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Crispy Tofu with Peanut Sauce! It’s rich, creamy, and so good! Serve it with green veggies and rice for a delicious, hearty, and healthy vegan and gluten-free dinner made in under 30 minutes!
I’ve mentioned before that my kids are very picky eaters. If my son could have it his way he would live on candy alone. He loves candy so much that in the past couple of months he’s created an imaginary world called Candyland where he takes magical adventures with his best friend, Lollipop. Despite not being able to get to Candyland myself (it takes 11 plans, googol elevators, and 1 escalator), I love hearing all about his wonderful adventures.
But, I digress.
Because I won’t feed my son candy for dinner (or breakfast, or lunch, or midday snack), I am always on the lookout for healthy meals that my kids will eat without putting up a fight. Fortunately, right next to the candy, my children’s favorite food is tofu. And we eat a lot of tofu at my house.
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
- Rice – You can use either white or brown rice. Also feel free to use quinoa, couscous, or cauliflower rice.
- Extra-Firm Tofu – Look for high-protein extra-firm tofu. This particular tofu does not need to be pressed. If you can only find water-packed tofu, make sure to thoroughly press out the water with a tofu press. Softer tofu will crumble and not give you the same chewy texture.
- Oil – Any high heat oil will do. I recommend coconut or avocado oil.
- Thai Peanut Sauce – Homemade or store bought.
- Toppings – I suggest using green onions, roasted peanuts, fresh cilantro
- Veggies of Choice – Broccolini, kale, and asparagus are my go-to choices to pair with this meal.
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to make Tofu with Peanut Sauce
Step One – Cook the Rice
Bring the rice, along with 2 cups of water, to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 40 minutes, until all the water has evaporated. Set aside.
Pro Tip: I recommend brown rice because it has more protein and is much lower on the glycemic index than white rice. Brown rice also has great benefits such as being anti-inflammatory and high in important minerals such as magnesium and manganese.
Step Two – Make the Tofu
Mix together the ingredients for Thai Peanut Sauce. If you would rather use storebought sauce, that’s no problem. You want about 1/2 cup of peanut sauce total for this vegan stir fry recipe. Set aside.
Cut the tofu into 1/2″ cubes. Place it on a cutting board and with a sharp knife, cube the tofu as evenly as possible. This will ensure an even fry.
Add the tofu to the hot oil. Rather than stirring with a spoon, I find that shaking the tofu in the pan allows for more even frying. This also prevents the tofu from sticking to the bottom of the pan or the stirring spoon. Grab the handle and shake, while still over the heat, for 10 seconds at a time, shaking hard enough so that the tofu is popping around and getting cooked on all sides. Do this every 30 seconds or so.
Once the tofu is brown on all sides, add one half of the peanut sauce to the tofu and mix it until the tofu is fully coated. Some of the peanut sauce will stick to the pan – that’s okay.
Step Three – Sauté Veggies
Add oil to a separate pan and sauté broccolini or veggies of choice until cooked all the way through and slightly charred on the outside. Season with salt and pepper.
Serving and Storing
Serve this meal shortly after it’s made. Assemble the Tofu with Peanut Sauce by dividing the rice evenly between 4 plates. Top with peanut tofu, broccolini, green onions, peanuts, and extra peanut sauce and serve.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To eat leftovers, gently reheat the stir fry over the stove or in the microwave.
Frequently Asked Questions
Use high-protein extra-firm tofu. This particular tofu does not need to be pressed. If you can only find water-packed tofu, make sure to thoroughly press out the water with a tofu press. Softer tofu will crumble and not give you the same chewy texture.
As it is written, the recipe is not gluten-free because the peanut sauce contains soy sauce. However, you can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using Tamari – a wheat-free alternative to soy sauce.
For a grain-free option, consider swapping out the rice with cauliflower rice.
More Vegan Tofu Recipes
- Hawaiian Teriyaki Tofu Skewers
- Vegan Kung Pao with Tofu
- BBQ Tofu with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
- Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich
- Vegetable Fried Rice with Tofu
Tofu with Peanut Sauce
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 14 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 2 tbsp oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 small bunch broccolini, stems chopped 1-2"
- 1 batch Thai Peanut Sauce
- 1-2 green onions, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
- a few sprigs of cilantro
- Start by making rice according to package instructions. While rice cooks, prepare everything else.
- In a small blender combine all the ingredients for the Peanut Ginger Sauce. Blend until smooth and set aside.
- In a large cast iron skillet heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Cube tofu into 1/2" inch pieces. Once the oil is hot (it should sizzle when tofu hits the pan) add tofu and salt. Pan-fry for 5-7 minutes stirring frequently until tofu is golden brown on all sides.
- Add 1/2 of the peanut sauce to the tofu and stir until tofu is completely coated. Some of the sauce may stick to the pan; that's okay. Once the tofu has caramelized on the edges (another 5 minutes) remove from heat and set aside.
- Add remaining oil to a separate pan. Sauté the broccolini (or vegetable of choice) for 5 minutes until the broccolini has wilted and is tender.
- To serve, spoon rice in the bottoms of each bowl. Evenly divide the tofu and broccolini and top with extra sauce and topping of choice. Serve immediately.