I’m a total cheat – this recipe is just a variation on my peanut butter chickpea curry. Pretty much the only differences between that one and this peanut butter coconut tofu are that this version has crispy fried tofu in place of the chickpeas, and I served it with noodles instead of rice.
But, you know what? It felt like an entirely different meal. Of course the flavours were similar, but twirling noodles around a fork automatically makes it feel different to a standard curry-and-rice meal. Perhaps it’s just a psychological thing, but either way: I’m going to share this recipe anyway.
In all honesty, my primary reason for wanting to recreate the recipe was because I enjoyed licking the peanut butter spoon so much last time that I just had to do it again – and I can’t quite bring myself to literally eat peanut butter by the spoonful (I’m saving that for my retirement years… got to have something to look forward to).
I know not everyone is a tofu fan, but I’ve definitely grown to love it more and more over the years. I find that the key is to press it really well, and then to fry it in an empty pan until it turns nice and golden brown. No soggy tofu for me! Once your tofu’s done, you can then set it aside and prepare the rest of your meal (it’s a bit delicate, and will probably end up in a bit of a scramble if you leave it in the pan while you’re stirring your sauce). By the way, you don’t need any fancy equipment to cook with tofu – a tofu press is a nice luxury, but definitely not a necessity. I just lay my tofu slices out between a couple of clean tea towels and place a few heavy things on top (it’s quite fun actually, like Buckaroo!).
Are you a tofu fan?
- 400 g firm tofu
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 red pepper cut into strips
- 1 small red chilli finely chopped
- 75 g mange tout
- 4 medium mushrooms sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 100 g noodles
- 400 g coconut milk 1 tin
- 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter heaped
- 4 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
- Black pepper
First, you need to press the tofu to remove any excess liquid. You can do this in a tofu press, but I don’t have one, so I use towels. Cut the tofu into 1cm slices, and lay them out on a clean, folded tea towel. Top with another towel, and place a large baking tray on top. Then pile on some heavy objects (pans, cookbooks, etc). Leave for at least 1 hour to drain.
When the tofu is ready, add it to a large, deep frying pan with 1tbsp of oil. Cook over a medium-high heat for a few minutes, until the underside is golden brown and slightly crispy. Turn each piece over, and repeat with the other side. Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in the same pan, and add the red pepper, chilli, mange tout, mushrooms and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for around 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, boil the noodles until al dente.
Add the coconut milk and peanut butter to the vegetables, and mix well. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, until slightly reduced and well combined. Season to taste, then add the cooked noodles, fresh coriander, and fried tofu. Mix to combine, and serve topped with more fresh coriander.