Green Beans and Tofu with Cruncy Thai Peanut Sauce
Adapted from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven
Preparation time: 20 to 30 minutes (10 minutes of work)
Yield: 4 to 6 servings (Maybe fewer... this is hard to stop
The fresher and firmer the green beans, the better this will
- Serve this with jasmine or basmati
rice. (Put up the rice to cook before you begin.)
- You'll need two pans--a medium-sized heavy skillet to
sauté the peanut mixture, and a large, deep nonstick wok or
skillet for the tofu and green beans. You can have both pans going
at the same time.
1/2 cups peanuts (unsalted or lightly salted)
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 pound firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch
Red pepper flakes to taste
- Place the peanuts in a blender, and grind briefly until they
form a coarse meal. Set aside.
- Heat a medium-sized heavy skillet. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil,
and the ginger and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes, then add
the crushed peanuts and the lemon zest. Cook over medium-low heat
for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until the peanuts are lightly
toasted. Remove from heat and set aside.
- As the peanut mixture is cooking, heat a large, nonstick wok or
deep skillet. Drizzle in a little oil. When it is very hot, add the
tofu and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook over high heat for 10 to 15
minutes to let the water evaporate, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle
with lemon juice, reduce the heat, and cook for a few minutes
longer. Transfer the tofu to the pan containing the peanut
mixuture, and set aside.
- Scrape out the wok or skillet if necessary, and return to the
heat. Let it get very hot, then add the remaining scant tablespoon
of oil. When the oil is hot, add the green beans. (The pan should
sizzle when they hit.) Stir-fry over high heat for about 5 minutes,
then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and a small
amount of red pepper flakes.
- Stir-fry just a few minutes longer, or until the beans are
divinely tender-crisp (mostly crisp, but just tender enough). Add
the peanut-tofu mixture and toss everything together. Serve right
away, over rice.
The above recipe is crunchy and tasty, but doesn't have a lot of
liquid sauce. For those of you who would like this moister and more
peanutty, make the following and pass it at the table so each
person can drizzle some on his or her own serving. I very much
thank Greg Leeson for giving me the feedback that inspired this
1/2 cup good-quality peanut butter
1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
Combine p.b. and water in a bowl; mash and mix until uniform.
Add remaining ingredients, and stir until combined. Add a little
more water it you prefer it thinner. Salt to taste. Serve warm or
room temperature, drizzled over hot green beans.