Elegant Salt & Pepper Tofu with Cilantro Pesto and Red Pepper Coulis

So my brother and his good friend flew in from Canada yesterday and in all the excitement of showing them around the city and watching the rugby world cup games, I forgot to post my first entry for the Vegan Month of Food, or Vegan MoFo for short. MoFo say what? Well, in a nutshell, bloggers register their websites beforehand and then all the participants aim to blog about vegan food as much as possible all month. It’s like a vegan food orgy. And then if you’re really lucky, your entry gets featured on the Vegan MoFo website for the daily roundup. Even people who don’t normally  blog the rest of the year blog during Vegan MoFo. Yup, it’s that cool! I’m honored to be part of the action again this year and I’m aiming to post at least 5 times a week. That’s right, baby! Anyway, regardless of whether you’re participating or not,  if you love vegan food, check out the Vegan MoFo website – because from there, you can get a list and RSS feed of all the participating blogs. It’s like Christmas for vegan foodies!

Vegan Elegant Salt & Pepper Tofu with Cilantro Pesto and Red Pepper Coulis

So for my first contribution, I thought I’d play with one of my favorite recipes. Earlier this week, I was craving my usual salt and pepper tofu, and it occurred to me that I had everything on hand in the fridge to pull it together. But I was also in the mood for something a bit “fancy” so I decided to try a different take on it.

Rather than serving up the tofu over a bed of fresh coriander (cilantro) and stir-fried onions and red bell peppers (capsicum) like I normally do, I decided to serve it with a red pepper coulis and cilantro pesto.

Vegan Elegant Salt & Pepper Tofu with Cilantro Pesto and Red Pepper Coulis

Elegant Salt & Pepper Tofu with Cilantro Pesto and Red Pepper Coulis
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This fancy vegan tofu appetizer can also be . To serve it as a main, yit with steamed green veggies for a
Recipe type: Main, Starter, Appetizer
Cuisine: Asian, Thai, Fusion
Serves: 2
Salt & Pepper Tofu Ingredients
  • 1 pound firm silken tofu, sliced in 4 thick pieces
  • 1 prepared liquid vegan “egg” (like Ener-G Egg Replacer)
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
Cilantro Pesto Ingredients
  • ½ cup cilantro (fresh coriander)
  • 1 green onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp macadamia nuts
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
Red Pepper Coulis Ingredients
  • ½ red bell pepper (capsicum)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
To make the pesto
  1. Combine the pesto ingredients in a food process and process until fully combined.
To make the coulis
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
  2. Cut the bell pepper in two, and remove the stem. Scrape-out all seeds and all the stringy white flesh.
  3. Place face-down onto a baking sheet and roast until the skin is charred/burned, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, peel off the skin and any black pieces.
  5. Blend with olive oil in a food processor, season with salt and pepper as needed.
To make the salt & pepper tofu
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cornstarch, salt, pepper and garlic powder. In another bowl, mix the vegan egg and juice of ½ the lemon. Set aside.
  2. Dip the tofu in the egg mixture and then into the cornstarch mixture, to coat. In another frying pan, cover the base with enough oil to fry the bottom of the tofu. Place each piece in the oil and fry until golden brown – turn and repeat on the other side.
  3. Drizzle the coulis on two plates, top with tofu and pesto. Serve with lemon slices.
It’s really important to use the right kind of tofu for this recipe. You want it to be “silken” and “extra-firm” (simply “firm” is too flimsy). It usually comes in a molded plastic container.

Vegan Elegant Salt & Pepper Tofu with Cilantro Pesto and Red Pepper CoulisVegan Month of Food 2011


  1. Heather (Where's the Beach) 2 October, 2011
    • vegangela 3 October, 2011
  2. Helen 2 October, 2011
    • vegangela 3 October, 2011
  3. Jeni Treehugger 2 October, 2011
    • vegangela 3 October, 2011
  4. Vanessa 6 October, 2011
    • vegangela 6 October, 2011
  5. CraftyEarthMama 7 October, 2011
    • vegangela 7 October, 2011
  6. Johann Dirry 31 December, 2012
    • vegangela 3 January, 2013
  7. christie 9 June, 2013
    • vegangela 11 June, 2013
  8. Olivia 5 September, 2013
  9. mandi 12 January, 2014