Introduction: Chinese Chili Tofu

Picture of Chinese Chili Tofu

Dear Friends,
Ever since the Chinese Food Contest started I wanted to make my favorite Chinese food and that is Chili Tofu, which is a vegetarian or actually vegan version of Chili Chicken and people take my words its heavenly delicious :). So there is no story behind this instructable, however if you care to wonder what took me so long to make this recipe and subsequently a post. Was I too busy? I guess not as I published other posts. Was I looking for a recipe? Come on... I can make this right after I get up in morning, even after decades :). So what took me so long ?

Spring Onions....

Whatt Spring Onions?? Yes My Friend , spring onions. My recipe requires me to use spring onions. So?? It is scorching summer in India this year and in my city the temperature almost crossed 111F (44 degree Celsius). Fresh, green & leafy veggies was too much to ask in this season. I had already given up this weekend but to my surprise (and indeed a big one), I found little spring onions in the local farmer market. They were not as beautiful as they are in other seasons but just perfect for my recipe :). 

You will know why spring onions were so important in my recipe as you read further, but before that some useful information.

Preparation Time: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time : 10-15 mins
Serving : About 4
Vegan: Totally Yes

Lets make some Chili Tofu...Yum....Yum...   

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
NOTE: Please refer to the image above to have an idea about most of the ingredients:

Main Ingredient:
  1. 250 Grams Firm Plain (unflavored) Tofu. NOTE: If you want to try an Indian Fusion version, replace this with Paneer(Cottage Cheese)

For Batter 

  1. 4-5 tbsp cornflour
  2. 4-5 tbsp while flour 
  3. 2 tsp soy sauce
  4. pinch of baking powder
  5. salt to taste
  6. 6 tbsp water

Other Ingredients:

  1. Ginger Root about 1 inch
  2. 8-10 Garlic clove (if small) 4-5 (if large)
  3. 6-8 spring onions (mine were really small, see the picture) (Keep their greens separate for garnishing)
  4. 4-5 Green Chilies
  5. 1 Medium Size Green Bell Pepper
  6. 1 Medium Size Red Bell Pepper (OPTIONAL, replace with green)
  7. 1 Medium Size Yellow Bell Pepper (OPTIONAL, replace with green)
  8. 1 tsp soy sauce
  9. 1 tsp sugar
  10. 2 tbsp cornflour
  11. 1 tsp oil
  12. Salt to taste
  13. MSG or Ajinomoto OPTIONAL (Some studies suggest that they are unhealthy, but I think eating occasionally is ok, take your call)
  14. Red Chili Sauce OPTIONAL (if you want to make it hot)

Kitchen Tools:

  1. Deep frying pan,
  2. Spatula with holes
  3. Kitchen Absorbent Paper
  4. A large bowl for batter
  5. A handy kitchen grater tool.
  6. A small bowl for cornflour mix.

Having yellow and red bell pepper will add natural color to our food, but if you don't have them, just use green ones.  It is absolutely Ok to increase of decrease some ingredients in this recipe, believe me it will taste just fine. Just cook it with love :)

Lets jump into the kitchen :)

Step 2: Cutting & Chopping

Picture of Cutting & Chopping
Gather all veggies, grab your kitchen board and...
  1. Grate ginger
  2. Chop garlic
  3. Chop spring onion greens.
  4. Cut onion whites into halves (they will split while cooking)
  5. Cut bell pepper into squares.
  6. Cut green chilies into 1inch pieces.
All done?? Ok... lets do some more preparation and trust me its totally worthwhile. But before that why I chose spring onion whites why not just ordinary red onions. Two reasons based on my experience:
  1. I don't like to waste the whites.
  2. Whites are tender and tastes great.
  3. The strong aroma of spring onion whites is just perfect for this recipe.

Step 3: The Worthy Preparation

Picture of The Worthy Preparation
I strongly believe that any tasty food should also equally look good as well. Savoring food is actually a union of our senses viewing, smelling & tasting :)...right?
So I decided to cut tofu into diamond shaped pieces of about 1 inch. (Image 1). You can cut cubes or square too, it wont change the taste ;-), diamond shaped just looked cool to me. And now...
  1. Take the big bowl and mix all ingredients of the batter (Image 2).
  2. Mix it well to form a thick batter (Image 3), not too thick though.
  3. Add the tofu pieces and coat them well (Image 4
  4. Heat oil in pan and put the coated tofu pieces one by one (Image 5), you may find that they will stick with each other while frying, separate them using spatula (Image 6).
  5. When they turn golden brown (Image 7), remove them on to absorbent paper (Image 8).
Looks mouth watering..isn't it ? They looked so irresistible that I could not help munching a few just like that:)
TIP: If you love garlic like I do, you can chop a few extra garlic cloves and add them in this batter, this will give a more superior aroma & taste to the fried tofu pieces.

Now keep the fried tofu aside. In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp of cornflour with about 6 tbsp of water, make a thin paste (Image 9). Keep this aside.

