I used to hate Tofu! I know strong word, but the first I ate tofu unbeknown to me it was just cooked all wrong, maybe not even cooked at all. Tasteless and rubbery, it was the weirdest thing I had eaten. I remember thinking to myself, why would anyone in their right mind eat this! I tried again and this time I ate a very soft slimy tofu that was sadly the end of my tofu eating days for many years to follow.
Fast forward some 5-8 years and I can’t get enough of the stuff. Crispy salt and pepper, marinated in so many ways, BBQ tofu, tandoori tofu, blended to make quiches and tarts, and you can’t forget a good old scrambled tofu.
The advent of fully becoming plant based was a turning point, as there was a definite gap in my diet or the type of foods I wanted to eat, I needed tofu and I had to reintroduce myself to it, if I was going to continue successfully on my journey to create really tasty plant based food.
I took some time to educate myself on what I was dealing with the different types, how best to prepare them, marinate them and cook it. Also to expel some myths surrounding hormones (that’s another post).
The recipe here is a go to of mine for Asian salads, to fill summer rolls or in a Bahn Mi. it’s marinated simply in ginger garlic, tamari and a little sesame oil. Fried or baked until crispy on the outside.
I served on top of a super fresh salad of blanched green vegetables, lots of fresh herbs, leaves a little avocado, fresh red chilli and crushed toasted peanuts. Drizzled with the tangiest and most Moorish peanut dressing you will ever eat!
The peanut dressing is great with so many other recipes to, such as a dipping sauce or stirring through stir fried noodles and vegetables.
1 tbsp. grated ginger
1 fat clove garlic grated
3 tbsp. tamari
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 blocks 280g extra firm tofu diced into 1 inch cubes
Tangy Peanut Dressing
1/3 cup smooth peanut/almond butter
1/3 sweet chilli sauce (or use maple and fresh chilli)
1/3 tamari sauce
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp grated ginger
Juice 1-1/2 limes depending on their size.
A good grinding of fresh black pepper
Approx. 4 cups mixed veg, sugar snap, broccoli, peas, mange tout, baby corn, broccoli.
2 4 cups mixed leaves
½ cucumber peeled into ribbons
2 avocado sliced
Large bunch of mixed herbs, mint, dill, fennel, coriander, chive.
1 red chilli thinly sliced
1 cup peanuts toasted in the oven and roughly crushed
2 limes cut in half
2 tbsp. black sesame seeds
Add all the ingredients for the tofu marinade in a small bowl and whisk together, add the tofu and toss gently to coat, set aside.
In another bowl add all the ingredients for the dressing, if your limes are small or dry you may need more, but if they are large and juicy 1 should be enough. Whisk together vigorously to combined and smooth.
Taste and add more lime/tamari/chilli sauce accordingly to balance the favours. It should however be pretty perfect.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add your mixed vegetables, boil for 1 minute and immediately drain and rinse them under cold water. Set aside.
In a large bowl gentle toss together the vegetables mixed leaves and herbs. Arrange on 4 large plate or bowls.
Take a non-stick pan and add 2 tbsp. light oil heat to a medium high and add the tofu in batches. Cook until golden and crisp on the outside. Drain on kitchen towel whilst you repeat until finished.
Add sliced avocado, chilli, crushed peanuts, and the tofu to the plates and drizzle with a little of the peanut dressing. Leaving the rest in the bowl for people to help themselves.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and half a lime. Which can be charred in a hot frying pan or griddle pan for a minute or 2