Meatless Monday is a thing and I am here as a meat lover to share a recipe with you that any meat lover would even enjoy. The recipe for this Peanut Crusted Marinated Tofu came to me after my boss said she had a taste for something lighter a couple of weeks ago. Not feeling up to going to the grocery store for the third time that week I decided to work with what we had in the fridge and pantry. We had Extra Firm Tofu, Freshly Roasted Peanuts (a family specialty) and some Kale we needed to use up. We always have a plethora of rice and soy sauce. So BOOM, the idea for the Peanut Crusted Marinated Tofu was born!
There are two tricks to getting this recipe right. One is pressing out the tofu after it sits in the marinade and the second trick is to make sure to crush your peanuts fine enough. two really easy things to accomplish if you follow the steps in the recipe.
Here is what you will need to gather for the recipe:
- 1 Package of Extra Firm Tofu, Drained and cut into 1 inch thick rectangles.
- 1 T of Black Pepper
- 1/3 C of Olive Oil or Sesame oil if you wish
- 1/3 C of Good Quality Soy Sauce
- 1 T of Garlic Powder
- A few leaves of a fresh herb, I used Thai Basil
- 2 C + 1/2 C of Crushed Peanuts, Crushed Semi Fine, meaning a mix of powder and small pieces.
- 3 C of Cooked White Rice
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Sliced
- 6 Green Onions, Chopped
- 4 to 6 C of Chopped Kale
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 C Oil For Frying, I used a mix of Vegetable Oil and Sesame Oil
The process is fairly easy. Just remember that you need to press out the liquid from the tofu to get the peanuts to stick and fry well. Here is what you do:
- Place your tofu slices in a shallow pan. Add the soy sauce, olive oil, garlic powder, black pepper, green onions and fresh herbs to the dish. The tofu can marinate anywhere from 1 hour to 8 hours in the fridge or the counter. You will just need to turn the slices occasionally so that both sides are soaking up the marinade.
- Once your tofu has marinated for your desired length of time, reserve the marinade. You will need to press the liquid out of the tofu. You do this by placing the tofu slices in a single layer on top of about 8 sheets of paper towels stack up. Then place 2 layers of paper towels on top of the tofu. On top of that I place a cookie sheet on top of the paper towels covering the tofu and then add several heavy canned goods to the top of the cookie sheet. I allow this to sit for a minimum of thirty minutes and a maximum of two hours.
- While your tofu dries out, prep your peanuts and whisk your eggs with a splash of water.
- When your tofu is dried, dunk it in the egg wash and make sure you are getting all sides, then press into the peanut mixture. Flip over and press peanuts into the other side. Your tofu should be coated with a mic of the “peanut dust” and some larger pieces you can press into the tofu.
- Heat your oil in a skillet and then add your tofu and fry turning halfway through cooking to brown all sides. You may find it easier to do this in batches. Prepare a plate with paper towels so the tofu can drain after frying.
- When you have fried all your tofu, add the onions to the same skillet and fry until translucent.
- Next add the Kale and sauté until just wilted.
- Add rice to each plate, top with the fried tofu, kale and onion mixture, then drizzle with the marinade and top with the remaining chopped peanuts.
That is all there is to this unique, somewhat healthy and vegetarian dish. The Peanut Crusted Marinated Tofu gives the meaty flavor meat eaters crave and vegetarians will also delight in this dish. I hope you find yourself making it and enjoying it as much as we did!
For another great meat free recipe, check out my recipe for The Best Tuna Salad Anywhere