I recently visited a vegan restaurant called Dharma Kitchen. I was amazed by the flavours they infused into plain tofu and fermented tempeh. The taste and texture were both completely satisfying. This recipe is inspired by the delightful meal I had there.
I started out with firm tofu, which has a wonderful sponge-like ability to soak up flavour, and marinated it in a mixture of soy sauce, water, and a little brown sugar.
The accompanying slaw is a mixture of chayote squash, carrot, and cucumber, all thinly sliced and seasoned with a lime dressing.
The best part about this dish for me was the peanut sauce, it added a rich, luscious taste to the tofu and contrasted quite nicely with the cool slaw. Underneath the mountain of tofu and salad is brown rice, perfect to soak up all the flavours from this dish. Alternatively, I imagine rice noodles would be delicious as well.
- 350 g firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch (~1 cm) cubes
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp EACH minced garlic and minced red bird's eye chili
- 1 tbsp all natural, salted peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- 1.5 tbsp warm water
- 1/2 chayote squash, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/3 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
- 1/4 tsp fish sauce
- 1/4 tsp brown sugar
- thinly sliced Thai basil and red bird's eye chili to garnish
- Serve with cooked brown rice or rice noodles
- In a large, waterproof plastic bag (or a large bowl), mix tofu, soy sauce, 2 tbsp water, and 1 tsp brown sugar. Marinade for 15 minutes - 2 hours in the fridge. Drain the tofu and discard the marinade before cooking.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Mix this dressing with the thinly sliced chayote squash, carrots, and cucumber. Garnish with Thai basil and red bird's eye chili, refrigerate until ready to use.
- To cook the tofu, heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chili and saute until fragrant, about 15-20 seconds. Add the drained tofu and carefully cook so they get nice and golden brown. Mix together the peanut butter, fish sauce, and warm water in a separate bowl. When the tofu is almost cooked through (~10 minutes), add the peanut sauce and stir to coat.
- Serve with cooked brown rice or rice noodles.
- Chayote is a vegetable related to squash, cucumber, and melon. It has a green skin and light green/ white flesh.
- Red bird's eye chili can be found in most Asian grocery stores. Remove the seeds for less spicy heat. Feel free to substitute with cayenne pepper or any other chili.