This tofu in peanut sauce – or in peanut alternative sauce – can be made as spicy or mild as you like. It can also be made via sous vide, or simply by making the sauce and covering baked tofu with it. You choose!
“But wait!” you say, “Peanut alternative? What could that possibly be when it comes to peanut sauce?” Well, if you haven’t heard of WowButter, have we got a surprise for you!
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WowButter is a real, honest-to-goodness peanut butter alternative. It is made from roasted soy beans, rather than peanuts, and it looks, smells, and spreads just like peanut butter. But most importantly, it tastes like peanut butter! In fact, we’ve used it in this very recipe and found it basically indistinguishable from the peanut butter version. And it comes in both creamy and crunchy versions!
Now, you can look at the WowButter website, but to order it from WowButter you actually need to order it on Amazon, as that is how they distribute it. The only downside, if you consider it one, is that the best deal is on a six-pack of jars, the cost of which works out to just $5.35 a jar, while a single jar costs just shy of $10 (yeah, crazy, we know). You can see it on Amazon here.
Ok, enough about WowButter. The point is, if you have a peanut allergy or otherwise have to avoid peanuts, you can still make and have this delicious tofu and peanut sauce recipe!
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And now back to our recipe!
We like to make a big batch of brown rice at the beginning of the week, and use it as the underpinnings for dishes such as this one, and our Sous Vide Sesame Chili Tofu.
Tofu in Spicy or Mild Peanut or Peanut Butter Alternative Sauce
1 block firm tofu – we use the House Foods brand tofu from Costco, which is perfect for this
1/3 cup peanut butter or WowButter peanut butter alternative
1/4 cup tamari or gluten-free soy sauce or Bragg’s aminos
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk (optional but makes it even more amazing) – we use the Thai Kitchen canned coconut milk from Costco
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 Tablespoon (more or less to taste) chili paste (omit if you want it mild)
Preheat your oven to 400°.
Drain the tofu, and press it for a good fifteen to thirty minutes. We like this tofu press, and we set it in a bowl to catch the liquid, with a mason jar full of water on top to add pressing weight.
Once the tofu is pressed and drained, cut it into blocks approximately one-inch wide. Place the blocks of tofu on a parchment-lined baking pan (or you can spray it lightly with cooking oil). When baking tofu, lots of places recommend coating the tofu with a light spray of oil – you can do that if you like, but we prefer to bake it naked if we are going to be coating it with sauce anyways.
Put the tofu into the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Then take it out, flip it over, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.
Note: if you are going to prepare this in the sous vide, you can skip the step of baking the tofu, although baking it does give it a nice chewy outside.
While the tofu is baking, mix the rest of the ingredients (the sauce ingredients) together until fully mixed.
If you are not going to use a sous vide:
Gently warm the sauce in a sauce pan. When the tofu is done, remove it from the oven, and gently fold it into the sauce. Serve over rice or asian noodles.
If you are going to use a sous vide:
Gently place the baked tofu into a 1-quart canning jar (our method of choice, see how in this other recipe here) or the bag that you will be using, and then pour the sauce over the tofu, and vacuum seal.
Set your sous vide temperature to 180°, immerse your jar or bag, and cook for 4 hours. Once the time is up, open the jar or bag carefully, and serve over rice or asian noodles.
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