Just one more step when we make the blissful union of all the ingredients :)  

Step 4: The Blissful Cooking

Picture of The Blissful Cooking
Turn on your stove, take about 1tbsp of oil in pan, heat it and...
  1. Add green chili, ginger, garlic , onions whites to the oil (Image 1)
  2. Sauté on high for about 2 minutes (Image 2). While you are sautéing, press the onions with spatula so that their layers are separated.
  3. Add cut bell peppers and optionally MSG (or ajinomoto) at this point, sauté for about 15-30 seconds.
  4. Now add the sugar, cornflour paste, soy sauce and salt. (Image 3). Since the frying pan is hot, it will take seconds for the water to dry.
  5. OPTIONAL : Add red chili sauce if you want to make it more hot & spicy.
  6. Add fried tofu pieces and mix really well, so that the cornflour and soy sauce make a coat on all the ingredients (Image 4).
  7. Garnish with chopped spring onions greens and serve hot.
Your delicious Chinese Chili Tofu is ready to savor :). I just cant tell you, how much I loved it's taste .ohhh. Eat it just like that or with plain rice or noodles of your choice.

I really appreciate your interest in visiting and reading this ible. Please provide me with your feedback, comments or suggestion in the comment section below. Should you any question, I will be happy to answer you.

Lastly if you like this iBle and if you think it deserves, please vote for me. 


laxap (author)2013-07-20

Dear Tarun, your post is so well written and illustrated! Thank you! I cooked your recipe right now, to the delight of my family!

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)laxap2013-07-20

Thank you so much for you kind words :[). I would love to see a picture of your creation, please do share.

HollyMann (author)2013-07-01

Tarun I might need to make this today - the picture is killing me it looks so good! :)

Please do share a pic please.

Go Holly Go :)

786Ayesha (author)2013-06-16

Congrats..All the best

Thank you so much :)

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)2013-06-14

wow! 2 wins with 1 ible! congratulations. always looking forward to see your awesome works :)

Thanks Muhaiminah :), I am still in a surprised state :).

HollyMann (author)2013-06-11

Congratulations Tarun!!! You're a winner! :) Yours looked the most appetizing and delicious to me! Yum!

Thank you for your support Holly :).

Congrats again as I just realized you're also a finalist in the other contest - amazing!!! :)

Thanks Holly :), I am really surprised.

artworker (author)2013-06-03

Where is the voting button when you want it the most? Your recipe is definitely a winner! Will vote!

artworker (author)artworker2013-06-11

HA HA! Congrats dude! Where's the party! Kidding! Enjoy!

Thanks dude for your support, party anytime you drop into my city :)

Voting button is available now.

Thank you so much artworker :). The voting button appears sometimes quickly but otherwise in 24 hours of the publishing time. I hope it should appear later tonight (IST).

Shubh V (author)2013-06-03

This looks super flavorful!!! wish could attack on pic n enjoy it;-) will definitely try it can't stop myself. Best luck for contest..

Shubh V (author)Shubh V2013-06-11

Congratulations tarun!!! You win it very deserving:-):-)

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)Shubh V2013-06-12

Thanks dear for your support :)

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)Shubh V2013-06-03

Thank you so much Dear :). Try it, you will love it for sure.

And if the pic can make you feel like attacking, I think the purpose of pic is served :) LOL. Thanks again.

ChrysN (author)2013-06-09

Wow, this looks delicious! I will have to give it a try.

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)ChrysN2013-06-10

I am glad you liked it, trust me its as delicious as it looks :)

anubhav.dubey (author)2013-06-06

this Chili tofu ..certainly blast ...!!!! :-)

Thanks Bro...I think it just did the blast ;-)

bajablue (author)2013-06-04

Stunning photography! I've never been remotely tempted to try tofu... until now. ;-P~
This dish looks delicious!!!

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)bajablue2013-06-04


Muhaiminah Faiz (author)2013-06-03

Yumm!! definitely going to try this recipe and Voted for both contests :)

That is so nice of you Muhaiminah. Thank you sooo much for your votes :)

HollyMann (author)2013-06-03

I shouldn't have looked at this right now - I am so hungry!!! Wow it looks so good Tarun!!! :) Definitely will vote for you!!! :)

Thank you so much Holly :)

HollyMann (author)HollyMann2013-06-03

Also Tarun - I love your little story intros - so awesome you got your spring onions! Our farmers market just started here in Wisconsin. I haven't gone to it yet - and didn't even go last year for some reason - but next weekend, we're there! :) It sounds sooo hot by you! That's gotta be difficult!

Thank you so much Holly, there is nothing more I can ask for:). I am glad you liked the intros :). Yes, it is really hot and sometimes very difficult to go outdoors, we are hopeful for monsoon in this week.

shazni (author)2013-06-03

Hey Tarun.....who ate this?? I hope you got loads of compliments :-) ...I'm not a tofu fan...but who knows...perhaps once I try this I would be :-)

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)shazni2013-06-03

Hi Shazni, Yes I got many compliments:). My family had it as a evening snack and we ate it all :). This recipe has potential to make you a tofu fan :D however, just in case it if fails, you can replace tofu with Paneer (Cottage cheese). Thank you so much for stopping by.

lmnopeas (author)2013-06-03


Tarun Upadhyaya (author)lmnopeas2013-06-03

Thank you :) I just glanced through your projects and they are jaw dropping awesome:)

caeric (author)2013-06-03

Great timing. I was just asking friends for a recipe to try other than a curry which I usually make with tofu. Looks great, good instructions and I gave my vote. Thanks for sharing, and this is dinner tomorrow!

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)caeric2013-06-03

This is awesome, I can not ask much. Thank you so much. Please do share a picture of your dinner tomorrow :).

About This Instructable




Bio: An artist by birth, a software architect by choice, a lamp maker by passion, a learner forever. Featured Author here:)
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