Coconut Lime Tofu

Tofu is one of those things I’ve always been pretty neutral about. I’ve had it many times where it’s been prepared very nicely, but my attempts at home thus far had been just so-so. Frankly, I hadn’t loved it enough to really be motivated to learn how to prepare it properly. But recently I came across this recipe over at Insomniac Chef which sound really delicious. The ingredients included some of my favorite flavors – coconut, garlic, tomatoes, and jalapeno. And since tofu pretty much just absorbs whatever is around it, I figured it couldn’t be bad. Also, when it comes to proteins, tofu is pretty cheap, so learning how to prepare it properly and using it in more meals would be great.

The only real change I made to the recipe was to add a bit of coconut extract. I tend to do this whenever I use light coconut milk. Light coconut saves few calories, but it does lack a bit of the rich coconut flavor of the heavier stuff. I also prepped my tofu a bit differently, taking some tips from my friend Maryellen. She had good luck par boiling her tofu in salted to water to remove some of the moisture, and allow the tofu to firm up and absorb more flavor. So I took her tips and did the same. When it was time to pan-sear my tofu cubes, I wanted to make sure they got nice and browned on the edges. It took a bit longer than I expected, and I assume would have been quicker if I used actual oil instead of nonstick cooking spray, but it was a small sacrifice to keep the dish nice and light.

The end result was very enjoyable – I really liked how all the flavors came together. I expected the dish to be a bit spicier with all of the jalapeno, but it seemed to mellow out upon cooking. Perhaps I will try another type of hot pepper next time. The texture of the tofu turned out great, and went so well with the flavorful broth and sauteed spinach and tomato. I definitely consider this my most successful tofu meal to date, and it’s inspired me to master more tasty options.


Coconut Lime Tofu

Printable Recipe
Very slightly adapted from Insomniac Chef

Ingredients
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 tsp coconut extract
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 10oz package fresh baby spinach
1 lb firm tofu

Directions
Add the block of tofu to a pot of boiling water with about 1 tbsp salt. Let it simmer in the water for 5 minutes. Remove from the water onto a paper towel. Press out some of the water and chop into cubes.

In a shallow baking pan, stir together the coconut milk, coconut extract, jalapeno peppers, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add some nonstick cooking spray. Cook the tofu, turning occasionally, until browned on both sides. Remove from the skillet and add to the dish with the coconut milk. Toss to coat, and refrigerate for one hour.

Heat the skillet again over medium heat with nonstick cooking spray. Remove the tofu from the dish with a slotted spoon and add to the pan along with the tomato and spinach. Cook until spinach wilts, about 3-5 minutes. Add the marinade to the skillet, bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes until thickened.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 392.3
Total Fat: 19.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 702.1 mg
Total Carbs: 25.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.1 g
Protein: 26.6 g

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5 Responses to “Coconut Lime Tofu”

  1. 1

    Jessica — July 27, 2009 @ 12:56 am Reply

    This looks so good – I'm going to try to convince the hubs that we need to make tofu just to try this! :)

  2. 2

    Mary Ellen — July 27, 2009 @ 1:57 am Reply

    I'm so glad you had success with this – it looks great!!

  3. 3

    Joelen — July 27, 2009 @ 5:15 pm Reply

    This and your recent recipes all look wonderful! Great way to use tofu and impart some flavor! I've been on a slight commenting hiatus with my busy schedule lately… but it's great to catch up and see what's cooking in your kitchen!

  4. 4

    Christie — December 13, 2010 @ 2:43 am Reply

    I am a vegetarian, and I love LOVE this recipe!! It is one of my favourite meals to make for myself, for vegetarian friends, and even for my boyfriend (who is not always crazy about tofu)! I sometimes use red chili flakes instead of jalapeno… lets me control the amount of spice better.

  5. 5

    Joelen — April 5, 2011 @ 1:17 am Reply

    This and your recent recipes all look wonderful! Great way to use tofu and impart some flavor! I've been on a slight commenting hiatus with my busy schedule lately… but it's great to catch up and see what's cooking in your kitchen!

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