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.