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Tahu Lada Hitam - Tofu in Black Pepper Sauce

Once you give this dish a try, you will see why a black pepper sauce dish is a classic Chinese dish. Now with this recipe, you can prepare this at home at any time.
Tahu lada hitam - tofu in black pepper sauce.

Tahu lada hitam - tofu in black pepper sauce.

Tofu in black pepper sauce is one of my family’s favorite Chinese restaurant dishes. We used to order a black pepper sauce dish all the time, but now I can prepare this myself with this recipe.

Since my family loves this dish, I make it pretty often. I usually have most of the sauces and seasonings for this dish in my pantry, so I can quickly prepare this dish even with a limited amount of fresh ingredients at home.

Like most dishes in a Chinese restaurant, you can always modify this recipe to work with meat or seafood. Beef in black pepper sauce is another favorite, and you can also try it with chicken, pork, or fish.

Ingredients for tofu in black pepper sauce: tofu, garlic, onion, red chilies, scallions, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), oyster sauce, cornstarch, coconut palm sugar, salt, and black pepper.

Ingredients for tofu in black pepper sauce: tofu, garlic, onion, red chilies, scallions, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), oyster sauce, cornstarch, coconut palm sugar, salt, and black pepper.

Ingredients for tofu in black pepper sauce

1. Pan-fried tofu

If you can find fried tofu cubes in your grocery store, feel free to use that and skip making pan-fried tofu from scratch. Please dowse store-bought fried tofu cubes in plenty of hot water to remove excess oil before using.

To make pan-fried tofu cubes from scratch, we will need firm/extra-firm tofu, water, garlic, and salt.

2. Black pepper sauce

To prepare the black pepper sauce, we will need garlic, onion, red chilies, oyster sauce, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), chicken stock/water, coconut palm sugar, salt, and cornstarch.

(1) Sauté onion, garlic, and red chilies. (2) Add kecap manis, oyster sauce, coconut palm sugar, salt, and black pepper. (3) Add chicken stock, then thicken the sauce with cornstarch slurry. (4) Add fried tofu pieces and stir to coat.

(1) Sauté onion, garlic, and red chilies. (2) Add kecap manis, oyster sauce, coconut palm sugar, salt, and black pepper. (3) Add chicken stock, then thicken the sauce with cornstarch slurry. (4) Add fried tofu pieces and stir to coat.

Step-by-step to cook tofu in black pepper sauce

1. Marinate tofu

Mix water, garlic, and salt in a mixing bowl. Marinate tofu cubes in this solution for 20 minutes.

2. Fry tofu

Heat 3 tablespoon oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat, fry tofu cubes until all sides are golden brown. If you prefer to deep fry the tofu, you can do so as well. Set aside.

3. Prepare black pepper sauce

Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a wok over medium-high high. Sauté garlic, onion, and red chilies until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Season with oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce, sugar, black pepper, and salt. Mix well.

Pour chicken stock and cook until boiling, then add the cornstarch slurry and cook for 1 minute, or until the sauce is thick.

Add fried tofu cubes and toss gently to coat. Turn off the heat, garnish with scallions, and serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Tahu lada hitam - tofu in black pepper sauce.

Tahu lada hitam - tofu in black pepper sauce.

Tahu Lada Hitam - Tofu in Black Pepper Sauce

5.0 from 7 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 40 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • Fried tofu
  • 1 block firm tofu (450 gram/1 lb), cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 red Fresno chilies, remove seeds and diced
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock/water
  • cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 teaspoon water), mixed well
  • Garnish
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Fried tofu
    1. Mix water, garlic, and salt in a mixing bowl. Marinate tofu cubes in this solution for 20 minutes.
    2. Heat 3 tablespoon oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat, fry tofu cubes until all sides are golden brown. If you prefer to deep fry the tofu, you can do so as well. Set aside.
  • Black pepper sauce
    1. Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a wok over medium-high high. Sauté garlic, onion, and red chilies until fragrant, about 1 minute.
    2. Season with oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce, sugar, black pepper, and salt. Mix well.
    3. Pour chicken stock and cook until boiling, then add the cornstarch slurry and cook for 1 minute, or until the sauce is thick.
    4. Add fried tofu cubes and toss gently to coat. Turn off the heat, garnish with scallions, and serve immediately with steamed white rice.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • Tuty Tuty says:

    Oh wow Anita, Here's another recipe that I need to try since I've been looking at my tofu sitting in the fridge for the past three days and saying to myself that I need to cook this ASAP. Thank you again. Will let you know how it comes out.

  • Christina Christina says:

    Dear Anita You have the best black pepper recipe that is very delicious and similar to what's served in popular eating places. I've been cooking this many times and the results were always great. Yet to comment on it until this time round. Thank you for the recipe! Happy CNY!

    • Anita Anita says:

      I'm so glad you like this recipe Christina. This one appears often in my meal rotation too. Also, Happy CNY! Today's the 15th day, so it still counts :)

  • Milky Milky says:

    I sometimes hesitate to give a review for a recipe when I make a lot of changes (and eyeball the ingredients too!) but I'd say the basic method and ingredients are good enough to result in a 100% tasty dish.

    I don't usually have chilies on hand, so I threw 2-3 dried chilies into the hot oil for the flavor. I followed the recipe for making baked "fried" tofu (which works really good for this) but I only had half a block so I used mushrooms and green beans to make up for it.

    It came out really saucy and delicious- to the point where I regret not starting my rice earlier because waiting for the rice to finish was torture!!!

    I will definitely need to try the Sapi Lada Hitam sometime, too. I think this sauce would let me get away with many different meat/vegetable combinations, so it's worth trying to memorize the basics for an ultra-fast meal prep.

  • rika rika says:

    I love black pepper and tofu! The sauce looks so creamy, I'll be making it this weekend for sure.

  • Amy D Amy D says:

    You made this tofu look so heavenly!!! I love a good tofu dish with lots of sauce and this really fits the bill perfectly for dinner tonight.

  • Carrie Robinson Carrie Robinson says:

    This looks SO much better than takeout! Yum! :)

  • Jennifer Jennifer says:

    I have loved this dish for so long, and it was so easy to make at home! Thank you for making it so simple, but full of flavor!

  • Eugenia Eugenia says:

    was tasty and super easy to make! 10/10 will make again. One thing though: just pansear your tofu, don't fry it too much coz you want the outside to be slightly textured while the inside fluffy and soft!

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