This crispy Tofu with Spicy Peanut Sauce is perfect for when you’re craving that Chinese style take-out, but want a home cooked meal. The spicy peanut sauce is rich and flavorful, while still being healthy. It can be made in the air fryer or baked in your oven, requires no oil and can be easily made gluten free.
If you can’t tell by now, I love Asian food. Whenever we go out to eat, which is not a lot right now in quarantine, I always request an Asian restaurant. With everyone eating more at home these days, it’s great to have a few recipes up your sleeve that satisfy those Asian style cravings.
Tofu can be intimidating, but this recipe is easy enough for beginners. We think you’re going to love it!
Press your tofu for a crispy texture-
I think a lot of people are tempted to skip this step, and in some dishes, I absolutely have and it’s turned out just fine. But when you want the tofu to have a crispy texture, it’s important to get as much water out of it as possible.
What’s the best way to press tofu?
For a long time, I would wrap the tofu in a bunch of paper towels and then place it on top of a cutting board, and then add cookbooks or heavier pots and pans on top. Then I decided that using so many paper towels was wasteful, so I repeated that whole process, just with dishtowels instead. Finally, I decided to get myself a tofu press. Well, actually, I added it to my Christmas list, and Santa delivered.
Whats the moral of the story? Get yourself a tofu press. It’s so much easier and saves time. I use this one that comes from good old Amazon.com. It’s made from bamboo, which makes it a sustainable, and non toxic option.
Do I need an air fryer for this Tofu with Spicy Peanut Sauce?
Absolutely not. You can easily use your over to crisp up the tofu. I’ve included specific instructions in the recipe for oven baked tofu. If you do have an air fryer, use it. The tofu cooks quicker, and you get a slightly crispier texture.
This is a great trick to have up your sleeve. By using the oven or air fryer to crisp up your tofu before you add the sauce, you are essentially creating the texture of fried tofu, without all the oil.
How do I make this lower in fat?
I’ve only added 1 tbsp of peanut butter to this recipe, but if you wanted to bring the fat content down even further, you could use a powdered peanut butter like PB2 instead of regular peanut butter.
I don’t have any ginger paste or minced ginger on hand-
No worries, just leave it out. The sauce will still be delicious. I know a lot of people don’t keep fresh or jarred ginger around the house, so if you don’t want to go out of your way to buy some, just omit.
I would not, however, use the powdered ginger most of us have in our spice cabinet in this recipe. The flavor is quite different, and I think it could be a bit off-putting.
I hope you enjoy this easy tofu recipe. Serve this with a side of steamed broccoli and rice and whatever veggie you have in the refrigerator. You can also garnish with green onions, sesame seeds, and/or chili flakes! Enjoy!
Tofu with Spicy Peanut Sauce
- Air Fryer or Oven
- 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
- 1 tbsp peanut butter (use powdered peanut butter like PB2 if you're trying to cut down fat)
- 1 tsp Sriacha style hot sauce adjust according to your spice preference, or omit completely if you don't like spice
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp minced ginger or ginger paste omit if you don't have
- 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- Drain tofu from water and press between paper towels or in a tofu press for at least 15 mintues to let the water drain
- If using the oven instead of Air fryer, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
- Cut tofu into cubes, and place in your air fryer basket, or on a baking tray lined with a non-stick mat or parchment paper
- In the meantime, prepare your sauce by adding the peanut butter, rice vinegar, sriacha, soy sauce/tamari, maple syrup, garlic powder, and ginger to a small bowl. Whisk or stir until everything is well combined.
- Add the arrowroot or cornstarch to the sauce and stir well until all lumps are gone
- When the tofu has finished cooking, remove from oven and set aside. If should be browned slightly in color and feel crisp on the outside to the touch
- Add the sauce to a medium sauce pan, and sauté on medium-low heat, stirring constantly until sauce has thickened. Only about 1-2 minutes
- Add tofu cubes and stir to coat well.
- Top with sesame seeds, green onion or chili flakes and serve!