Sunday, May 5, 2013

Salt and Pepper Tofu with Peanut Sauce

Some days I am too exhausted, or feeling a general lack of creativity in the kitchen that prevents me from turning out something 'fun' for my (almost) 2 year old to eat. And when I'm alone with her, I prefer something that doesn't keep me tied to the stove/practically makes itself. 

This is a meal that is super quick to whip up, leaves enough leftovers for lunch the next day, and is a favorite of my daughter's because it has 2 of her favorite things: roasted broccoli, and a thick, creamy dipping sauce. For some reason my daughter has decided that as far as most vegetables go, they will not pass her lips unless they've been roasted. Which is perfectly fine with me, since it is so insanely easy to prepare them this way, and I don't feel that any of the nutrients are getting leeched out into a cooking liquid. 

Unfortunately I am a sucker for thick, creamy, Americanized peanut sauce, and always order extra when eating at one of the Thai places in our area. This recipe is the closest I've come to recreating it at home, and we all love it. It may not be for you, but keep in mind that the recipe provided is super adaptable to your tastes - I make it differently every time depending on what I'm in the mood for, or what it will be accompanying. Just keep a spoon nearby in order to repeatedly taste it as you go along - making it your own is the fun part.


for the salt & pepper tofu
1 package firm or extra firm of your favorite tofu
salt and pepper
1/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or coconut

for the peanut dipping sauce
6 Tbsp of your fav peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp mirin
2 Tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tsp Bragg's liquid aminos or 2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp fish sauce (optional)
2 1/2 tsp sriracha (or to taste)
3 Tbsp low fat coconut milk
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp lime juice (optional)
1 inch nub of  peeled grated ginger (optional)

for the roasted broccoli
1 bunch (2-3 heads) organic broccoli
extra virgin olive oil mister/spray
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place a silicone mat or piece of parchment on a baking sheet. Rinse broccoli and separate heads into large bite size florets and peel stalk with a knife, ensuring to remove all of the tough fibrous exterior. Slice the peeled stalk into coins and place on lined baking sheet with the florets. Mist/spray with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in oven on middle rack and roast for 20 - 25 minutes, stirring halfway through roasting time.

While the broccoli is cooking, drain the tofu and cut into about 1 inch square cubes. Heat the 1/4 cup neutral tasting oil over medium high heat. Dry the cubes well on both sides with clean kitchen towel. Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Place all tofu in pan and let cook till golden brown on first side before flipping (about 4 - 7 minutes). Once tofu is browned on 2 sides, remove to paper towel lined plate and set aside. 

While the tofu is frying, add all the ingredients of the peanut sauce to a glass bowl and whisk together. If you like it really spicy, add more sriracha. A bit more tang, more rice wine vinegar - this is where it gets fun and you can make this completely tailored to your tastes. If the balance is good for you, but still seems a bit thick, add more coconut milk. 

Serve tofu alongside broccoli with lots of peanut dipping sauce on the side. 

1 comment:

  1. This looks great! We have to avoid nuts, but I have a Sunbutter satay sauce that would be a good replacement for the peanut sauce for us. My kids claim they don't like tofu but I contend they just haven't tried it enough. :) Thanks for the inspiration to continue my mission.