This dish is inspired by street food we found during our trip to Xi’an. It was “tieban dofu,” or griddled tofu, using Xinjiang spices like cumin and chili. It’s tasty, healthy, and vegan! But the good news with this dish is that it has so much great flavor, you’ll never feel deprived despite its meatlessnes,
You can serve this dish with green vegetables and add rice as a side if you’re not too carb conscious. The textures and flavors of the dish were pretty awesome, especially since the fresh tofu here in our local market is really exceptional. But the firm tofu you can find in the store works fine as well!
Tofu lovers, explore our other tofu recipes after you have tried this one!
Open the package of firm tofu, and place on a plate to drain for 10 minutes. Slice it into ¾-inch thick pieces.
Use a mortar and pestle to roughly crush the cumin seeds and add the Sichuan peppercorn powder if using, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Mix well.
Combine 1 teaspoon oil, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce in small bowl. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan over high heat and carefully place the tofu in the pan.
Next, sprinkle about half of the dried spices evenly over the tofu and let cook for 3-5 minutes.
When the bottom is golden brown, flip the tofu. Brush the tofu steak with about half of the sauce and sprinkle over the rest of the spices. Cook for 3 minutes and flip the tofu over again.
Brush the other side with the remaining sauce, sprinkle with scallion and cilantro.
Serve your tofu steak with some rice and a stir fried bok choy!