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5 from 3 votes

Sticky Spicy Almond Butter Tofu

Perfectly cooked dry pan-fried tofu is tossed in a mixture of almond butter, sriracha, maple syrup, tamari + rice vinegar! 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Bigger Bites
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: Protein, Tofu
Servings: 2
Author: Ashley

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-ounce) block firm or very firm tofu, drained
  • 3 tablespoons natural almond butter (thoroughly stirred before measuring)
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tamari*
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Instructions

  • If you have a tofu press, use it to press the tofu for 20 to 30 minutes. Alternatively, wrap the tofu in several layers of paper towels, and place it on a rimmed dinner plate. Set a very heavy pot or pan (e.g., cast iron skillet) on top of the wrapped tofu and let stand for at least 20 minutes (preferably 30 minutes) to press the excess water from the tofu. Gently unwrap the tofu and discard the paper towel.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium spouted mixing bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the almond butter, Sriracha, maple syrup, tamari, and rice vinegar. Whisk together until combined and set within reach of the stove. Note: The recipe for the sauce is a jumping off point, and you should feel free to add more of what you love. Like a tangier sauce? Add more vinegar. Extra spicy? More Sriracha. Generously salty? More tamari. A little sweeter? More maple syrup. Adjust to suit your preferences!
  • Slice the pressed tofu widthwise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Then, lay each piece flat and slice in half lengthwise and then widthwise, yielding four small rectangles from each larger piece.
  • Heat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or pan over medium-high heat until hot. The heat will sear the surface of the tofu and prevent it from sticking, which is why it's important the pan is thoroughly heated.
  • Once the pan is hot, add the tofu in a single layer (you'll need to do this in two or even three batches). Use the back of a spatula to lightly press down on the tofu (you should hear it sizzle and hiss). Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the pan-facing side is golden-brown. Flip, and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden-brown.**
  • Reduce the heat to low, return all the tofu to the pan, and add the sauce. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the sauce warms and clings to the tofu, stirring constantly. The sauce is thick, so this step is very quick!
  • Transfer the tofu and sauce to a medium mixing bowl and allow it to rest until ready to serve. I recommend serving the tofu over warm brown rice that's been seasoned with rice vinegar and tamari. For a lovely pop of freshness, add sliced cucumbers, lime wedges for spritzing, and cilantro!
  • Refrigerate leftovers.

Notes

*I use regular Tamari. If you use reduced-sodium Tamari, you'll want to increase the amount a touch. If you don't need to keep this dish gluten-free, you can use soy sauce instead. **I learned this awesome, dry-fried tofu technique from the Thug Kitchen cookbook, so the credit for its brilliance goes 100% to them.