budget, Dinner, Fast, Green, Healthy, Vegetarian

Tofu and Broccoli with Peanut Sauce

At his rehearsal dinner for his wedding, my uncle served chicken satay. They hosted at the zoo, and I remember vividly being in the room where it was held and watching out for the waiters with the chicken on sticks. I loved the peanut-y, slightly tangy sauce. I think that that is where my love for peanut sauce started, and it has never gone away. The semester I studied in Spain, and peanut butter was prohibitively expensive, I had my brother bring me a jar when he came to visit. After that, I made this recipe once a week, while supplies lasted.

As usual, this recipe serves 2. It takes less than 30 minutes and is pretty straightforward.

Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  •  1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • Hot sauce of your choice (optional, I like a bit of sriracha or chili and garlic paste)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, if the sauce is thin
  • Optional, some crushed peanuts for garnishing

Tofu:

  • `1 brick extra-firm tofu
  • Spices to sprinkle on (I used turmeric)
  • Oil (about a tablespoon)

Broccoli 

  • 1 medium head broccoli
  • Oil (about a tablespoon)
  1. Prepare the tofu: Take the tofu out of its packaging and press it for about an hour. I like to sandwich it between two plates, with something heavy on the top plate.After an hour, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and cut the tofu into cubes.

  2. Make the sauce: Heat the water to simmering on low heat, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Stir until smooth. Don’t worry if it seems to separate at first. It will! Be patient and keep stirring. If it is too thin, add a teaspoon or so of cornstarch and stir well. Simmer to the desired consistency.
  3. Bake the tofu: Coat the tofu in a thin layer of oil and place on a baking sheet, making sure to get the bottom of the pan well. Here is where you would sprinkle on the spices. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
  4. Cut the broccoli: After you have put the tofu into the oven, cut the broccoli into florets and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with oil.Bake in a 400-degree oven, for about 15 minutes. You can also bake the tofu and broccoli together. Just cook the tofu for about 5 minutes (spread out on the pan), and then move it to the side and add the broccoli.
  5. Finish and serve: Combine all ingredients, and serve. I would put the broccoli on first, then tofu, then the sauce.

Tips:

  • Have you ever had mushy, flavorless tofu? That is likely because it wasn’t dried and pressed. Drying tofu before cooking changes the texture for the better.
  • You can also sprinkle spices of your choice on the tofu before cooking, such as salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, or whatever you like.
  • This recipe works well to make a stir-fry. Add peppers, chickpeas, cabbage, whatever you like!
  • As always, this recipe serves two, or one for dinner, and lunch the next day.

 

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