Braised Tofu, Family-Style, with Black Vinegar


Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

Easy and delicious, the interesting flavours of the pickles make it really worth chasing them down. We used to sell loads of this at Wockpool in Sydney. This tofu is firmer than silken and is easier to handle in stir-fries, although this particular dish is really more like making a sauce and heating the tofu through. I love all the complex flavours here... very satisfying.


  • 300 g (10½ oz) firm tofu, sliced into 6 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 braised shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small handful of pickled mustard greens, sliced
  • 1 small handful of pickled salted radish, sliced
  • ½ knob of ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons shaoxing
  • 1 tablespoon kecap manis
  • 1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated palm sugar (jaggery)
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) fresh chicken stock
  • ½ Lebanese (short) cucumber, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, roasted and ground


    Heat the vegetable oil in a wok until just smoking. Add the mushrooms, mustard greens, radish, ginger and spring onions and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes, or until fragrant, then deglaze the wok with the shaoxing. Add the kecap manis, vinegar, soy sauce, palm sugar and stock. Check for balance, then add the tofu and reduce the heat to very low. Cover with a lid and braise for 4–5 minutes. Carefully transfer to a serving bowl, keeping the tofu intact. Top with the cucumber slices and sprinkle with the Sichuan pepper to serve.