This is incredibly delicious. Even if you are not a tofu eater, this dish will convert you. Who could not love deep fried tofu with peanuts? The sauce is divine.
We have been making this since around 2002, so quite a while. It is a Thai style dish, simple in its construction and flavours, but that very simplicity gives it a punchy flavour. It is a perfect light lunch with a salad, or a mid afternoon snack when dinner is still a long way off.
The act of deep frying the tofu changes the nature of it, from something bland and lacking much texture, to a beautiful textural addition to other dishes or on it own.
You might also like our Tofu recipes here and here. Our Deep Fried Tofu recipes are here. Or you might like to browse SE Asian recipes here and here. Check out our easy Spring recipes here and here. Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – beautiful vegetarian recipes from our first blog 1995 – 2005.
Different Asian and health food shops well different shapes and sizes of fresh tofu, so you may need to adapt to get close to squares required for this recipe. You may need to cut the 6cm x 6cm x 2.5cm pieces from a larger block.
Generally fresh tofu is sold in plastic containers with a little soy milk to keep it moist. Take the pieces from the containers and allow them to drain before using in the recipe.
Tao Hou Tod | Thai Deep Fried Fresh Tofu with Sweet Nut Sauce
makes about 16 pieces of tofu with sauce, enough for 4 people for snack or light lunch with salad. It will serve only 2 or 3 very hungry people.
Fresh tofu – you will need 4 blocks measuring about 6 cm square and 2.5 cm deep – buy from Asian groceries. It comes in different sizes so you might need to cut to size
peanut oil for deep frying
8 Tblspn rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 – 2 coriander root (or use finely chopped coriander)
6 Tblspn brown sugar
1 tspn sea salt
1 – 2 small fresh green chillies, chopped
2 Tblspn ground roasted peanuts (use a spice grinder to pulse peanuts into a coarse powder/paste)
coriander leaves to garnish
Drain the tofu, and cut the four blocks from corner to corner to make 16 triangular shapes approx. 6 cm at the base and 3 cm high. Dry the triangles as much as possible.
Make a paste in a mortar and pestle of the garlic, coriander root, chilli peppers and salt.
Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan until the mixture thickens. Add the paste and the ground peanuts, and stir until thoroughly mixed. Turn into a serving bowl and garnish with chopped coriander.
Heat the oil in a heavy based pan or wok. Deep fry the tofu triangles until golden brown. Remove and place on paper towel to drain.
Serve with the sweet peanut sauce.
recipe note and alternatives
You could use coarse peanut paste in place of the peanuts if you wish.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005. It is cross posted on our sister site, Heat in the Kitchen, as part of the Retro Recipes series.