Monday, October 22, 2012

Recipe for Spicy Vegan Peanut Butter Tofu with Sriracha

Spicy Peanut Butter Tofu
Strips of firm tofu are browned and served with a peanut-butter Sriracha sauce!

I've been on a tofu kick lately, but this Spicy Vegan Peanut Butter Tofu with Sriracha might be my favorite tofu recipe yet.  Jake and I made this a few times to get the flavors just right, and the recipe we ended up with features browned strips of firm tofu finished off with a sauce made of soy sauce, rice vinegar, smooth peanut butter, raw agave nectar, Sriracha, and a little vegetable stock or water.  One secret to success with this recipe is to barely simmer the sauce before you plate the tofu pieces, which makes it a super-fast recipe for Meatless Monday.

Meatless Monday fans who are on Pinterest might like to know about my Meatless Monday Pinterest board, where I've invited some of my food blogging friends to pin along with me in a board that's subtitled "Meatless Main Dishes from Food Bloggers."  (You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index, and I'm also doing a meatless slow cooker recipe each Monday on Slow Cooker from Scratch.  For more Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web.)

Drain tofu in a colander; them put blocks of firm tofu between double layers of paper towel and press down on the tofu until the towel has absorbed a lot of the moisture in the tofu.  (You can do this several times if needed.)

Then cut the tofu into thick strips.  (Don't make them too thin or they're hard to turn.  My tofu was about 3 inches long and I cut the strips about an inch wide.

Whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, peanut butter, agave, and stock and then add the Sriracha Rooster Sauce to taste.  (We used 1 tablespoon of Siracha, and it was plenty hot.)

Heat the wok, then add the oil and heat, then add sliced garlic and ginger and cook just until fragrant and remove.  (This is called "seasoning the oil.")

Add the tofu pieces and cook over medium-high ehat until the tofu is nicely browned on both sides, about 7-8 minutes.  (Watch it carefully; some places in the wok are usually hotter than others.

When the tofu is nicely browned, add the sauce mixture and turn heat to low.  Cook 1-2 minutes, or just until the mixture starts to thicken.  (Don't cook too long or the sauce will thicken and won't pour over the tofu pieces.)  Serve tofu hot, with sauce poured over and garnished with green onions.


Spicy Vegan Peanut Butter Tofu with Sriracha
(Makes about 4 servings; recipe created by Kalyn, with good suggestions from Jake.)

Ingredients:
14-16 oz. firm or extra firm tofu
1 T peanut oil
several large garlic cloves, sliced
large piece of ginger root, sliced
2-3 T diagonally sliced green onions (for garnish)

Sauce Ingredients:
3 T soy sauce (reduced sodium is fine)
3 T rice vinegar (not seasoned rice vinegar)
2 T smooth natural peanut butter (use the lowest sugar
peanut butter you can find, I like Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter)
1 T agave nectar (I like raw agave nectar)
2 T vegetable stock or water
1 T Sriracha Rooster Sauce (more or less to taste)

Instructions:
Drain the tofu well in a colander placed in the sink.  Then put tofu pieces between a double layer of paper towels and press down with your hand so the liquid in the tofu is absorbed by the towel.  (You can do this several times if you need to.)  Cut tofu into lengthwise strips about 1 inch wide.  

Whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, peanut butter, agave, stock or water, and then add the Sriracha Sauce.  (I would start with a smaller amount of Sriracha, taste, and decide when it is hot enough.)  Cut the pieces of garlic and ginger, and diagonally slice green onions.

Heat the dry wok (or heavy pan) over high heat for one minute.  Then add the peanut oil and heat about 30 seconds more.  Add the sliced pieces of ginger and garlic and cook just until they are fragrant (about 30 seconds); then remove and discard.  Add tofu pieces, lower heat to medium high and cook, turning often, until the tofu is nicely browned on both sides, about 7-8 minutes. 

When all the tofu pieces are browned, add the sauce, turn heat to low, and cook just until the sauce thickens slightly and coats the tofu.  (Don't cook too long or the sauce will get too thick and won't pour over the tofu pieces.)  Remove pan from the heat, transfer tofu pieces to a plate and pour sauce over and garnish with green onion slices (if using.)  Serve hot.

I'm guessing this would keep in the fridge and could be reheated on the stove, but it's probably best freshly made.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Tofu is limited to 1/2 cup serving size for Phase One of the South Beach Diet, so limit serving size if you're eating this for phase one, and maybe serve with a big dish of stir-fried veggies.  Otherwise, this recipe would be approved for all phases of the diet.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Ideas with Tofu:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Thai Black Pepper and Garlic Tofu from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Sriracha-Spiced Stir-Fried Tofu with Eggplant, Red Bell Pepper, and Thai Basil from Kalyn's Kitchen
General Tso's Tofu from Appetite for China
Stir-Fried Tofu with Scallions, Garlic, Ginger, and Soy Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Crispy Baked Tofu Fries with Sriracha Ketchup from Poor Girl Eats Well
(Want even more recipes?  I find these recipes from other blogs by using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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65 comments:

  1. All I had to read was "spicy peanut butter" and I was sold. The tofu sounds like the perfect vessel for it!

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  2. Kalyn, I adore your meatless Mondays. This one has got to be one of the best. Sriracha and PB are one of my fave combos. Thanks for inspiring me with this recipe!

