Mandarin Thai Tofu Satay (Stir-Fry) & Jasmine Rice Recipe
I first tasted Mandarin Tofu Satay in a quaint walnut-creek Thai restaurant, and was immediately taken in by the taste. I'm not a fan of tofu, yet I was totally blown away by the Thai Tofu Satay, which was basically grilled tofu marinated in thai sauce then drizzled with a typical mandarin sauce made with red-curry paste, soy sauce, sesame and peanut sauce. And then recently, I saw a recipe for the classic Mandarin Tofu in Jeanne Lemlin's cookbook, and I knew it was time to take my Thai cooking to the next level! Sweet-n-sour, with a spicy red-pepper kick, I combined the satay with a stir-fry and served it over plain white jasmine rice. The result of this expriment was a beautiful and inviting platter with chunks of marinated, grilled and pan-fried tofu, emanating numerous flavors and aromas that are so typically native to Thai recipes!
I have made Thai Green Curry before, and it was time to try the Red-curry this time. I am going to list the basic recipes in another post, but for now, let's indulge in a fusion of flavors with the recipe below. Traditioinally, Satay is made by marinating the tofu, then grilling it on skewers and serving it with dipping sauce. But here, I've modified the recipe to stir-fry the Tofu rather than grill it, so it can be served over Rice. The addition of mandarin and wasabi is what sets this recipe apart, and is perfect for those who love spicy food! Off this goes to Kaykat, for her Think Spice-Think Wasabi event.
1 pound extra-firm tofu - cut into 1-inch cubes
1 bell pepper - cut into thin strips
1/2 onion - cut into strips
** cut veggies into cubes if you intend to grill using skewers
2 cup plain cooked jasmine rice
crushed peanuts or sesame seeds - for garnish
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp wasabi
2 tbsp sherry (optional, but recommended)
1/4 tsp red-pepper flakes (optional, this can get really spicy!)
2 tbsp coconut milk
3 tbsp peanut butter (or thick peanut sauce)
2 garlic cloves - minced
1 tsp red-curry paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 small mandarin - sliced, and skin removed
1 tbsp lime juice or vinegar
Mix the ingredients for the marinade and set aside. Take the tofu cubes, pat them dry to remove water content, then toss them into the marinade and let it it in the refrigerator for at least 30 mins.
Mix all the ingredients for the Mandarin Sauce and blend to a smooth paste in a food-processor. Make sure its smooth and there's no residue, especially of the mandarin skin. check for your taste, and add seasoning if necessary.
Now take about 4 tbsp oil in a pan, and shallow-fry the tofu pieces in it. keep turning around so that it does not burn, yet wait till it becomes hard on the edges and turns golden-brown in color.
In another wok, add 1 tbsp oil and saute the onions and bell-peppers till glossy and cooked. Add the prepared sauce to it, then toss in the stir-fried tofu. Mix everything well together till evenly coated. Adjust for taste, then remove from flame and set aside.
Grilling or Roasting the Tofu
If you are grilling the satay, thread the tofu, bell peppers and onions on the skewers. Meanwhile, prepare the grill or preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you are roasting the tofu in the oven, place it in 1 layer in a large, shallow baking dish such as a 9 x 13-inch lasagna pan for 20-25 mins. Drizzle half of the sauce over tofu, and use the remaining sauce to serve with the Tofu Satay.
When ready to serve, start with a layer of cooked rice, then top it with the Tofu Satay. Drizzle remaining sauce over the dish, then sprinkle some crushed peanuts or sesame seeds over it. Enjoy your delicious Thai Tofu Stir-Fry, complete with scintillating flavors of mandarin, wasabi and the ever-traditional soy and peanut sauce.
Author Mansi Desai is the publisher of Fun and Food Blog.