26 February 2018

Black Garlic Tofu Bowl

The other day, I went exploring around the city a bit more and came across a few health food shops as well as an oriental supermarket - I picked up a few ingredients that looked interesting and let the inspiration shine through.

This next recipe is an Asian-fusion dish, focused around the beautiful black garlic I found in a health food shop - I'd read about it online and some people have described it as a mash-up of balsamic vinegar, dates and sweet roasted garlic. I thought it smelled a little sweet, slightly savoury and a bit oniony too - for the British folk - not unlike Walkers' caramelised onion and balsamic vinegar crisps. Black garlic is fermented and the whole process actually turns the regular garlic cloves black in colour.

I cubed the tofu and crisped it up a little in a pan, before adding that wonderful black garlic sauce I made in the blender, reduced slightly, it coats the tofu, going a little sticky and it tastes utterly fantastic. I served the tofu up with some tenderstem broccoli, jasmine rice and quick-pickled chili cucumber - finished off with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and a pinch of red chili flakes. 

This bowl is so decadent, yet super simple, coming together in under half an hour. The contrast of the tangy, slightly spiced cucumber, with the sweet, intense tofu, juicy broccoli and sticky jasmine rice - a delightful lunch or dinner for two, that's incredibly delicious and packed with flavour. 

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Black Garlic Tofu Bowl | Serves: 2 | Time: 25 mins

You'll need

  • Non-stick frying pan/wok
  • Spatula
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • Blender/food processor
  • Saucepan
  • Small bowl
  • Teaspoon
  • Sieve


  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 block tofu
  • 1/2 inch ginger, grated
  • 10 cloves black garlic
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp date syrup/ 2 medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp water

Quick-pickled cucumber
  • 1/4 large cucumber
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch sugar
  • Pinch chili flakes*
  • Good pinch salt

  • 2/3 cup Jasmine rice
  • 3 spring onions
  • 100g Tenderstem broccoli
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
*I use medium heat chili flakes


  1. Cut the cucumber in half and run a spoon down the middle to remove the seeds. Thinly slice and add to a bowl with rice vinegar, date syrup, chili flakes and a good pinch of salt. Stir and leave whilst you prep the rest of the dish. 
  2. Rinse rice until water runs clear, cover with 1.5-2 cups lightly salted water and boil for 12-15 minutes, until the water has absorbed and the rice is tender - top up with water if needed.
  3. Boil or steam the broccoli for 3-4 minutes, toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan and thinly slice a spring onion.
  4. Add the ginger, black garlic, soy sauce, date syrup and water to the blender and blitz until smooth. Cube the tofu, heat up the oil in a non-stick frying pan or wok and add the tofu, cook until golden brown and slightly crispy. Reduce the heat, then pour in the sauce, stir and let it reduce slightly.
  5. Arrange the bowl with the rice, broccoli and tofu and sprinkle over the spring onion, sesame seeds and chili flakes.