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  3. Joanne, I am completely with you on that!

    CookTheStory, so glad you liked it!

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  4. Oh Kalyn ~ this tofu looks wonderful. I will make extra sauce for sure!

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  5. Thanks Marla. The sauce is definitely something you can't have too much of!

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  6. Looks delish! I can't have soy but I'm going to try this with chicken and coconut aminos instead of the soy sauce. I'll let you know how it goes!

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  7. wooo! That sriracha would kill me, but I sure love ya for being able to handle it!

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  8. The sauce looks amazing.
    I am not a tofu fan, but I will give this a try with Paneer.

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  9. You could slather spicy peanut sauce on anything, and I would love it. On tofu, it's brilliant.

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  10. I don't think there are many times when I've said that a tofu dish has made me salivate, but this is definitely one of those times!

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  11. This looks great! I did spend a full minute trying to figure out what "finger root" is, though. :P

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  12. I'm so glad people are liking this because we loved it when we tested the recipe.

    Beth, thanks for the catch. Makes me crazy when I do that; just fixed it.

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  13. I really love tofu. I will have to give this a try soon, when the vegetarians hit town.

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  14. I really appreciate your Meatless Monday spotlight. My wife and I have really enjoyed making your recipes. We made this one last night, and absolutely loved it. (and I am not a tufu fan) We did add in some shitake mushrooms, baby bok choy, red pepper, and spinach to add some veggies. We simply stir-fried the tofu first and then removed to a plate. We then stir fried the sliced mushrooms, sliced bok choy stalks, and sliced red peppers for about 5 minutes(until just starting to soften), then add the reserved tofu, bok choy greens, spinach, and sauce. Heat through and serve. Keep up the great work!!!

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  15. This recipe looks delicious - even tho I'm a tofu virgin. Any suggestions on side dishes to serve with this as the main?

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  16. Thanks John.

    Love hearing how other people are adapting the recipe.


    Cory Lyn, I think something like roasted broccoli, roasted cauliflower or a vegetable stir fry would be great with this. There are a lot of ideas in Vegetables.

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  17. Thank you for this fantastic recipe! I made it for dinner last night and served it with white rice and a salad. My husband and I liked it so much we decided it needs to be added to the weekly rotation. Also a great recipe for us gluten free folks (using gf soy sauce!)

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  18. We were talking about making Tofu tonight when my wife said "Check Kalyn's blog." Right, this looks glorious and we'll make it tonight. One tip I picked up from some friends in Japan - to drain the tofu, wrap in a clean kitchen towel, put it on a plate, and put a cast-iron pan on top while you prepare other ingredients. Works like a charm!

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  19. Scott, great tip for draining the tofu. Hope you enjoy!

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  20. Tried this yesterday and it was delish! The sauce has endless possibilities. I am going to use it for noodles sometime but thought about using it to for lettuce wraps and a dipping sauce for chicken. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  21. This was amazing. My boyfriend was upset when I told him I was making tofu for dinner, but then he LOVED it! This is only my second time using my new wok, and it was pretty easy to make.

    My suggestions/comments:
    1) I really suggest doubling, or even tripling the sauce, because it is DELICIOUS and you will want more of it. I think it would go great on rice noodles as well. Baby corn and mushrooms would also taste good in this dish.

    2) Peanut oil is a MUST. Olive oil/other oils really don't work. It helps sear the tofu and makes a nice texture.

    3) After you use the garlic and ginger pieces, put aside and save. I made a nice steamed bok choy boiled in veggie broth and a dash of sesame oil and threw the leftover pieces of ginger & garlic used to season the wok in my bok choy dish for extra flavor. This paired with the tofu was DELISH.

    I am so happy I found this on Pinterest. THANK YOU!

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  22. Stacy, so glad you both enjoyed it. Thanks for all the tips; I agree that more sauce would definitely be good!

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  23. Ohh, I would love this with a side of broccoli smothered in that sauce too!

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  24. Made this for dinner tonight, with 1 1/2 lbs of tofu and double the sauce. It was a huge hit over brown rice - and with your spicy cilantro-peanut slaw on the side! You're the best, Kalyn!

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  25. So Yummy...love tofu and always looking for new ideas! Thanks for tweaking this! I was amazing, I ate half of it for dinner tonight!!!!!

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  26. Delicious! I added some bok choy and mushrooms as per another commenter's suggestion.

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  27. I made this tonight and loved it! I just served rice and plain simmered collard greens on the side--the sauce was plenty exciting to jazz up the whole plate! :) And I love the tip for pressing tofu in the comments above, I'm definitely going to do that next time.

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  28. So happy that people are enjoying this. I just bought more tofu so I can make it again!

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  29. We have made this twice now and LOVE it! We add fresh cilantro to the sauce. We also mixed this with veggies and spaghetti squash - our version of pad thai.

