Greens and caramelised tofu with XO sauce

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A vegan version of Hong Kong's beloved XO sauce is the star of the show in this simple tofu and vegetable stir-fry. Perfect midweek meal fodder for when you fancy something full of warming, rich flavour.

This recipe is taken from One Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones (£26, Fourth Estate). Photography by Issy Croker.

First published in 2021

This dish is all about the sauce. I have suggested making more than you will need, as it keeps well in the fridge for a few weeks and makes almost anything from sandwiches to salad bowls taste even more delicious.




  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 200g of tofu, extra-firm, cut into 2cm-thick strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 knob of ginger, thumb-sized, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp soy sauce, plus an extra teaspoon for the greens
  • 1 bunch of coriander, small, leaves and stalks roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch of cavolo nero, shredded
  • 1 corn on the cob, kernels removed
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar

XO sauce

To serve


Start with the XO sauce. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the red onion, chopped chillies and garlic and a pinch of salt and fry, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, until everything is glossy and completely soft. Stir in the dried chilli flakes and smoked paprika and remove from the heat. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir well to combine. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the XO sauce for the tofu. The rest of the sauce will keep well in a jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks
Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Cook the tofu for 3 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. Add the garlic, ginger and spring onions and cook for another minute, then add the soy sauce and cook for about 30 seconds before spooning in the reserved XO sauce. Cook for 3-4 minutes until everything is thickened and caramelised. Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander, then put onto a place
Wipe the frying pan clean with kitchen paper. Pour in a tablespoon of oil and heat to medium-high. Stir in the shredded cavolo nero and corn and add the rice wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring a couple of times until the corn is blackened in places and the greens are bright and crisp at the edges. Stir through the tofu
Serve in warm bowls with cooked rice
First published in 2021

Anna Jones is a cook, writer and stylist, the voice of modern vegetarian cooking and the author of the bestselling A Modern Way to Eat, A Modern Way to Cook and The Modern Cook’s Year.

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