.Baked Tofu in Peanut Sauce with Mushroom and Bok Choy Stir-Fry.
#Cookingwithfriends Part 3.
For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you know that #cookingwithfriends is a collective recipe development idea that I created for all of us to participate in.
If you're currently not following me on Instagram (you should... @thedancers_pantry), that's ok because you still get a custom recipe from me here on the blog!
Here's a breakdown of how it works:
Once a month on my Instagram story I post a series of polling questions as well as interactive questions for my followers to participate in. For example, "lunch vs dinner", "salty vs sweet", "what ethnicity or region of food?", and "what vegetable should be the star of the dish?"
My friends and followers on Instagram then vote for their favorite option and send in their specific choices. When 24 hours is up I collect the highest percentage of votes and make a recipe from what YOU all created.
How fun is that?
This #cookingwithfriends is unique because of our current COVID-19 quarantine, and the need to practice social distancing. Typically I ask a lot of questions and prompt my friends to build the entire recipe from scratch. I spend a few days thinking and researching ideas based on the ingredients that have been chosen, then head to the market to get those specific ingredients. I wanted to be respectful of our need to stay inside, as well as eat what we currently have in our own kitchens... So, this time I only used what I had in my fridge and pantry...
I have to say, the recipe turned out beautifully and yet again all of my friends helped to create a delicious meal! It's important not to lose creativity and inspiration during these times and I hope this recipe motivates you to make something tasty from what you have in your home.
Here it is... #Cookingwithfriends Part 3.
1. Lunch vs Dinner: Dinner
2. Spicy- Yes vs No: Yes
3. What ingredient is the star of the dish- Mushroom or Eggplant: Mushroom
4. What vegetable in the star of the dish- Broccoli or Bok Choy: Bok Choy
5. Marinate tofu in Peanut Sauce or Black Bean Sauce: Peanut Sauce
6. Stir-fry base- Noodles or Rice: Noodles
7. Extra ingredients: Ginger and Scallions
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.Baked Tofu in Peanut Sauce with
Mushroom and Bok Choy Stir-Fry.
2-3 cups of baby bok choy (trim the bottom of the bulb off)
3 cups of mushrooms sliced (I used shiitake mushrooms)
3 scallions (diced)
Thai basil (torn)-optional
4-5 cloves of garlic (sliced)
Half of an onion (rough chop)
Baking and Spices:
Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons of ginger paste (optional)
1/2 a cup of peanut sauce- (I did not make my own)- Pinch of Yum has a great recipe if you'd like to make your own: https://pinchofyum.com/the-very-best-peanut-sauce
2-3 teaspoons of soy sauce
Firm tofu- 18oz.
2 packets of Ramen noodles (I used Buckwheat ramen noodles)
To begin place the tofu in a tofu press and press for 30-40 minutes. If you do not have a tofu press wrap the tofu in 2-3 paper towels, place on a large plate, and lay a heavy pan or pot on top of the tofu. Every 15 minutes flip the tofu over to get as much moisture out as you can. The less moisture the better.
When the tofu has been properly pressed, lay it flat on a cutting board and cut it into 1/2 inch squares or whichever shape you prefer.
Pour 1/2 a cup of peanut sauce and 2-3 teaspoons of soy sauce into a measuring cup and stir to create the marinade. Place the cubes in a large baking dish and pour the marinade over the tofu being mindful to cover each cube entirely. Let the marinade sit for 15 minutes. Flip the cubes over periodically.
While the tofu in marinating heat your oven to 400. When the oven is hot enough, and the tofu has marinated throughly, place each cube in rows in a separate baking dish or pan. Pour or brush the excess marinade over the cubes and then bake for 20-25 minutes. Flip the tofu over after 15 minutes, continuing to brush more marinade on if you have it.
The tofu should be done baking at around 25 minutes. It should have a glossy finish and feel firmer in texture. Remove from the oven and set aside to top the stir-fry.
While the tofu is baking, take 4 cups of water and bring it to a boil. No salt or oil is needed in the water.
While the water is starting to heat, cook the onions and garlic on medium high heat with 2- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet, wok, or sauce pan.
Next add the bok choy, a tablespoon of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of ginger paste. Continue to sauté the vegetables on high heat, being mindful to keep the ingredients moving to avoid burning or sticking.
While the vegetables are sautéing, add the ramen noodles to the boiling water and allow them to cook for 3-5 minutes. Strain them into a colander and set aside after 5 minutes.
Add the sliced mushrooms to the sautéing vegetables and bring the heat to medium.
*It is important to taste for salt and spice. If you like extra spice in your meals add either sliced jalapeños, or a teaspoon of chili paste, or Sriracha.
I prefer to use soy sauce as my salt for this dish. Add a teaspoon at a time if you are unfamiliar with cooking with this ingredient.
When the mushrooms have begun to soften, add the cooked noodles to the sauté pan, and using tongs, mix all of the ingredients together. There should be enough sauce at the bottom of the pan to season the noodles and incorporate them into the dish.
Turn the heat off and let the stir-fry sit for 1-3 minutes while you gather your garnishing ingredients.
To plate, use a ramen bowl, or deep soup bowl and place the stir fry into the bowl.
Top it with torn basil leaves, chopped green onions, and diced peanuts.
*For more spice drizzle your favorite chili sauce over the top.
This dish is complex in its flavor, with the base of the stir-fry being ginger and soy, and the peanut sauce marinating only the tofu. Because of this, the dish feels quite light. Unlike dishes that are fully covered in peanut sauce, this allows each ingredient to stand alone in its own flavors without being smothered in sauce.
If you enjoyed this #cookingwithfriends recipe and want to participate in the next one, make sure to follow me on Instagram!
Thanks everyone for helping me make this delicious recipe! We did great.