Seared Tofu Matchsticks
with curried cabbage and carrots
This is a tofu dish that will convince tofu-haters to love tofu. By chopping it into matchsticks, we expose more surface area, which means more opportunity for flavor binding turning sometimes plain tofu into something tasty. Served over curried cabbage and carrots, this vegetarian dish will fill your kitchen with amazing fragrance.
Curried Tofu with Cabbage and Carrots with Brown Rice:
- Brown rice - 2/3 cups , uncooked
- Jalapenos - 2 , seeded and diced
- Carrots - 2/3 lb , grated
- Small green or red cabbage - 1 head , sliced
- Cilantro - 1/4 bunch , chopped
- Peanuts - 1/4 cup , crushed
- Tofu, extra-firm (vacuum-packed preferable) - 1 lb
- Cooking oil - 2 1/2 Tbsp
- Soy or fish sauce - 2 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Coconut milk - 1 cup
- Red curry paste - 2 Tbsp
- Vegetable broth - 1 cup
- Lime - 1 , juice of
- Rice - Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water, 35 to 45 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Jalapenos / Carrots / Cabbage / Cilantro - Prep as directed. Both carrots and cabbage can be prepped in a food processor. Otherwise, grate carrots in a box grater and chop cabbage. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Peanuts - Crush. You can put them into a ziploc bag and just run a rolling pin (or wine bottle!) over them a few times. (Can be done at anytime)
- Tofu - Slice into matchsticks. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
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- Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add oil and then jalapenos to heated oil with some salt. Next add in tofu with first parts of soy or fish sauce and brown sugar, plus a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Toss and then let sit. Liquid ingredients will boil and thicken to make a sauce. Saute until tofu has absorbed the sauce and is golden brown on the outside, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Return wok to heat and then add in coconut milk, curry paste, second parts of soy or fish sauce and brown sugar. Whisk together. Next add in cabbage and carrots with broth. Saute until tender but still crunchy, 6 to 8 minutes. Finish with lime juice and season to taste with more salt, pepper, curry paste, or sweetener.
- Enjoy curried cabbage and carrots topped with tofu over rice. Sprinkle on cilantro and peanuts.