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Dinner with Rukmini

Browse all of the recipes in Rukmini Iyer’s cookbooks by ingredient.

Black Pepper Tofu, Choi Sum and Cashews

If you're on the hunt for an easy vegan midweek meal, look no further than this crisp tofu, seasoned with black pepper and dressed with soy, sesame and rice vinegar.

From the book


This dish went through a few versions before I was completely happy, and now I could eat a trayful along with the very addictive dressing. Buy a good brand of firm tofu (I like Tofoo) which will crisp up in the oven – it works beautifully with the simple black pepper, ginger and garlic seasoning.

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150g shiitake mushrooms
200g chestnut mushrooms
175g baby corn
2 x 280g packets of firm tofu, cut into 2cm cubes
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp sea salt
2 cloves of garlic, grated
5cm ginger, grated
200g choi sum or pak choi, roughly chopped
50g cashew nuts
For the dressing:
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp chilli flakes
To serve:
quick-cook noodles or rice


Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/gas 7.

Tip the mushrooms (halved if large), baby corn and tofu into a roasting tin large enough to hold everything in one layer, then mix in the sesame oil, black pepper, sea salt, garlic and ginger. Grind a little extra black pepper just over the tofu pieces, then transfer to the oven and roast for 25 minutes.

Tip the chopped choi sum or pak choi and the cashew nuts into the roasting tin, then return it to the oven for a further 15 minutes, until the tofu is golden brown and the greens are wilted.

Meanwhile, mix together the sesame oil, lime zest and juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar and chilli flakes and pour over this dressing as soon as the dish comes out of the oven.

Scatter with chives and serve with quick-cook noodles or rice.

Note: I like to use the smoked or unsmoked Tofoo brand for this dish, but my mother prefers the Cauldron marinated tofu for extra flavour, so do go with your favourite brand.

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From the book: The Roasting Tin Around The World

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