One of my fond memories of Hamilton Place (the group-house that disbanded in February 2003 which I had lived in for three years) was a dinner at which I experienced deja-vu upon tasting a sauce made from blended tofu and peanut butter. Remarking upon the stuff, the woman who prepared it said, “it should be familiar, it’s your recipe.” I indicated my surprise, only to have her continue to insist that it was mine. It was obvious that any counterargument on my part would raise offence, I let it drop.
A few months later I prepared this dish, and she critiqued that it did not include enough garlic, nor did it make a good gravy to pour over rice.
- Take the block of tofu and cut it into 3/4inch cubes. Set cubes to drain in a colander.
- In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, red chili flakes, and garlic cloves into a slurry.
- Mince the green onion and the cilantro, and set aside.
- In a cast-iron skillet, bring 3 tablespoons of oil to smoking heat over a high flame. Carefully add the drained tofu cubes and let then arrange to cover the bottom of the pan. The oil will splatter, be careful.
- Let the tofu fry until it develops a light brown crust, then scrape off the skillet and turn.
- Once the tofu cubes are fried on two or three sides, lower the flame and pour the peanut sauce over the tofu. Toss to combine. The sauce should set rapidly, you will smell the vinegar being driven off by the heat.
- Remove to a serving dish and garnish with the minced green onions and cilantro.
- I recommend a natural peanut butter, one with more peanuts than hydrogenated vegetable oil or sugar.
- Freezing the ginger root makes it easier to grate.
- The sauce will taste too salty, but once together, the salt evens out.
I generally serve this dish with steamed rice and a simple stir-fried vegetable, which is enough for 2-3 people. If you’re expecting more people for dinner, add another Chinese dish rather than tripling the recipe.
lolaleigh suggests Instead of white vinegar try 2-3 Tbs orange juice.
Recipes from P to T