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5 from 3 votes
Plate of Tofu with Chinese Black Bean Sauce with chopsticks on the side.
Tofu with Chinese Black Bean Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Soak Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 35 mins

This Chinese-style tofu with black bean sauce is absolutely delicious and super easy to make! Made with pan-fried tofu, fermented soybeans, ginger and garlic, it's loaded with flavor and almost as easy as ordering takeout!

Course: Entree
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Servings: 4
Calories: 201 kcal
Author: Alissa
  • ¼ cup fermented black beans (douchi)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts separated and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more to taste (I used 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon organic granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 (15 ounce) package super firm or extra firm tofu (Note 1), drained and cut into 1-inch triangles (Note 2)
  • Cooked rice, for serving
  1. Place the beans into a small bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them soak for 1 hour.

  2. Drain the beans then mash them with a fork.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan.

  4. When the oil is hot, add the white parts of your scallions, along with the garlic and ginger. Sauté everything for about 1 minute, until very fragrant.

  5. Stir in ⅔ cup of water, along with the mashed beans, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, and sambal oelek.

  6. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Lower the heat and let it cook at a low simmer for 10 minutes.

  7. While the sauce simmers, coat the bottom of a medium skillet with the remaining tablespoon of oil and place it over medium heat.

  8. When the oil is hot, add the tofu pieces in an even layer. Allow them to cook for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown on both sides.

  9. After the sauce has simmered for 10 minutes, stir the cold water and cornstarch together in a small container, then add the mixture to the sauce.

  10. Bring the sauce back to a simmer. Once it thickens up (after about 30 seconds), remove the pot from heat and stir in the sesame oil.

  11. Carefully pour the sauce into the skillet with the tofu. It should quickly come to a simmer. Stir everything to combine, then remove the skllet from heat and add the green parts of your scallions.

  12. Serve the black bean tofu with rice.

Recipe Notes
  1. If using extra firm tofu, it will need to be pressed before cooking.
  2. I like to cut my tofu into 32 triangles. Start by cutting your block, length-wise, into 8 rectangles. Cut each rectangle in half to make 2 squares. Cut each square in half to make 2 triangles.
  3. Nutrition information does not include rice.
Nutrition Facts
Tofu with Chinese Black Bean Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 201 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2.5g13%
Sodium 842mg35%
Potassium 208mg6%
Carbohydrates 9.6g3%
Fiber 2.8g11%
Sugar 4.4g5%
Protein 13.5g27%
Calcium 226mg23%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.