When you live in Tofuland, you get access to tofu that is so delicious, you even eat it weeks beyond the best before date.
Japanese tofu is so high quality, that for me, you don't need to put anything to make it taste good. But I'm a vegetarian who tends to prefer the light tasting foods (according to my non-vegetarian husband), so I don't speak for all. But I want tasty food lovers to fall in love with Tofu as hard as I do; and I think this dish is the best candidate for that-- mostly tofu flavor enhanced by hints of flavor enhancers in the backdrop.
I first tasted this dish when a good college friend cooked this for me. My friend used simpler ingredients (just good tofu, red chili, salt and pepper) but it was really delicious. This is just a tastier version.
I've also grown fond of putting it in my bento to work-- very easy to prepare, yet satisfying.
Remove excess water from tofu by a.) pressing out the water with the help of a heavy plate or cutting board put on top of the tofu for 15 or so minutes or; b.) wrapping the tofu in clean cloth (handkerchief or smooth towel) and lightly squeezing out the water.
Cut the tofu into small cubes.
On a non-stick pan with cooking oil over medium high heat, toss in the cubed tofu. Sprinkle some ajinomoto if desired. Do not mix right away.
After about a minute or two, toss in desired amount of dried red chili pepper, your choice of vegetarian seasoning, and black pepper. Mix.
Continue mixing with an interval of 30 seconds until some parts of the tofu are golden brown, and the edges are quite crunchy.
Serve with a toothpick as an appetizer or a finger food, or mix in salad, or eat with rice just as it is! Perfect in bento too.