I’ve used peanut butter in Asian-style noodle dishes before; with ginger, sesame oil, garlic, and a little hot sauce, it makes me think “Thai” (although I’m certainly not going to try to claim that this is an authentic Thai recipe). It was good, really.
I stir-fried it.
I don’t really like tofu much, but Mark Bittman (my culinary sensei, author of How to Cook Everything) gave a recipe in the New York Times a couple of months ago that was actually really good. I know it sounds weird, but not only did I (the tofu-hater) like it, but my roommates devoured whatever I didn’t finish.
Tofu and Onions in Caramel Sauce
Time: 30 minutes
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup nam pla (Asian fish sauce) or soy sauce
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 pound firm tofu, cut into chunks of 3/8 inch to 1
1 tablespoon butter, optional
1 tablespoon lime juice or vinegar, or to taste
Salt if necessary
White rice for serving.
Put sugar and a tablespoon of water in a 10- or
12-inch skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium
heat. Cook, shaking pan occasionally, until sugar
melts and browns a bit. Turn off heat, and carefully
add nam pla or soy sauce. Turn heat to low, and add
onion. Cook, stirring, 5 to 10 minutes, until onion is
very tender. Add pepper and tofu.
Gently simmer, turning tofu once or twice in sauce
so it is glazed and heated through, about 10 minutes.
Stir in butter, along with lime juice or vinegar.
Taste, and add salt, more pepper or lime juice or
vinegar if you like. Serve immediately over rice.
Yield: 4 servings.