Sunday, November 29, 2015

Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu and Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry

There are two things that need to be discussed about this meal.  First, this is a great new method for making tofu!  I know that the texture of tofu is not always the best.  I've heard it described as a giant marshmallow, and sometimes that is all too good of a description.  But this method fixes that.  You bake it before you stir fry it.  That lets it dry out a bit so that the edges get crispy while the inside gets tender.  It's much more... food-like.  Definitely something to keep in mind if you have written off tofu forever.

The second thing that must be discussed is cauliflower rice.  We've all heard of it and seen it on Pinterest.  Finally I tried it out for this recipe.  I have to say, I wasn't thrilled, although I know I food processed my cauliflower a bit too much.  Maybe I was trying to do too much of it in one shot, but most of it was pureed while there were still some whole florets.  Or maybe my food processor sucks.  Either way, the consistency wasn't the best for me.  I would have rather just have rice!  Perhaps I should give it another try with a different food processor (because I do actually have another one in my pantry, unopened).  We'll see.

Even if the cauliflower rice didn't amaze me, the tofu was really good, and the peanut sauce was delicious.  The leftovers weren't as great, because the tofu lost a bit of its crispiness, but it was still good enough to bring to work!  Which reminds me... back to work tomorrow... but only 16 school days till Christmas vacation.


crispy baked peanut tofu and cauliflower rice stir fry
from Minimalist Baker

12 ounces extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 small head cauliflower
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small head broccoli, chopped into small florets
1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 1/2 - 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter


1) Begin by draining tofu 1 1/2 hours before you want your meal easy.  Roll tofu in an absorbent towel several times and then place something heavy on top to press.  Do this for 15 minutes.

2) Near the end of the draining, preheat oven to 400 degrees and cube tofu.  Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and arrange in a  single layer.  Bake for 25 minutes to dry/firm the tofu.  Once baked, remove from oven and let cool.

3) Prepare sauce by whisking together ingredients until combined.  Taste and adjust flavor as needed. Add cooled tofu to the sauce and stir to coat.  Let marinate for at least 15 minutes to saturate the tofu and infuse the flavor.

4) In the meantime, shred the cauliflower into rice by using a large grater or food processor.  You don't want it too fine, just somewhat close to the texture of rise.  Set aside.  Mince garlic if you haven't already done so, and prepare veggies.

5) Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat (6 out of 10) and cook veggies in a bit of sesame oil and a dash of soy sauce.  Remove from pan and set aside and cover to keep warm.

6) Use a slotted spoon to spoon tofu into the preheated pan.  Add a few spoonfuls of the sauce to coat.  Cook, stirring frequently for a few minutes until browned.  It will stick to the pan a bit, so don't worry.  Remove from pan and set aside and cover to keep warm.

7) Rinse pan under very hot water and scrape away any residue.  Place back on oven.  Add a drizzle of sesame oil to the pan, then add garlic and cauliflower rice and stir.  Put cover on to steam for about 5 - 8 minutes until slightly browned and tender, stirring occasionally.  Then add a few spoonfuls of sauce to season and stir.

8) Place cauliflower rice on serving dish and top with veggies and tofu.  Serve with leftover sauce.

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