Tofu, Broccoli, and Radishes with Curried Peanut Sauce
Makes: 4 servings
Total Carbohydrates: 15 grams per serving
Hands-on Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Full disclosure: because my daughter is a vegetarian, we can actually go for weeks without cooking any meat. In other words, we are no strangers to the blank-canvas charms of a package of tofu. If you’re new to it, though, this is a great recipe to try: the tofu sponges up a bit of soy-vinegar flavoring before roasting to a perfect golden brown, fully unattended by you while the oven works its magic. Meanwhile, the broccoli and radishes turn roasty and tender alongside it, and then the creamy peanut sauce adds a hit of savory richness and spice. Could you make this exact dish but swap in chicken? You could! But tofu is so nourishing and tasty – and inexpensive – that you just might want to give it a try.
If you’re looking to:
Lower the carbs: Serve smaller portions; swap in a vinaigrette-style dressing, such as this one, for the peanut sauce.
Lower the fat: Use low-fat coconut milk or swap in a vinaigrette-style dressing for the peanut sauce; reduce vegetable oil to 2 tablespoons.
Lower the salt: Use reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari; use unsalted peanut butter.
1 (14 – 16-ounce) package of firm or extra-firm tofu
1 bunch broccoli (around 1 pound), the crown cut into florets, the stem sliced
1 bunch radishes, halved
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided use)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or 3/8 teaspoon table salt)
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
Curried Peanut Sauce (see below) (or this spicy peanut dressing)
Cilantro leaves and/or slivered scallions for topping (optional)
Put a rack near the bottom of the oven and heat the oven to 425 °F. Cover a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper or nonstick foil (the tofu will really want to stick to the pan, so please take this extra step).
Press out the extra moisture from the tofu: remove it from its aquarium-like packaging, wrap it in a clean dish towel, and put something heavy on it. (I like to use a baking sheet with a full tea kettle on it.) Leave it like this while you prep the vegetables.
Put the broccoli and radishes in a large bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil and all of the salt. Toss very well with your hands, so that all the broccoli and radishes get a little oil on them, then spread it all out on the sheet pan, leaving around 1/3 of it open for the tofu.
Cut the pressed tofu into roughly 3/4-inch cubes, then put them in the bowl (which you do not need to wash first) and add the remaining tablespoon of oil along with the soy sauce and vinegar and toss well. Spread the tofu out next to the vegetables on the pan and drizzle with the remaining marinade from the bowl (if there is any).
Roast near the bottom of the oven for 20 minutes, at which point the vegetables should be tender and browning and the tofu should be dry and browning.
Toss it all together, drizzle it with half the peanut sauce, top with the cilantro and/or scallions, and serve with extra peanut sauce on the side.
Curried Peanut Sauce
Are you ready for my bizarrely particular hint? Put the unopened can of coconut milk in a bowl of very hot water while you prep the tofu and vegetables. This will enable you to shake it well before you open it, so there won’t be a solid layer of fat at the top. Another tip: portion and freeze the leftover coconut milk to add to smoothies or curries – or to make more peanut sauce – later.
1/3 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
1/3 cup peanut butter (no sugar added)
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or balsamic vinegar if you crave a hint of sweetness, or white vinegar, if that’s what you have)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon curry powder (depending on how vibrant-tasting it is and on how much everybody likes it)
1/2 teaspoon of your favorite spicy Asian condiment, such as sriracha or chili-garlic sauce or another spicy thing of your choosing, if you like
Whiz everything up in a blender until smooth and creamy. Alternately, if you don’t have or want to use a blender, finely mince the garlic and then vigorously whisk everything together by hand.