Friday, March 2, 2012

Recipe: Thai Shrimp & Tofu with Peanut Sauce

Distance makes the heart grow fonder, and familiarity breeds contempt. According to this my soul mate should be in Thailand. – Jason Zebehazy 

Shrimp and tofu, together again...
Here’s a little number that’s pretty quick to prepare, let’s say 20-25 minutes tops. It has most of the flavours of Phad Thai without all the fuss.

Photo: IRRI Images, Flickr ccl
The substitution of tofu for the usual chicken or pork gives this dish an unusual twist. Once fried it does have much of the same consistency. 

You could use only tofu for a vegetarian meal, or only shrimp if desired, but to serve four you will have to double the amount listed in the recipe.

I wouldn’t call this “lazy-man’s” Phad Thai, but it’s pretty close. I had to do errands the night I made this up so was looking for shortcuts in time that wouldn’t sacrifice too much flavour…

It may seem like a lot of ingredients and a lot of steps, but like most Asian dishes all the time is in the preparation. Putting it together takes mere minutes.

By the way, of you’re interested in full-on excellent Phad Thai you can find my recipe HERE. It always meets with rave reviews.

Although this one wasn’t too bad either...

Recipe: Thai Shrimp & Tofu with Peanut Sauce
Browning the tofu makes it stand up to tossing better.
Cook: about 20 min  |  Serves 4
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined*
1 lb firm tofu
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tbsp vegetable oil
juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp sriracha (hot chilli) sauce
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1-1/2” piece fresh ginger, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped into 1” pieces
2 cups bean sprouts
1 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 package medium width rice noodles

Peel the shrimp and set aside. Cube the tofu and toss with the cornstarch. While to tofu fries, combine the lime juice, chilli sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok and fry the tofu in batches until golden. You will know when it’s done because it will feel crusted when you’re turning the cubes to fry. Remove from the oil and set aside. Repeat until all the tofu is fried.

Prepare the rice noodles according to the package directions while you fry the tofu.

Add the garlic and ginger to the wok and fry for 1 minute. Then add the shrimp and cook until nearly done, about 4 minutes. Add the tofu back to the wok.

Push everything in the wok up onto the sides and add the mixed sauce and peanut butter to the wok. Mix the sauce together until smooth and then toss with the shrimp and tofu.

Add the green onions and bean sprouts and toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Remember, the soy in the sauce is quite salty.) 

Add the cooked rice noodles and cilantro and toss well to combine.

Serve immediately.

* I never devein my shrimp. They usually are already deveined when purchased, and if they don’t what actually do people think shrimp eat anyway? The same with clams... Guess I’m a philistine.


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