Spicy Peanut Butter Tofu with Greens and Rice

I know that peanut butter is considered kid food, but I’ve never quite grown out of it.  It’s a great grab-and-go snack on apple slices or crackers.  It’s equally at home in cookies and in oatmeal.  And I’ve long considered the PB&J the ultimate travel food (yes, even before we had kids).  So I’m wondering, why don’t I use it in my savory cooking more?

What are your favorite savory peanut butter recipes?

This tangy peanut sauce with a Sriracha kick might be my new favorite.  Here it brightens up an otherwise-ordinary bowl of tofu, greens, and rice, but I can see it making other kinds of future appearances in my kitchen.  I’ll be dipping spring rolls in it for sure, and I think it would make a great dressing for a quinoa salad with raw kale and lots of shredded carrots.  You know me, I might even try some out in my next bowl of oatmeal.

Just one caution, which is that I recommend removing your tofu and/or veggies from the heat before tossing them with the peanut sauce.  The sauce loses a bit of its bright flavor when cooked.

Spicy Peanut Butter Tofu With Greens and Rice (adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen–thank you, Kalyn!): First, start a pot of rice.  Then make the peanut sauce in your blender by combining 3 Tbsp. smooth peanut butter, 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (reduced sodium is fine), 2 Tbsp. water, 1 ½ Tbsp. sriracha, and 1 Tbsp. honey.  Blend until smooth.

Cut a block of extra-firm tofu into thick slices.  Drain on a lint-free-towel, pressing lightly to remove as much water as possible.  Sear in vegetable oil over medium-high heat.  Once the tofu pieces are in the pan, leave them alone until they form a crust and release easily from the pan, then flip and cook on the second side until both sides are golden.

While the tofu is cooking, steam or simmer a bunch of greens in a separate pot.  I simmered a bunch of collard greens in about 1” of salted water until tender.  (If you take this approach, use a tongs to remove the greens and freeze that cooking liquid for your next batch of homemade vegetable broth!)  Slice the greens into ribbons and set aside.

When the tofu is cooked on both sides, turn off the heat and add a few spoonfuls of peanut sauce to the pan, gently tossing until the tofu coated.  (If the greens have cooled, you could add them to the pan for a moment to re-warm them before adding the sauce.)  Layer rice, greens and tofu onto a plate, then drizzle additional sauce on top.  Garnish with sliced green onions.

Related Recipes
Thai Greens and Tofu
Buckwheat Soba Salad with Spicy Almond Sauce
Farro Bowl With Toasted Kale and Coconut and Curry-Roasted Tofu


15 thoughts on “Spicy Peanut Butter Tofu with Greens and Rice

  1. Hannah

    This looks fantastic! I think I just planned dinner for tonight – thank you. I could easily eat a bowl of peanut sauce, and anything it adorns is delicious. I’ve made a pureed sweet potato soup before with peanut butter that was quite good.

  2. Eileen

    Peanut butter is definitely on the map at our house, to the point where I buy four jars at a time when it’s on sale–which is totally unheard of otherwise in our 2-person household. Satay-style sauces like this are so good with tofu and veg! :)

  3. hannah

    This sounds awesome Emmy! We are almond butter eaters more so, but I keep peanut butter for apples and for a peanut sauce that we make like this: 3 tb peanut butter, 1 tb Thai curry paste, 1/2 cup coconut milk (light ok), salt and sugar to taste. I call it a cheater dinner because I can usually scrounge the ingredients when I haven’t planned in advance – use the rest of the coconut milk to cook your rice (sub out for some of the water). Toss with veggies, tofu, chicken, whatever – serve with sliced scallions and toasted peanuts :). But next time we are feeling peanutty,we will try this instead! Happy thanksgiving week —

  4. Somer

    I don’t think one can ever get to old for peanut butter. I eat it in some form nearly every day, and peanut sauces like this are one of my favorite ways to eat it.

  5. PsyKdeliaSmith

    I have a box of tofu that has been sitting in the fridge for months cos i am never really sure what to do with it. It just keeps getting puched to the back of the shelf and forgotten about! Now i know what i am going to try out! This recipe sounds and looks great! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      I do love this recipe, but if the box has been there for months it might not be the tofu for this recipe. :) The kind in boxes is usually soft/silken tofu, which won’t hold up to frying well. If it’s not silken tofu it should work, but check the expiration date (and make sure it’s not slimy)! Enjoy. :)

      1. emmycooks Post author

        Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you should probably toss it. If you’re not a tofu fan already there’s no reason to start with a bad experience! If it makes you feel any better, I have some expired silken tofu in my pantry as well that you’ve reminded me to throw away. :)

      2. PsyKdeliaSmith

        :P o well.. that’ll teach me to ignore the tofu! I must try to find the other type of tofu then. There aren’t too many options round here to buy veggie or vegan products. Mexico is a very carnivorous country and Manzanillo where i live is a very small city by the sea and we don’t have a good selection of health stores. The only place i know to buy tofu is in the supermarkets and i try to avoid those as much as possible. What is the kind of tofu that you recommend?

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