Also: How Not to Cook Tofu
I've attempted kale with peanut sauce a few times, with less than stellar results. I initially resolved to use a recipe this time, but after finding about a million different recipes for peanut sauce and zero that sounded like what I wanted, I decided to make it up again. This time, the peanut sauce was excellent! Yay for experimentation!
In my recipe search I found one that recommended frying the tofu into crispy bites first, then lowering the heat and adding the onions to the same pan, then adding the sauce and vegetables. It was a disaster – the tofu completely fell apart, so that at the end there were tofu crumbs throughout the dish, making it look a little like vomit. Despite the unappetizing appearance, it was delicious. I will definitely use this peanut sauce again! Here's what I did:
In a bowl, combine the following:
One can coconut milk
A little over a cup of peanut butter
A little under ¼ cup soy sauce
Juice of half a lime
about a teaspoon grated ginger
one or two teaspoons chopped cilantro
a few shakes of cayenne powder
Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Slice one block of tofu into bite-sized wedges. Coat the bottom of a pot with high-heat oil and place on medium-high heat. Add the tofu and tend carefully, hoping it will get nice and crispy. Begin to fret when the tofu all sticks to the bottom of the pan. Add more oil, turn frequently, and watch in horror as the bottom of the pot becomes covered in a white tofu coating. Decide it won't get all crispy-fried and add one diced onion, one diced Anaheim pepper, and three cloves of chopped garlic. Lower heat and stir very gingerly in the pan, trying not to break the tofu into ever-smaller pieces. Once the onion is soft, pour in the peanut sauce. Add one bunch of kale, chopped, and a large handful of sliced mushrooms. Stir occasionally while the kale cooks down. Observe that the tofu has completely disintegrated, and give up trying to preserve any of the larger pieces. Serve with brown rice.
This ended up being nicely spicy and flavorful. Next time, I will just stir the tofu in at the end. If you want to use the fried tofu idea, I bet it would work if you had a better-quality non-stick pan. After frying, you should probably remove the tofu to a separate plate, and add it back in at the end so that it doesn't fall apart.
This is when I knew I had made a terrible mistake with the tofu:
And this is the final product (I have got to figure out how to take better food photos in our dim kitchen):