There’s this vegetarian restaurant in Phoenix that makes the best Thai peanut tofu dish that I order nearly every time I go there. I love their tofu because it has a crispy exterior and it is just the perfect fried tofu texture. Their peanut sauce is a hint spicy, and works so well with the crunchy veggies.
I love fried tofu, but I usually bake tofu at home because the flavor is similar and it is obviously way healthier. I know that tofu can seem pretty intimidating to cook with, but it is actually really easy to make baked tofu.
To start, you will drain the water out of the tofu container. Place the tofu on top of 2-3 pieces of paper towel. Top the tofu with 2-3 more pieces of tofu and place a heavy pot on top of the paper towel. Let the tofu drain for 15 minutes minimum, and up to 1 hour.
Once the tofu is drained, cut the tofu into 1-inch pieces. Place the tofu on a parchment-lined baking dish and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees; flip and bake for another 10 minutes, until lightly browned on two sides.
That’s it! Now you have baked tofu to use with any tofu dish. I love to serve it with brown rice and veggies, but you can also serve it with noodles or eat it as a snack dipped in a sauce, like this Thai peanut sauce, which I also used in this dish.
This Thai peanut tofu is so yummy. I absolutely love this Thai peanut sauce because it is slightly sweet and creamy, but has a little heat to tame the sweetness. The best part is just how easy this sauce is to make. It is all combined in one pot and then simmered for awhile until it comes together. It is so simple!
To finish the dish, I sauteed some veggies and served it all over brown rice. I personally like to coat my tofu in the sauce but leave the rest of the dish with less sauce. I like to serve it with a side of sauce in case people like more. I personally prefer to leave my veggies as-is, and only add extra sauce as needed to keep the dish light and healthy.
Thai Peanut Tofu Stir Fry
12 oz. firm tofu, drained, dried and cubed
1 large red bell pepper
1 bunch of green onions
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Brown Rice (follow box for cooking instructions)
Peanut Sauce (see below)
Chopped peanuts (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)
Drain the tofu. Cover the tofu in paper towel to absorb as much liquid as possible. Line a plate with paper towels, place the tofu on top of the paper towels, place more paper towels on top of the tofu and top with a heavy pot.
Let the tofu drain for 15 minutes minimum and up to an hour, to remove as much water as possible. Once drained, cut the tofu into one-inch cubes, or strips if you prefer.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place tofu pieces in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping tofu half-way through the cooking process. The tofu should feel dry and firm.
Prepare the sauce for the Thai peanut tofu following the recipe below. Prepare brown rice following the package recipe.
Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add veggies of your choice, cooking them in a bit of sesame oil. Add the tofu and a bit more sesame oil to cook for 5-8 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from pan and serve on top of a bed of rice. Add desired Thai peanut sauce and chopped peanuts, if desired.
Easy Thai Peanut Sauce
1 13.5-ounce can of full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
¾ cup unsweetened, natural creamy peanut butter
½ tablespoon salt
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (Do not use white wine, red wine, balsamic, or anything else — not even rice vinegar)
½ cup water
Add all ingredients into a medium heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
Simmer for 3-5 minutes over low heat; do not to let the mixture scorch at the bottom of the pot.
Remove the pot from the heat, let the sauce cool and serve the sauce with baked tofu.