Thursday, February 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Szechuan with Tofu

I have always been a fan of spicy Asian dishes.  Growing up we had one Chinese place in my hometown and I always got  Kung Pao...ALWAYS...and the spicier the better.  (Or I should say that is what I always ordered once I stopped ordering grilled cheese sandwiches off the "American Menu," which was my go-to as a very young girl when Chinese food seemed too weird.)   I later learned to adore General Tso and Szechuan dishes a tremendous amount as well. 

So, I've been revisiting some of my cookbooks at late.  Many I bought and marked recipes in years ago, but my tastes have broadened and changed since then.  I am finding many more recipes to try now that didn't interest me much back then.   Its been really fun to page through them and dream and plan all the tasty things I want to try to create.

One of the revisited cookbook was one I bought many, many years ago now called Peanut Butter Planet in which every single recipe calls for peanut butter in some way.  Hummus made with peanut butter instead of tahini.  Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew.  Apple-Peanut Butter Pancakes.  And so on.  At the time I was convinced that peanut sauce was heaven on a plate.  I was eating it like crazy because I was so enamored with its rich, creamy, filling decadence.  So when I saw Peanut Butter Planet in the $5 bargain bin, I snapped it up.

In this book I recently noted a  Szechuan dish that I had never tried before.  Always keen on finding an awesome new stir-fry meal we busted it out last week.  It was quite wonderful--a nice creamy sauce with a tad bit of kick.  Just right perfectly up my alley.  We marinated some cubed tofu in it for a few hours and cooked them up to toss with the veg and rice, using the leftover marinade to dress the whole thing.   Yuuuuummmmmmy.

Peanut Szechuan Sauce

1/2 C water
1/4 C peanut butter
1/8 C tamari (or soy sauce)
2 t brown sugar
1 t ketchup
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 t ginger root, minced
2 t crushed red pepper flakes (or just toss in a couple dried cayenne peppers)

Combine all ingredients and heat through.  Toss with stir-fry or use as a marinade.  The cookbook suggested thickening the sauce with 1 t corn starch in 1 T water, but we didn't feel like it needed any thickening.

2 comments:

  1. Holy COW, this peanut stuff is freaking DIVINE!!!
    I had left over stir fried veggies, thought for lunch on Friday I would cook up some rice and add to the veggies to stretch things out for a couple more meals, but then I saw this recipe. Made the peanut stuff. Got out my tofu, and unfortunately it had slowly made its way to the back of the top shelf of the fridge and froze!! Google frozen tofu and found that it becomes very spongy when frozen then thawed and is IDEAL, like really ideal, for marinating. So marinate I did, then fried up that marinated tofu, tossed in my left over stir fried veggies, dumped in my cooked jasmine rice, poured the rest of the peanut stuff over everything and VOILA an extremely morish stirfry WHOO WHEE!!! I have eaten it for lunch and dinner yesterday and today, and I am so sad that I just finished the last of it. I AM making more of this most excellent stuff this week for sure.

    Thank you for sharing the recipe.
    I have a similar cookbook, it is not pb themed but zucchini themed, who knew there were so many things you can make with the ample supply of Z's out of the garden each summer :)

    Blessings to you,

    Bean

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    Replies
    1. Yay! I am glad you sound like you liked it as much as I did! Your dinner sounds superb! And I really enjoy the way freezing changes the texture of tofu. Its much better that way if you ask me which is convenient because then when we find a good sale we just stock up and toss it in the freezer!

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