This is a fun dish I learned to cook on our trip to Thailand last year. I used soy sauce, but you could substitute fish sauce to give the meal a more authentic Thailand flare; if you don’t mind the smell. This is an easy dish to make at home for a taste of a land far away!
Yield: 4 Dinner Servings
Time: About 1 Hour
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon corn startch
- 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
- 1 cup cashews
- 2 bell pepper (perferably 1 yellow and 1 red)
- 2 shallots
- Canola or peanut oil
- Serve with Jasmine rice (3 cups cooked)
- Start by wrapping the block of tofu with paper towels and place a heavy pan (I use cast iron) on top to remove excess moisture. The more moisture we can remove the better. Leave the weight on the tofu for at least 30 minutes.
- Begin preparing the rice based on the package instructions. Once the rice is ready, hold to the side until the tofu mixture is prepared.
- Make the stir-fry sauce by combining the soy sauce, tomato paste, Sambal Oelek, brown sugar, and water. Mix the ingredients until they come together.
- Dice the shallots and peppers and set aside. Separately, roughly chop the cashews and finely chop the scallions, stir together and set aside.
- Next create a slurry mixture by whisking together corn starch with the sesame seed oil, until the mixture is smooth. If the mixture is clumpy, slowly add more oil. Once the slurry is complete, unwrap the tofu and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Combine the slurry mixture with the now chopped and dried tofu in a large gallon sized bag or in a large mixing bowl and gently mix until the tofu is well coated. Drain off any additional liquid.
- Perpare either a wok or large bottomed saute pan by setting over medium-high heat, then add in about 2 tablespoons of neutral oil and swirl around the pan to ensure all sides are coated. Once hot, add the tofu and spread out into a single layer. Allow to cook until the bottom side has turned golden brown, 3 – 5 minutes. Once brown, the tofu should easily release from the bottom of the pan. If the tofu is breaking, the bottom side has likely not cooked long enough. Once the tofu has browned on all sides, remove and place on a clean paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Add the diced shallots and peppers to the same pan, stirring occasionally, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the shallots are translucent. Next, add in the cashews and diced scallions. Add back the tofu, then pour in the stir-fry sauce. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about 2 minutes, and you are ready to serve with the prepared rice.