Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tofu & Spiralized Zucchini in Homemade Peanut Sauce

Tofu & Spiralized Zucchini in Homemade Peanut Sauce... So I've yet to master a good Thai inspired peanut sauce even though I am constantly thumbing through recipe ideas. They just always seem so daunting. Until recently I found one that didn't feel so lengthy and really looked doable. I snapped a screen shot on my phone for the ingredients and set out to grab the few extra things I needed at the store on Sunday which included hoisin and limes.

Of course I cannot find where I got the recipe exactly but I have it saved in my photo album on my phone and I'll be putting it down on this ol blog so we can all find it handy dandy next time we are craving it.

The other piece of this meal was that, per my recent inspiration, I wanted to add a sprialized element. I decided the meal would be a sort of Pad Thai using flat zucchini noodles, caramelized onions, sauteed bell peppers and crispy tofu - topped with scallions and lime juice for a fresh kick.

The sauce goes something like this:
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/2 a lime worth of juice
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
2 teaspoons of sriracha or garlic-chili paste

The sauce I read also calls for 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 mashed garlic cloves - unfortunately my garlic has disappeared and I felt it was sweet enough with the peanut butter and hoisin not to need any extra sugar. Also on the list above I eyeballed everything but that is technically what it calls for. The way I made it was by placing the peanut butter in a large mixing bowl and popping it in the microwave to soften for about 10-15 seconds. Then I just added the rest of the ingredients and gave it a vigorous whisking.

Once the sauce was made I let it sit off to the side until I was ready to use it. I sauteed thinly sliced onions in one pan until they were golden brown and caramelized - while in another non stick pan I crisped up my tofu. I have found that with tofu, wrapping it in paper towels and letting the moisture drain out is really helpful for getting a nice seared crispiness on the outside - that and a non-stick pan. Once the tofu was done I set it off to the side on a plate while I sauteed sliced red bell pepper in the same pan - then I added the tofu back in a gave the pepper/tofu a quick toss in a tiny bit of hoisin and soy sauce.

Meanwhile in the onion pan I added the sauce and the spiralized zucchini and let it meld together into a perfectly dressed noodle dish.

I served up the peanut noodles first with the crispy tofu and bell peppers on top - finished with a palm full of chopped scallion and a wedge of lime.

It was seriously exactly what I wanted it to be which, if you cook a lot you'll understand, isn't always the case. Sometimes you picture a new dish one way and by the end it's something totally different. Not this one, it was exactly what I was craving and hoping for. It was hearty and super flavorful but all of the ingredients were pretty healthful - minus the sauce but hey sometimes you have to live a little -right??

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