Cantonese-Style Tofu in Black Bean Sauce

Cantonese-Style Tofu and Black Bean Sauce

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The Okinawan diet is rich in foods made with soy, like tofu and miso soup. Flavonoids in tofu may help protect the heart and guard against breast cancer. Fermented soy foods contribute to a healthy intestinal ecology and offer even better nutritional benefits. This garlicky black bean sauce enhances the tofu and the marinated vegetables elevate the dish’s nutritional profile.

Source: A Spoonful of Ginger

Photo credit: Peter Vojuvich


  • 1 1/2 lbs tofu, cut into 1/2-inch slabs
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp minced garlic, divided in half for both Garlic Marinade and Minced Seasonings
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fermented black beans, rinsed, drained and minced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp hot chili paste
  • 2 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin julienne strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin julienne strips
  • 1/2 lb snow peas, ends snapped and veiny strings removed

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice wine or sake
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch


  1. Wrap the tofu slabs in a cotton towel, and set a heavy weight, such as a cast-iron skillet, on top. Let stand for 30 minutes to press out excess water. Then cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick and 2 1/2 inches long. Put them in a bowl.
  2. Mix the soy sauce, minced garlic and toasted sesame oil for the garlic marinade. Pour over the tofu slices and toss lightly to coat. Cover the marinade and let the tofu sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a heavy skillet and add 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, arrange some of the tofu slices in the pan and sear over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Reheat the pan and continue searing the remaining tofu. Remove and drain.
  4. Heat the pan again, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and heat until hot, about 30 seconds. Add in black beans, fresh ginger, and chili paste. Stir-fry about 15 seconds, until fragrant, then add the onions and bell peppers. Toss lightly with a slotted spoon or spatula over high heat and cook about 2 minutes, until the onions and peppers are slightly tender. Add in snow peas and the sauce, toss lightly until the sauce has thickened. Add fried tofu slices and stir to coat. Scoop tofu and vegetables onto a platter to serve alongside steamed rice or quinoa.

Sauce Directions

Mix together and toss with snow peas in step 4.