Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Spicy coconut tofu with cabbage

This was going to be another magazine recipe but as I was pressing the tofu this afternoon I realized we didn't have, well, most of the ingredients.  Dang. Serves me right for cleaning out the condiment drawer.

But we needed to eat something for dinner. And we had some things in the house that kind of resembled the required ingredients....  in sort of an abstract way.  So bravely I forged on, throwing things into pans and tasting as I went, thinking as it cooled that:
1) It wasn't going to be edible. At all.
2) The husband was going to be mighty sad about the appearance of both cabbage and tofu on the same plate at the same time.  Tofu = not meat.

Well, turns out it was actually really good and he said it was one of his favorite dinners.

We need to work on the presentation.

So, to make it again:
I made a sauce of half a can coconut milk, a dollop of Thai chilli dipping sauce, some teriyaki sauce, a big spoon of honey and some abodo sauce from a can of chipoltle chilies.
Meanwhile cooking some thinly sliced green cabbage from the garden and red onion. When they were soft they went into the coconut sauce to stay warm.
Tofu was cut into thin slices, dipped in flour and fried.

Food was plated over wild rice. I remembered Anthony Bourdain teaching that in the restaurant industry, the taller a dish is the fancier it appears. Tofu was stacked accordingly and a lime squeezed over. It still looked damn depressing so I sprinkled some basil over it for color.

Turns out we loved it so much that I ended up frying more tofu so we could have seconds.  Creamy coconut, spicy heat and crispy tofu. What a fun suprise.

Update: also good with bok choy and green beans in place of the cabbage.


  1. We try and eat meat free twice a week, plus we like to have fish at least once a week, so our meat intake is greatly reduced. I'm with your husband on cabbage, my mum served it up too often boil to a pulp when I was a child.

  2. I think a lot of people have an aversion to overcooked or canned vegetables because they've been heated to within an inch of their lives :( It makes them soggy and sad.