Eating Thai food is like going to an isolated white sand beach and sitting under a palm tree with a fruity cocktail. Don’t ya reckon? It takes you to some tropical holiday place.
This Thai tofu recipe is not something I’ve ever seen on a Thai restaurant’s menu, but if I did, it’d probs be my favourite dish alongside a good ol’ tofu red curry!
As far as vegan Thai tofu recipes go, this one’s a winner. I think you’ll love it because:
- There’s not a trace of dirty rotten fish gut sauce (gagggg)
- It’s easy to make and ready in well under an hour
- It’s bursting with Thai flavours
- Not your ‘standard’ Thai dish
- Full of protein and sweet potato superfoody goodness
- It’s gluten free
- It might make you want to lick the plate (the sauce is that good)
Use firm tofu for this recipe
If you’re new to tofu recipes, be aware that there are about 4 different types available, ranging from silken (very soft and jelly-like) through to extra-firm. This one chick I know once bought silken tofu and tried to fry it up like in this recipe, and was left scratching her head when it turned into a big pile of mush. Okay, so that one chick was me… many years ago when I was first experimenting with tofu.
Maybe you’ve done the same and been totally put off by our very bland-tasting buddy? Well, I’ve got good news for all you tofu-haters our there – if you don’t like tofu, it just means you haven’t learnt to cook it right!
There are so many fun ways to cook tofu according to the type you use and the texture you want. For this Thai tofu recipe, either firm or extra firm is what we want so as to get the nice little cubes that hold together.
Dude, what’s with the weird sauces?
OK so you’ve probably heard of tamari by now but you might be confused as to how it’s different from soy sauce. Well… basically it’s a fermented version of soy sauce that’s not quite as salty and is usually gluten free (or low gluten, so make sure it’s GF if you need it to be). Tamari is a traditional Japanese sauce whereas soy sauce is more typically used in Chinese cooking.
I always choose a gluten free tamari in place of soy sauce, as I prefer the taste and the extra health benefits brought on by the fermentation of the sauce. But you can totally substitute soy sauce whenever you see tamari in a recipe if gluten doesn’t bother you.
Coconut aminos is a sauce made from fermented coconut sap (or nectar). It’s gluten free and sometimes marketed as a soy-free soy sauce/tamari alternative, but it’s a fair bit sweeter and far less salty. It’s packed with amino acids, minerals and vitamins such as C and B vitamins so is a nutritious addition to vegan food. It tastes incredible too!
As mentioned in the recipe notes, if you can’t get your hands on a bottle of coconut aminos, just use an extra tablespoon of tamari plus a tablespoon of coconut sugar in your sauce. The flavour will be very similar if you do this 😉
You’ll want to bookmark this one my friends!
Vegan, gluten free and absolutely packed with dreamy Thai flavours!
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 400 grams firm tofu
- 2 sweet potatoes
- a drizzle extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 head broccoli cut into large florets & steamed to serve
- fresh coriander to serve
- fresh birdseye chilli finely sliced, to serve (optional)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2cm knob fresh ginger finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic finely diced
- 5 fresh kaffir lime leaves gently crushed between hands to release the flavour
- 1 stick fresh lemongrass finely sliced
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos **see note
- 1 tbsp tamari sauce (gluten free)
- 1 tbsp corn flour
Preheat oven to 200°C (fan forced).
Rinse the brown rice in a strainer then add to a pot with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, place the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes before turning off the heat and leaving it to sit for a further 10 minutes before removing the lid.
Chop the sweet potatoes in half, drizzle the flesh side with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt & pepper (optional), then flip them on the baking tray so that they are skin-up. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile - while your rice and sweet potatoes are cooking - make the sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients (except for the corn flour) to a pot and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
Mix the cornflour and water together in a small dish until dissolved, then add to the sauce and cook a further 1-2 minutes, stirring.
Once the sauce has thickened slightly, place a fine strainer over a bowl and strain the sauce, using the back of a large spoon to press it through the strainer. Discard what's left in the strainer.
Chop the tofu into cubes, then add the coconut oil to a wok or large non-stick pan over high heat. Add the tofu along with a pinch or two of salt (sprinkled evenly onto the tofu) and cook for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally until the cubes are lightly golden.
Place the roasted sweet potato halves onto plates then use a knife to cut a line down the middle and then a spoon to gently squish them down the middle so they're a little more flat on the plate. They may resemble female rude bits at this point.
Finish each sweet potato by adding a scoop of brown rice, the tofu cubes and a generous drizzle of your delicious Thai coconut sauce. Serve with the steamed broccoli and as much fresh chilli and coriander as your big heart desires!
**Coconut aminos is a sauce that can be found online or at most vegan grocers - it's a soy-free, gluten-free alternative to soy sauce. If you can't get it, just add an extra tablespoon of tamari plus a tablespoon of coconut sugar in its place for this recipe.