When I was a kid, my mom used to make Thai peanut chicken using red curry paste and it was one of my favourite meals. It was inspired by a visit to Thailand when I was seven and then made possible by the availability of Thai curry pastes at our local grocery store.
In University, I would cook basic Thai curries using both red and green curry pastes and occasionally a version of satay sauce using peanut butter.
Thai spices, coconut and peanut make a delicious combination – earthy, creamy, and spicy! This flavour is one I keep coming back to.
This might be my favourite rendition yet! This crispy tofu bowl with spicy Thai peanut sauce is loosely based on this recipe at The Stingy Vegan blog, this Crispy Tofu Bowl with Peanut Sauce nails the flavour! I promise you’ll want to lick the spoon more than once.
This crispy tofu bowl has a rice base and a colourful combination of vegetables using red cabbage, grated carrots and broccoli – each also providing a different texture alongside the tofu which is coated with corn starch before frying to achieve a crispy texture.
You could swap in other vegetables according to your taste (or simply what you have in your fridge), just try to include a variety of colours and textures. But, unlike the recipe I used as a jumping off point, I would keep it fairly simple – the sauce really doesn’t need much competition for your taste buds!
The bowl is healthy and balanced – the addictive sauce is the icing on the cake!
1 BLOCK FIRM TOFU – drained and pressed with a towel to remove excess water
2 TBSP CORN STARCH
OIL FOR SHALLOW FRYING – at least 1 inch deep
1 BROCCOLI CROWN – cut into bite sized pieces
1 CUP RED CABBAGE – finely sliced
1 CUP CARROTS – shredded
3 CUPS COOKED RICE
1 TBSP OIL
1/2 RED ONION – finely minced
1 CAN COCONUT MILK – 19 oz
2 TBSP THAI GREEN CURRY PASTE
1 CUP NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER*
2 TBSP BROWN SUGAR
3 TBSP LIGHT SOY SAUCE
JUICE OF 1 LIME
*I get mine in bulk and generally mix half crunchy and half smooth for what I consider to be the perfect texture
Fry the Tofu:
In a large pot heat frying oil over medium/high heat (hot but not smoking).
In a large bowl toss cubes of Tofu with the cornstarch until evenly coated.
Test the oil with one piece of Tofu. It should sizzle and float.
Fry Tofu in small batches until browned. Drain on a clean dry towel and set aside.
Cook the rice using your preferred method (I inherited a CuisineArt Rice Cooker about a year ago, and I’ve never looked back!)
Meanwhile, make your sauce:
In a medium sized pot heat the oil over medium heat and sauté onions until just starting to brown.
Add the curry paste and cook for 1 min stirring constantly.
Add the coconut milk, peanut butter, sugar and soy sauce and stir well until incorporated.
Reduce to a simmer until flavours have combined and the sauce has a creamy consistency.
Serve rice into large bowls.
Top with small handfuls of Tofu and vegetables.
Top with a generous pour of the sauce.