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  30. So delicious! My boyfriend balked at the idea of a vegan recipe but he loved that sauce so much he's already asked when we'll have it again. Love it, thanks!

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  31. Mouth party!! Im eating and typing this comment. Im leaving now to ravish the little tofu fingers on my plate. thank you so much!

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  32. I made this last night; used the suggested pressing with a heavy skillet method for the tofu between paper towels and it worked great! Doubled the sauce (used splenda for the agave as I didn't have any). Used the heavy skillet (don't have a wok)to cook and drizzled the extra sauce over not only the tofu but a side of raw baby spinach. Absolutely delicious!!! Our favorite tofu dish to date. I use your site everyday. Thanks again!

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  33. Love this recipe! Will be linking back to this in my upcoming post :)

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  34. Made this last night and it was really yummy. A bit too hot so be careful with the sriracha ;)

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  35. I can't thank you enough for posting this recipe. It has become my new favorite, and I make it all the time. I think it is perfect without any alterations, except sometimes I double the sauce because it's so dang good that I want it on my veggies as well! I made it once with chicken for a non tofu eating person and it was still amazing.

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  36. Kelly, so glad you are enjoying it!

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  37. i saw scott's towel/pan suggestion and it's a good one, but you might want to check out a tofu press if you eat it a lot, they work so well and are reusable. amazon has them.

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  38. Amazing! Best recipe I have tried in a while. Fiancee loved it too!

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  39. Thank you so much! I have this memorized now! Thanks for the suggestions on frying the tofu, PRICELESS! I had no agave so I used some sweet Thai chili sauce that I made in its place. Yummmmmy! I have been making this weekly since I found the recipe in May. :)

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  40. Oh and I also throw in green beans and shredded carrot too. Yum!

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  41. Jessica, you're welcome. I'm so happy you are enjoying it so much!

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  42. This is amazing! First time I've ever cooked tofu--and with the low price tag I wish I would have tried it sooner! However, for the portions given, I think it would be a sparse 4 servings (although I'm unfamiliar w/South Beach, so maybe small portions are part of that). I didn't see why we had to toss perfectly good aromatics, so I chopped up the sauteed garlic and ginger and added them to the sauce before adding it to the pan. Also increased the sauce by about a third and included a couple handfuls of snow pea pods while frying the tofu. This is a keeper for sure.

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  43. Glad you enjoyed it. And you're correct that the 4 servings recommendation is based on the SBD limit of 1/2 cup tofu for Phase One. I assume this is part of a meal with lots of veggies on the side if you're eating it for South Beach, but if that doesn't matter to you, you can certainly have a larger serving.

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  44. I made this for a second time two weeks ago and I think I liked it even more than I remember. I did add a lot more spice (with both the Sirracha and some chili oil) than you recommended, but I don't think that messed with the amazing flavor you've created here.

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  45. So glad you enjoyed it, and no argument from me if you like it more spicy!

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  46. I've made this several times now. Its always delicious! I have made it with chicken and tofu. I started adding in some canned veggies to make it a one dish meal. Usually I put in baby corn and some chop suey veggies. Everyone loves it. I always have leftovers and it tastes great the next day!

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  47. This is my method for drying a tofu brick:
    Start with an extra-firm brick.
    Wrap with an absorbent cloth dish towel (This keeps the tofu from picking up the little white fibers from paper towels.) Center the tofu brick large side down on a flat surface like a cutting board. *Gently* center a heavy pan like a cast iron skillet on top. (If you do this very gently, it'll work. Otherwise it'll just turned into a smushed mess. :) After 10-20 minutes, gently remove the pan and unwrap the tofu. If it isn't as dry as you like, repeat the entire
    process.

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  48. This looks awesome! Just wanted to let you know I included you in my sriracha recipes roundup. Have a great day :) http://smilesandwich.com/2013/11/07/healthy-recipes-with-sriracha-sauce/

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  49. Jordan thanks; always appreciated. I will share your round-up.

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  50. Hi Kalyn,
    Made this tonight and YUM! The sauce had a perfect amount of heat and great flavor. I made sides of jasmine brown rice and seared broccoli and chard with sesame oil. I could eat this for days! Thank you!

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  51. This looks divine!!!! It just may be our dinner tonight. I have fresh organic broccoli that I could toss in for a yummy stir-fry.
    Thank you for this recipe.

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  52. You can probably bake the tofu separately and cook the sauce to serve over it, but I wonder if you'd get the same flavor since the tofu isn't cooked in the flavorful sauce. Love to hear how it works if you try it.

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  53. It was sooooooooooooo good...and easy too! Thank you for posting this!

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  54. I'm a carnivore as I live for a medium cooked filet the same way I love sunny days with no humidity. But with Costco selling 3, 19oz packages of tofu for less than 4 bucks I had to pick it up and try it out. This was amazing! Savory, spicy, sweet, AND satisfying! Thanks for a fantastic recipe.

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  55. Made it with extra firm tofu and next time I will slice the slabs thinner for more crunch surface. Delicious, thanks!

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