Crisp Tofu and Asian Greens With Peanut Sauce

Tonight I made our first real dinner from CSA noms.  I knew I wanted to use some of the greens & the snap peas, so I chose a dish from Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express
cookbook.  This cookbook features recipes written in simple paragraph form.  They are imprecise to encourage cooks to use their own judgment, which I like – because I’m usually the type of cook that is a slave to recipes.  This book encourages me to experiment.

CSA Dinner 1: Crisp Tofu & Asian Greens with Peanut Sauce

Mark Bittman’s Crisp Tofu And Asian Greens With Peanut Sauce
Slice firm tofu into strips or cubes and pat dry; roughly chop a bunch of the greens.  Pan-fry the tofu in some vegetable oil until it browns on all sides, about four minutes; remove and pour off all but a little of the oil.  Add the greens and a pinch or two of red chile flakes, and continue cooking until the vegetables turn dark green, about three minutes.  Mix together a half cup of peanut butter, a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce, and fresh lime juice to taste; add a bit of water if necessary to get a nice consistency.  Add the sauce to the pan along with reserved tofu and toss to coat.  Garnish with crushed peanuts & serve.

Amberto’s additions
I always freeze my tofu until I’m ready to use it, which helps keep it extra firm.  I added chinese 5 spice powder (about a tablespoon) to the tofu as it was cooking, I used some of the mini purplette onions (green stems & all) and I cooked it for 10-15 minutes to get it really good & brown.  Instead of red chile flakes, I used a generous squirt of sriracha.  I added snap peas & some leftover spinach to the greens once they wilted.

The Verdict
I thought this was pretty good.  The only problem I had with it was the sauce.  I think 1/2 cup of peanut butter was a bit too much.  The flavors were ok, but adding soy, water & heat didn’t help the consistency at all.  It stayed super thick & clumpy.  If I were to do it over, I’d mess around with the sauce before I started cooking to get it to the perfect consistency.  The spice was great, and I liked all the flavors.  If the sauce would have been a little more “saucey” it would have been just right. My lovely husband, on the other hand, HATED this.  He likes peanut butter, but really didn’t like the peanut butter flavor of this dish.  He generally doesn’t like crushed peanuts on stir fry or thai food so maybe that’s why he didn’t like this.  DUNNO – but I probably won’t make it again.

The snap peas from the CSA were awesome! I hope we get more of those.

Lessons learned from the CSA:

3. Holy crap, greens cook fast! And wilt down a lot.  I probably could have used double the amount.  The flavor of the asian greens was great after it was cooked.  They were much more mild and less peppery than they are in a salad.

WEEEEEEEE! Are we having fun yet? I AM! Tomorrow – Garlic SCRAPE pizza! The Husband is sure to like that, amirite?

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2 Responses to Crisp Tofu and Asian Greens With Peanut Sauce

  1. amberto says:

    So – I added a little bit of Trader Joe’s yellow curry over the leftovers & am eating them for lunch. The yellow curry helped! All it needed was a little moisture, i think.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Hey, I have a standard tofu with peanut sauce and greens recipe! I eat it once a week, I’d say! Are you sure you’re not me? Oh wait, I never freeze my tofu…ok, whew!. (Great tip!)

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