I’m going to start this post by saying I’m not really into tofu. I think it can be really bland sometimes and I’m not always into the spongy texture. This tofu is none of those things. This tofu I love. It’s crispy on the outside, smothered in satay sauce and nice and soft in the centre. This is the tofu that has converted me.
Well in terms of firm tofu anyway. I’ve always loved silken tofu, especially when it’s been fried like they do at Longrain (their salt and pepper silken tofu is one of my favourite food memories, I think I ate it 10 years ago) and more recently the discs of silken tofu, that were crispy fried on the outside and sitting in black garlic sauce at Ricky and Pinky. I haven’t tried cooking silken tofu myself yet thought. Baby steps.
I also need to thank the Minimalist Baker for the amazing tofu cooking technique. Baking it before marinating it helps keep the outside nice and crisp. I tried stir frying it with the satay sauce put decided I actually liked it better when I baked it a second time instead, plus less dishes that way – yay!
The salad adds real freshness to this dish and I’m a massive fan of a cool crisp salad with crunchy crispy hot things and this ticks those boxes. I also made a simple coconut rice for this by just stirring toasted coconut through the almost cooked brown rice. I’ve done it before using coconut milk but I don’t think this recipe needs that richness because you’ve got the peanut butter for that.
Cooking tofu can be a little time consuming, I skipped the draining stage the second time I made this and it made no difference with the firm tofu I used, so I haven’t included that step here. Make sure you take that 15 minutes to press it though. All up it shouldn’t take you more than and hour and for at least 30 minutes of that you can read a book because you’re just waiting for the tofu to do it’s thing. Or you could prep the salad (10 minutes max) and get that rice cooking. Even doing that you should still have time to chill.
Make sure you drizzle ALL the leftover marinade over your salad. Don’t waste that peanut goodness!
400g firm or extra firm tofu
4 Tbs crunchy peanut butter (all natural)
2 Tbs soy sauce (tamari if GF)
2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1 Tbs finely grated ginger
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
1/4 cup water
1 cup uncooked medium grain brown rice
1/3 cup dessicated coconut
2 lebanese cucumbers
1 avocado, finely sliced then cut in thirds
1 cup mint, shred larger leaves
1/2 cup podded edmame
3 Tbs finely sliced spring onion
1/3 cup coconut flakes, toasted
Optional: Coriander to serve
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a tray with baking paper.
Wrap tofu in absorbent paper towel or similar and place on a flat surface with something heavy on top of it. Allow the tofu to ‘press’ for 15 minutes.
Cut tofu into 2cm cubes and spread in a single layer on the prepared tray. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until lightly golden.
Meanwhile, mix together the peanut butter, soy, vinegar, ginger and maple syrup until smooth. Slowly add water to thin. Check seasoning and add more salt if necessary (this will depend on your peanut butter too!). Set aside 1/4 cup for later.
Once the tofu is slightly golden remove it and toss with the satay sauce in a medium sized bowl. Coat well and allow to marinade for at least 20 minutes.
Rinse rice well and combine with 2 1/3 cups of salted water in a pot. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the coconut and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside with the lid on until ready to serve. Please read packet directions as cooking times and liquid quantity will vary according to brown rice style, this works for medium and long grain.
Use the same tray as before and spread the tofu in a single layer. Set aside any excess marinade, you can mix this with the 1/4 cup you reserved earlier. Bake the satay covered tofu for 10 – 15 minutes at 180 degrees celsius, or until crisp and golden.
Meanwhile, use a mandolin or vegetable peeler to slice the cucumber into ribbons. Combine cucumber and other salad ingredients in a bowl (excluding lime). Slice the lime in half and squeeze one half over the salad. Cut the other half into wedges to serve.
To serve, divide rice between bowls, top with salad and satay tofu. Drizzle over satay sauce and sprinkle coriander if using.