Roasted Tofu with Leeks and Black Bean Sauce

Roasted Tofu with Leeks and Black Bean Sauce

I meant to experiment with version 2.0 of the Salt and Pepper Roasted Tofu. But since I had a leek to use up, I went with a black bean sauce and threw the poor leek in the sauce.

I prepared the tofu using the method for Vegan Soul Kitchen. I left out the rosemary but kept the paprika for the beautiful color.

For the sauce, I like to use dried fermented black beans instead of a bottled black bean sauce. Also called preserved black beans, salted or dried black beans and in Cantonese, tau see. The flavor is more intense, stronger and fresher tasting than the bottled stuff.

Roasted Tofu with Leeks and Black Bean Sauce

Not to be confused with the black beans associated with Mexican food, these are small black soy beans dried and fermented with salt and sometimes ginger. The brand I use is Yang Jiang Preserved Beans, it comes in a cylindrical cardboard container at the Asian supermarket. It’s very easy to use, just soak a few minutes to soften, rinse and mash a little with a fork to release their flavor.

And don’t forget to check your teeth after eating anything with black bean sauce. You wouldn’t want to be walking around with black specks all over your mouth. It’s not pretty.

Roasted Tofu with Leeks and Black Bean Sauce
Serves 2

1 16-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 medium leek, white and some green part, cut into 2 inch sections
2 tablespoons fermented black beans, mashed with a fork
1 teaspoon oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup water
Arrowroot dissolved in water

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, combine the oil, salt and paprika. Cut the tofu into cubes and gently toss to coat with the mixture. Place each tofu cube in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Roast for 15 minutes on each side.

Heat a wok to hot, add the oil. Swirl the oil to coat the wok. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and black beans. Stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the leeks. Stir-fry for a few minutes, add the water and cook until the leeks are tender.

Slowly add the arrowroot mixture and stir to thicken the sauce to desired consistency. Add the tofu and mix well. Serve with rice.

Related Posts
Salt and Pepper Roasted Tofu
Rosemary-Roasted Tofu Cubes


  1. says

    your roasted ‘fu with leeks and black bean sauce looks ammmmmmmaaaaazing! oh my gosh! i never knew fermented black beans existed – that’s so cool! dan & i make a run to our local asian grocery store every couple of weeks. i should pick some up and give your recipe a try, because homemade black bean sauce sounds excellent & leeks are some of my favorites, too!

  2. says

    I’m speechless with hunger…! I’ve never seen fermented black beans before, but I’ll have to hunt… I think that this dish is a “must make”!

  3. says

    This looks awesome! Quick question though–when you say cook the tofu 15 minutes to a side, do you mean all 6 sides (which sounds crazy)? Or just flip them over after 15 minutes and cook for another 15? Thanks!

  4. chow says

    Thanks everyone for your comments!

    Mark – You got it right, just flip them over after 15 minutes, then cook for another 15. :-)

  5. says

    oooooh oh oh! this looks great! I Stumbled to your website, and I’m enjoying it! I’m trying to use more veggies in my cooking, and you have great recipes for me! thanx! :)

  6. sage says

    Seems like I must have done something wrong when I made this last night. It was kind of bland. Pretty, but bland. I’ll have to oomph it up with more garlic and add some ginger & hot sauce or something.

  7. chow says

    sage – Sorry to hear it came out bland. With 2 tablespoons of fermented black beans, that should have been more than enough for plenty of flavor. Maybe the black beans were too old and lost their flavor?

    Sure they last forever but like spices, they also lose their flavor over time. I actually threw out the package I had in the fridge and opened a new one when I made the recipe, so I know it makes a huge difference. They’re inexpensive, under a dollar at the Asian supermarket so no big deal to just get a new package.

  8. says

    My Husband and 2 year old seemed to enjoy this dish, but I thought it was a little bland too. I am one of those people that need lots of seasoning, so will probably add some cayenne pepper next time or something else. I should note that I did double the seasoning cause I doubled the leeks.

  9. says

    Thank you for this dish. I love the black beans and have found that some are different. The idea of using the leeks in the dish is creative and looks great. For those that might want to kick it up, try adding some asian garlic sauce. We also served it over rice but asian noodles might be a nice touch.

  10. David says

    Great recipe! I added some roasted cashew nuts and a little sesame oil to finish. I found the flavor to be strong enough, but I would have added some minced fresh chilies or a few dried ones at the beginning to raise the overall heat of the dish. Thanks!

  11. Mary says

    This looks delicious! Do you think I can pull it off without a wok? I have a cast iron and a big non-stick skillet….

  12. chow says

    Mary – you probably could make it without a wok. I don’t have a non-stick skillet but I think that would be ok. :-)

  13. tanya p. says

    I made this dish last night and thought it was incredible! I didn’t have fermented black beans so I used the brown ones I bought at a Thai grocery store instead. I’m sure it would’ve had a different taste and bite had I used the black beans, but it was still delicious!

    And thank you for introducing me to the world of roasting tofu!! I’ve been avoiding deep frying due to all the mess and this is the best alternative!

  14. chow says

    tanya p. – I wonder if the brown beans are the same or similar to the Chinese brown bean sauce. Definitely a different flavor than the fermented black beans but I bet it was good. I’ll have to try that sometime. Thanks!

    Isn’t roasting tofu great? I love how easy it really is. :-)

  15. Pete says

    Stick to Yang Jiang, can go wrong. For those whose dish were a little bland (please no pepper sauce) lol.

    Just soak the beans in half a cup of boiling water. Fry your garlic, ginger add the veggies (in this instance Leeks) Add the cooked Tofu. Stir fry for a minute or so (use the water from the soaking of the black beans) Add that, and the beans.

    Cook for a minute, let the Tofu absorb all the moisture. You will have an amazing flavoured dish.

    If you happen to have any Szechuan Peppercorn, just crush a few at the end and add, makes a huge difference).

    An alternative, also sometimes I add few tablespoons of Oyster Sauce at last minute, gives it a real meaty flavour (without eating met :-))


  16. chow says

    Michelle – Just leave out the black bean parts in the recipe since you already have it prepared. Instead, you’ll add your black bean sauce when you add the water. You might have to adjust the amount of water depending on your sauce, if it’s thick or thin.


  1. […] For those of you who are not familiar with Chow Vegan, this talented vegan blogger and home cook delivers memorable flavors in the form of home-style veganized Chinese dishes and comfort foods featuring locally sourced produce as often as possible. If that doesn’t have your mouth watering yet, just take a look at a few of my favorite recipes from her site – Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf, Spicy Pumpkin Wonton Soup, and Roasted Tofu with Leeks and Black Bean Sauce. […]

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