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Hot & sour tofu with pickled fennel and courgette salad

Hot & sour tofu with pickled fennel and courgette salad

A fragrant starter, with an oriental twist


  • 1 packet of firm tofu, cut into 8 small triangles
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil for frying
  • Lime wedges to serve

For the pickled salad

  • 1 fennel bulb, finely shaved
  • 1 large courgette, peeled into ribbons
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 3 tbsp mirin rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1–2 sprigs of coriander, roughly chopped


  1. Place the tofu on a baking tray, and combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, chilli sauce, rice vinegar and lime juice. Pour over the tofu and marinate overnight, turning once in the mixture to evenly coat.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan-assisted/gas mark 6. Heat the 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a non-stick frying pan. Fry for 2 minutes each side, then bake in the oven for about 20 minutes – turning once to coat in the marinade.
  3. For the pickled salad, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and leave to marinate while the tofu cooks.
  4. Remove the tofu from the oven and place two triangles onto a plate, spoon over some of the sticky hot and sour marinade, and serve with a spoonful of the pickled salad and a couple of lime wedges.

Recipe by Jody Spencer

Taste Buds chef: Jody Spencer

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The MayJune 2020 issue of Taste Buds is out now