The warm, sunny summer day was leading toward a darkening sky and with it the temperatures dropped. I knew rain was not far behind – grilling out on this particular night was not the best option. Luckily, I came across this recipe for crispy peanut tofu stir fry recently from The Minimalist Baker and knew I had to make it. For starters it contained peanut butter …love. And secondly, I could add in seasonal summer veggies? I was hooked…line and sinker!
I have always wondered how to prepare tofu in a more appealing way – i.e. crispy with a touch of sass from a slightly spicy peanut sauce. Firstly, the block of extra firm tofu needed to drain. I used the method above – make a tofu sandwich out of towels, weighted down with a cutting board, cast iron skillet and two cans for good measure.
Once the tofu drains for a good 2o minutes or so I cubed it up, slipped it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and popped the pan into the preheated oven to bake.
I made up the peanut sauce as the tofu baked. I added a tad more peanut butter and chili garlic sauce than the recipe called for. Really, it was the right thing to do.
Veggies were chopped – broccoli, red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, scallions and a carrot, too.
The baked tofu, now crispy and cool, gets tossed around in the peanut sauce. It hangs out while the veggies are sauteed.
Be still my veggie loving heart.
Once the veggies are crisp but still tender add in the tofu and some sauce. I took the easy way out and made a 5 minute curry couscous vs. the cauliflower ‘rice’. My swollen feet thanked me for this move.
This recipe is a keeper in our house. The ingredient list is simple, adaptable and it only requires a little thinking ahead with the draining and baking preparation of the tofu. The taste? I would gladly pass over take out for this any day of the week. I can control the salt/ sodium levels and add in all the fresh veggies I want!! We found ourselves with leftover peanut sauce which came in handy to drizzle a bit extra over the extra leftovers. Next time you are finding yourself dialing your favorite take out place, hang up and make this instead.
- Recipe slightly adapted from The Minimalist Baker
- 12 oz. extra firm tofu, drained
- 1.5 T. toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 soy sauce (I used Bragg's amino)
- 4 T. honey (If vegan, use brown sugar)
- 1/2-3 t. chili garlic sauce, according to preference
- 3-4 T. peanut butter, natural/ salted, according to preference
- Vegetable add ins of your choice:
- Bok choy, green onions, green beans, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, summer squash, carrots, etc.
- Cooked rice or 5 minute couscous
- Give yourself a good 45 minutes to prepare the tofu.
- Preheat the oven to 400*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Drain the tofu, place the block of tofu between two absorbent towels, weigh it down with a cutting board, a heavy pan and a few cans. Let it drain for 15 minutes.
- Cube the tofu and place in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake the tofu until dried out and firm, about 20 - 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare the sauce ingredients. In a small bowl combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, chili garlic sauce and peanut butter. Stir until smooth. Taste and adjust the sauce to your preferences (I wanted more peanut flavor and a bit more kick).
- Remove the tofu from the oven and let cool. Once cool, toss the tofu with the sauce and let it marinate while you chop and cook the stir fry vegetables.
- Prepare and chop whatever vegetables you will be using and cook them over medium heat, in a skillet drizzled with a bit of sesame oil, until crisp tender.
- If you are making a 5 minute couscous - do so now.
- Add in the cubed, saucy tofu pieces to the skillet of vegetables. Drizzle on some extra sauce and heat through.
- Serve the tofu vegetable stir fry mixture over rice or couscous. You may want a hit of sriracha, lime juice or fresh cilantro to garnish as well!! Enjoy!!!!!!