Spicy Tofu with thai basil and coconut rice cakes


by: Elisia

Thai basil, with its warm, spicy overtones and beautiful purple-edged leaves, is the one to use here, but any other variety will work too. Use whatever variety you have and keep this dish in mind for when you do find Thai basil at your market. An off-dry Riesling, such as a German Kabinett, would be good with this dairy-free dish.


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serves: 2-3

Coconut Rice Cakes

1 teaspoon brown sugar or palm sugar

2 tablespoons light soy sauce, such as Kikkoman, or more as needed

4 teaspoons roasted peanut oil

1 carton firm tofu (packed in water, drained and cut into large cubes)

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 limes (1 halved and 1 quartered)

2 cloves (plump) garlic chopped

3 large shallots, thinly sliced crosswise

1 jalapeno chile (veins and seeds removed first if you want to minimize the heat, diced)

1/2 can (1 scant cup) coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 handful of Thai basil (leaves torn into large pieces if large, plus sprigs for garnish)

12 leaves mint torn into pieces

1 red jalapeno chile (sliced diagonally, or 2 Thai peppers for more heat)

Nutrition Facts
Spicy Tofu with thai basil and coconut rice cakes

Servings Per Recipe: 2

Amount per Serving

Calories: 656

  • Total Fat: 52.2 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 29 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 1052 mg
  • Total Carbs: 29.3 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 9.3 g
  •     Sugars: 8.4 g
  • Protein: 32.1 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Make the rice cakes. When cooled, cut them into triangles and start frying them slowly in a little light peanut oil. Stir the sugar into the soy sauce and set aside.

2.  Heat a teaspoon of the roasted peanut oil in a medium nonstick skillet and add the tofu. It will sizzle as the water cooks off but will then begin to color. After several minutes, turn the pieces so that they color on all sides. When golden, after about 4 minutes, season with a few pinches of salt, some pepper, and the juice of 1/2 lime. Slide the tofu onto a plate and return the pan to the heat.

3.  Add the rest of the oil to the pan. Add the garlic, shallots, and chile and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Pour in the soy sauce mixture, then add the coconut milk and turmeric. Squeeze the second half of the lime over all and return the tofu to the pan. When the sauce and tofu are hot, turn off the heat. Taste for salt and add more salt or soy sauce as needed. Season with pepper and stir in the basil and mint leaves.

4.  Arrange the rice cakes on plates with the seed-coated side facing up. Or, if you just cooked the rice, pack it into a ramekin or a mold, then turn it out, one on each plate. Add the tofu and its sauce and serve, garnished with a sprig of the Thai basil leaves, the jalapeno, and the lime quarters.

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