An AppeTHAIzing Family Favorite: Spicy Peanut Tofu Stir-fry

As the temperature soared past 100-degrees all last week, the last thing I wanted to do was stand over a hot stove when preparing dinner.  However, if I could make something tasty in 10-15 minutes over the heat, I was willing to consider it.  Especially since I was thinking about making one of my family’s favorite dishes.  About a year ago, I was looking for something spicy and peanuty that went with tofu and I came across a recipe on the Nasoya website.  I adapted it a little based on items we regularly had on hand and it was an instant hit.  After living with us for about a month at the time, our Macedonian au pair, who was new to any Asian cuisine, said it was one of the best things she had ever eaten.  Hopefully she still feels the same after living with us for a year!


  • 1 pkg extra firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 4 tbls soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts (cocktail peanuts work as well)
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter (creamy)
  • 3 tbls pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbls rice vinegar
  • 1 tbls water
  • 1 tbls sesame seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp chili paste (1 tsp if you like it extra spicy)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro


(1) Cook the Rice – Prepare brown rice on the stove or rice cooker as directed on the packaging.  Set aside if it is ready before the rest of the meal is ready.
(2) Broil the Tofu – This is my absolute favorite way of preparing tofu.  Once I tried it in the broiler, I never looked back.  First, pre-heat the broiler.  While pre-heating, stir together 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and ginger in a medium bowl and gently stir in the cubed tofu to coat (side note – I also do this with curry powder in place of ginger when cooking with curry sauces).  Place foil over a baking sheet or mist the sheet with nonstick cooking oil spray.  Spread the tofu on the baking sheet in a single layer.  Place under a broiler for 5-7 minutes.  Flip the tofu and broil for another 5-7 minutes or until light brown and crispy.  Set aside.
Crispy Tofu
(3) Stir-fry the Veggies and Peanuts – While the tofu is broiling, heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat and sauté the chopped onion for 3 minutes.  Add the chopped red bell pepper and sauté for 3 minutes or until softened.  Add the peanuts, stirring occasionally, for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Set aside.
(4) Mix the Sauce – In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce (if you want to reduce the sodium, use 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon water) with the peanut butter, maple syrup, rice vinegar, water, sesame seeds, garlic, and chili paste.  Set aside.
(5) Mix it Up! – Add the rice to the wok and mix with the veggies.  Pour the sauce into the wok, and stir to cover the rice and veggies.

Mix it up!

(6) Fold it in – Fold in the tofu until evenly distributed throughout the mix. Finally, fold in the cilantro.   Warm up over the stove, if necessary, but it should have remained warm from the recently cooked rice.


Serve and Enjoy!  Hopefully your family enjoys this as much as we do!  This past time, we finally introduced Alister to this favorite dish and we found it was Alister-approved.   While we ate dinner, he was pretty focused on gobbling up every last piece of tofu on his tray as shown below.  (FYI – if serving to small children, remember to exclude the peanuts from the dish or remove them from their serving to prevent choking hazards).

More tofu, please.


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2 thoughts on “An AppeTHAIzing Family Favorite: Spicy Peanut Tofu Stir-fry

  1. kpolon July 24, 2013 at 8:17 am Reply

    Sounds so yummy! I’ll have to try this recipe soon 🙂

    • shortpocketsnumbertwo July 25, 2013 at 11:29 pm Reply

      One of the best parts about it is – similar to the go-to honey mustard marinade for chicken you introduced me to – you have the majority of the ingredients on hand. That plays a huge role in what we decide to cook (or not cook as is also the case). 🙂

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