crispy tofu with peanut sauce

gluten-free peanut sauce

gluten-free peanut sauce

pan-fried tofu

pan-fried tofu


This has been an all-around fave dinner in our house since the kids were little. Don't underestimate the power of peanut butter to make something as "different" sounding as tofu go get gobbled up like a slice of pizza. I'm almost embarrassed to say that my daughter can house almost an entire block of tofu. It's getting to the point where I have to make a batch of feel good foods dumplings to go with this meal or else my husband and I will have nothing to eat after the kids go to bed. 

This is also one of those meals that is naturally gluten-free. So many meals really are when you think about it. It also makes a great Meatless Monday dish if you're on that trend. And, finally, because I know you're all busy working people, this comes together quickly and can be prepped early in the morning to make it even easier come 5pm. Try it and let me know what you think!

Crispy Tofu with Peanut Sauce, serves 4ish

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (the more natural, the better-- aka not Skippy)
  • 2 tsps GF tamari
  • 1 TBSP light brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice (you can use lemon juice in a pinch)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Sriracha Chili Garlic Sauce to taste
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (you could use tapioca starch if you have corn sensitivities)
  • vegetable oil

If you plan on making this for dinner, you should set aside 5 minutes in the morning to prep your tofu. To get nice crispy tofu, you want to press as much water out of the tofu before pan-frying as possible. Cut tofu block into bite-sized cubes and set pieces on a paper towel-lined plate. Cover with more paper towels and place a second plate on top of the tofu. Throw a bowl of grapes or some other item from your fridge on top of the plate to weigh it down and press even more liquid out of the tofu. Place in fridge until you're ready to cook.

Combine peanut butter, tamari, light brown sugar, lime juice, coconut milk and water in a small pot. I sometimes do this at the same time as I'm cutting up the tofu and let it sit in the fridge all day as well. If you're using frozen coconut milk (I usually have some in ice cube trays in my fridge), this gives the cubes time to thaw. 4 cubes equals about 1/4 cup.

Ready to cook? Remove peanut sauce and tofu from the fridge. Heat peanut sauce over medium heat until it comes to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally. Let peanut sauce simmer around 10 minutes until it starts to thicken up. As it thickens, feel free to add in the chili-garlic sauce to taste. My kids are spice-adverse (i.e. picky), so we add the chili garlic sauce to our individual plates.

As the peanut sauce simmers away, heat 2-3 TBSPs of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan over medium to medium-high heat.  Spread cornstarch or tapioca starch on a plate. Gently toss the tofu cubes in the cornstarch, shake off excess starch, and place tofu in your heated non-stick pan. Make sure the pieces are not stacked. Let tofu fry for several minutes before flipping to crisp up each side. Once crisped up to your liking, you can drain some of the extra oil off of the tofu by setting the cubes on a paper towel-lined plate for a few minutes.

If you're a grown-up, spoon up a big bowl of rice (we love Lundberg Farms Short Grain Brown Rice), top with a few dollops of peanut sauce and a helping of crispy tofu. Feeling the need for some veggies? Sauteed spinach goes great with this, as does sauteed peppers and onions! Kids may prefer to dip tofu cubes into the peanut sauce... it's like healthier french fries and ketchup! My kids have also recently discovered a love for edamame.... that goes great with this dinner as well.