe today! I have regular bok choy in the house. Can I use that instead?

  14. My goodness this was incredibly good. I shared the recipe with my whole family! Yum and yum.

  15. I altered this recipe to suit what I had in the house and what I like, but it was mostly the same, and it was DELICIOUS! I’ll definitely be using (or approximating) your recipes in the future. Mmmmm!

  16. Looks tasty and simple – will try this week, and I’m already imagining variations beyond the chicken or shrimp substitutions (maybe some fancy mushroom, maybe some bamboo shoots, or pea pods …. yum!)

  17. Okay, this was amazing. Unexpectedly so. I’d never cooked with cornstarch before, and I’ve only sauteed tofu Japanese style, so this was all brand new to me. I have a small garden and am drowning in bok choy right now, so I’ve been hunting for recipes – this is the first I’ve tried from this site, and I am so impressed!
    I did take the tofu out early and let it sit on a mounded bowl with a press (just a couple of cans on a flat dish) on top of it to get out as much moisture as possible, and I wound up using 1 Tbsp dark Chinese soy sauce and 1 Tbsp regular soy sauce. And I served it with rice on the side, which meant it was a little too much for just two people as a main course – not that we were complaining.
    Very very wonderful dish. Thank you, I’m off to search your site for more!