Gluten-free, vegan, tofu and green peppers in black bean sauce

You know when you are craving that Chinese take-away you used to eat before you had to stop eating gluten/ egg/ etc. and you just wish you could eat take-away food again? Do not panic! You can. Well sort of. You can make it at home in way less than 30 minutes and, it is super easy. I used to go to a fantastic Vietnamese restaurant years ago – more than once a week – and eat something very like this Tofu and Green Peppers in Black Bean Sauce recipe. Even though it is not strictly a Vietnamese dish it was on the menu of a really cool restaurant I really miss going to. I promise you this is dish is really, really good and just like your favourite take-away. Adorable, moreish and quick!!!

Tofu and Green Peppers in Black Bean Sauce goes perfectly with Basics – Perfect Plain Rice.

Tofu has a bit of a bad reputation and, it is often said of tofu/ beancurd ‘tasteless, urgh, horrible texture, arghhhh!’ and so on. I think this is because a) good tofu is hard to find b) few people have tried it cooked well in an appropriate dish and c) if they have – it is too far outside their comfort zone and they don’t want to like it. How many people in the world eat tofu as a staple? Billions! They don’t eat it because it tastes bad? Like everything it is an acquired taste e.g. olives and marmite… Now if you don’t eat tofu because you don’t react well to it or soya – that’s something else.

Good tofu will knock your socks off. Do not ever buy it from a supermarket. You are wasting your time and money. The stuff they sell there is grim. A bit like the tofu version of processed cheese. If you live near an oriental supermarket go there and look at the range of tofu they sell: from silken to medium to firm to fried balls to tofu skins and then there is the dried tofu. A huge range that is undermined by the horror tofu sold in supermarkets. If you are not near an oriental supermarket lots of places sell dried tofu on line – dried tofu is great in stews.

This recipe uses a medium-firm fresh tofu that has been deep fried (I said quick – I didn’t say low calorie!) and allows good quality tofu to speak for itself. It is a comforting, quick, easy and healthy dish. If you want to use firm (un-fried) tofu in the recipe go for it. It will still taste great, it just changes to texture.

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