This sticky Chinese five-spice tofu will give your usual Chinese takeout dish a run for its money! It is big on flavour, yet kind to your waistline – what more could you possibly want?
Do I even remember how to write a blog post? I know it seems as though my summer holiday extended all the way to November, it really wasn’t supposed to turn out like this. You may already know from my bio that I am a biomedical scientist and nutritional therapist. However, my nutritional therapy qualification and science degrees are not sufficient enough to allow me to join the association of professionally qualified nutritionists in the UK. My ultimate goal is to set up a private nutrition practice, so it is essential that I join the association for proper credibility.
I made the decision at the end of last year to get a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition so that I can officially join that register. Thankfully, I got a place to study at St Mary’s University, and I started the degree in September. I have been studying full time, and while I’m thoroughly enjoying the degree, it is very intense. I’ve had lots of coursework and presentations to complete and even now, I have so many deadlines and exams coming up, so I’m quite swamped!
Apart from the degree, 2019 has been a very stressful and challenging year. Still, I’m grateful that I can get back to doing what I love the most – creating healthy recipes and promoting proper nutrition and wellness! Things are going to look a little different henceforth, I don’t want to spill too much, but I am confident that you will find my new content beneficial.
Today’s recipe is my definition of healthy, Chinese-inspired comfort food! If you typically get Chinese takeaways, you’ll know that the dishes are generally ladened with oil and flavour enhancers. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in your favourite takeaway occasionally, but it is not something I’d advise you do regularly especially if you’re trying to lose weight. You can easily eat upwards of 1000kcal in one sitting without realising and within a couple of hours you’ll be hungry again.
You don’t need to be an expert cook or need tonnes of ingredients to recreate your takeaway favourites. And don’t worry, you won’t need to compromise on flavour either. You’ll get the same satisfaction, and it will be kinder to your waistline and overall health. I love the fact that this recipe incorporates Chinese flavours, but without excessive oil. I’ve used tofu instead of animal protein, but you can always swap it for chicken or prawns if you prefer. Keep in mind that while I no longer eat a strict vegan diet, my diet is still heavily plant-based. I firmly believe in getting the best of both worlds! Feel free to add some mixed peppers or steam some vegetables to enjoy on the side for extra veggies. I had steamed broccoli on the side, but I completely forgot to include them in the photo.
Let’s get into this recipe.
This Chinese-five spice tofu is big on flavour, yet kind to your waistline!
200g noodles (egg, rice or wholewheat)
For the tofu
200g firm tofu
40g plain flour
50ml unsweetened almond milk (or your preference)
¾ teaspoon Chinese five spice
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of salt, to taste
For the sauce
1 teaspoon olive or groundnut oil
2 large spring onions, chopped finely (white parts only)
3 tablespoon finely sliced red and green bell peppers
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons sriracha
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine (or rice wine vinegar)
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons cornflour slurry (combine equal parts of cornflour with warm water)
- Squeeze out any water in the tofu then dice the tofu into medium pieces and set aside. Combine the flour, almond milk, spices and salt in a medium bowl then coat the tofu pieces in the batter. Leave to marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, line a baking tray with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the tofu on the baking tray and bake for 25 minutes or until crispy then set aside and keep warm.
- While the tofu is cooking, combine ketchup, sriracha, light and dark soy sauce, rice wine, garlic powder, ginger and honey in a bowl to form a thick sauce. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat, once hot, add the spring onions and mixed peppers. Fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened taking care not to burn them. Stir in the sauce with around 4 tablespoons of water. Cook for 2-3 minutes then the corn flour slurry and tofu into the pan. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes on a low heat to allow the tofu absorb the sauce. Adjust the seasoning as necessary and if the sauce gets too thick, lighten with warm water.
- Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, split in half and transfer into two deep bowls. Spoon a generous amount of the sauce over the noodles, garnish with sesame seeds and chopped coriander.
- As always, enjoy! If you try the recipe, don’t forget to come back and let me know what you thought.
Enjoy this with rice instead of noodles and swap tofu for mushrooms, chicken or prawns if you prefer.
Keywords: Noodles, Chinese Five-Spice, Tofu, Vegan recipes, Plant-based recipes, Low-fat