One bite in and I knew I hit the jackpot with this one. If you’ve been in search of the perfect crispy, baked tofu recipe, this is the one for you! I’m so excited to share this with you guys I can hardly stand it. Let’s do this!
For starters, this dish is served over cauliflower “rice” instead of regular rice because 1) Cruciferous veg for the win, and 2) You can eat an ENTIRE head of cauliflower instead of 1/2 cup of rice and STILL only consume a fraction of the calories and carbohydrates, so why not?!
Cauliflower rice is SO simple and you absolutely must try it! It doesn’t pass completely as rice since the textures and flavors are slightly different. But it looks just like rice and in my opinion, tastes even better as it absorbs the sauce perfectly and takes WAY less time to cook.
You guys know the deal: My favorite way to crisp up tofu is pre-baking it before sauteing – a little trick I picked up at a vegetarian cafe in San Antonio (Yes, I hounded the waitress for the technique – you’re welcome). This gives it that crisp outer edge and perfectly tender center.
Once your tofu is baked, add it to your sauce, which acts as an all-in-one marinade and sauce for the cauliflower rice, veggies and for serving! It wears many hats and it’s oh-so delicious and Thai-inspired. Once your tofu is marinated, it’s ready for a quick stir fry to give it that perfectly golden brown, crisp, mega-flavorful coating. Then all that’s left to do is saute up your veggie of choice – baby bok choy for the win – and your cauliflower rice!
All in all this dish takes around 1 hour 30 minutes, which is a little longer than I prefer. But the pay off is so worth it! Plus, it only requires 8 ingredients – many of which you likely already have on hand. You’re going to love this dish! It’s
Packed with veggies
Entirely vegan + gluten-free (with GF soy sauce)
& Perfect for a night in
I made this dish and ate half, then reheated the leftovers the next day and I swear it got better! I love it when that happens. Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did. Cheers!
NOTE: Recipe updated 11/6/20 for improved tofu texture and creamier peanut sauce.
Crispy Peanut Tofu & Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry
- 12 ounces extra-firm tofu (organic & non-GMO if possible)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free // or sub coconut aminos but use more as it's less salty)
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 small head cauliflower
- 2 cloves garlic (minced // 2 cloves yield ~1 Tbsp or 6 g)
- 1-2 tsp tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free // or sub coconut aminos but use more as it's less salty)
- 1 cup thinly sliced baby bok choy, green onion, red pepper, or broccoli
- 1 dash sesame oil
- 1 dash tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free // or sub coconut aminos but use more as it's less salty)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- If your block of tofu is larger than 12 ounces, trim it down. Then drain your tofu and use a tofu press or wrap in an absorbent towel several times and place something heavy on top to press for 15-20 minutes.
- Once pressed, slice tofu into roughly 1/2-inch cubes and arrange on the parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Ensure they aren't touching so they will crisp up. Bake for 20-25 minutes to dry/firm the tofu. NOTE: At 20 minutes, the tofu should be chewy, and at 25 minutes, the tofu should be more crispy. Bake according to preference.
- In the meantime, prepare sauce by adding peanut butter, sesame oil, tamari, maple syrup, and chili garlic sauce to a medium mixing bowl and whisking until combined. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more chili garlic sauce for heat, maple syrup for sweetness, or tamari for saltiness.
- Add baked tofu to the peanut sauce and toss to coat. Let marinate for 10-15 minutes to saturate the tofu and infuse the flavor.
- In the meantime, prepare cauliflower rice by using a large grater or the grater attachment on a food processor. Set aside. Mince garlic if you haven’t already done so, and wash and slice any veggies you want to add to the dish (optional).
- Heat a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add sesame oil (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering serving size), cauliflower rice, garlic, and tamari. Stir and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 5-8 minutes until slightly browned and tender. Transfer to a serving platter.
- If adding any veggies to your dish (optional), cook them now in a bit of sesame oil and a dash of tamari until just tender. Add to the cauliflower rice.
- To the preheated pan, add the marinated tofu with most of the sauce (reserving a few spoonfuls for serving). Cook, stirring frequently for ~3 minutes until browned. The sauce will caramelize and may stick to the pan a bit – this is normal and adds more flavor to the dish. Stir with spatula, scraping up any caramelized bits. Then transfer tofu to the cauliflower rice platter.
- Serve with any leftover sauce. Leftovers reheat well and will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days. Not freezer friendly.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.
*Learn more about the history of stir fries here, and the origins of peanut sauce here.
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