Black Pepper Tofu


Cut the scallions (white and green parts) into 2-inch lengths, then slice them lengthwise into matchsticks. Keep the white and green parts separate (if you choose to use the green part as garnish).

Pour the flour into a shallow bowl. Line a plate with paper towels and set it near the stove. Pour vegetable oil to a depth of 1/4 inch into a large skillet set over medium heat. Working in batches, lightly dust the tofu slices in the flour, tossing to coat and shaking off any excess. Use a slotted spoon to add the tofu to the hot oil, making sure that none of the pieces touch. Fry until the tofu slices are golden and have a thin crust on both sides, turning them as needed, about 8 minutes. Lift the tofu out of the oil with the slotted spoon or spatula, letting the oil drip back into the pan, and transfer to the paper-towel-lined plate.

Wipe out the skillet and return it to medium heat. Add the butter; once it has melted, add the scallions, jalapeño, garlic and ginger, stirring to combine. Cook for a few minutes, until the vegetables are fragrant and soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and pepper; turn off the heat.

Immediately before serving, add the tofu and the green parts of the scallions to the sauce; toss to coat evenly.