Last night after a week of eating dinner out for one reason or another, I finally decided to cook a quick and easy meal after a long day at work. When asked Chirag what he would like to have, he quickly said "Peanut butter tofu!".
This has definitely become one of our favorite tofu dishes. I tell myself it's healthy because it has tofu and I try my best to control the amount of salt and sugar; however, I hesitate to label it as such. It tastes a little too good to be healthy! ;) I believe I found the original inspiration for this recipe on Bhavana's Kitchen YouTube Channel. However, I couldn't find the exact link. I'm not sure what the correct name for this recipe is... it's more like sweet and sour tofu, but we just like to call it peanut butter tofu in our house. I've made it countless number of times now and tweaked it slightly to suit our taste.
The ingredient list may seem a bit long, but this is honestly a quick 30 minute meal. First, I start by cutting up some firm tofu in little cubes and slow fry them in a bit of oil. Once I start to see them get slightly golden, I will add about 1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste, depending on the amount of tofu. Splash a bit of sesame seed oil and saute until the tofu is golden brown on all sides. At the end for the last minute, I'll add some sesame seeds and cook them with the tofu. You can leave this last step out, but I like the texture and layer of flavor this adds. At this time, I also go ahead and start cooking some rice to go with this dish. I use Basmati rice, but Jasmine rice would probably be more appropriate.
I set my tofu aside and in a medium-sized sauce pan I add some oil and saute some onions and green-bell peppers. Now, I get started on the fun part - the yummy sauce! I push the onions and bell peppers to the sides of the sauce pan and in the middle I add about 1 tbsp of peanut butter, 1 tbsp of ketchup, 1-2 teaspoon of Sriracha sauce, a splash of rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and about 1/2 to 1 tbsp of soy sauce. The key ingredient here is the plum sauce! It adds just the right amount of sweetness and although I've substituted it for regular sweet and sour sauce in the past, the plum sauce really is the best in this dish. I add about 1 - 1/2 tbsp of plum sauce to this mixture and cook this sauce for about 30-45 seconds. The sauce will be quite thick and clumpy at first, but allowing these ingredients to cook together at first helps the flavors really develop. However, more than 45 seconds and you may over cook it... so be careful at this stage. Then I add about 1/4 cup of water or more depending on how thin you'd like the sauce. I like it the consistency of pasta sauce so it hangs on well to the veggies and tofu. Speaking of which, lastly I add the tofu and let it cook together for about 5 minutes and you're done!
I love adding pineapple to almost any dish and it tastes absolutely delicious in this one as well. You can totally adjust the amount of spicy and sweet depending on the amount of Sriracha and plum sauce. Experiment with different veggies you have on hand that day and could also substitute chicken for tofu here. But honestly, this sauce adds so much flavor to the tofu that I believe it would totally please both the veggie heads and meat-eaters alike.
What are you cooking for dinner tonight?