Silken Comfort Tofu

By • January 1, 2010 10 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a spicy and comforting dish I created in the spirit of eating more meatless meals. It's a perfect dish for a cold winter's day, and a great antidote to holiday overindulgence. Do try to find Chinese peanut oil, which adds a great toasty flavor to the dish.Abra Bennett

Serves 2, as a main course

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil, Chinese if possible
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese chili-garlic sauce
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 pound silken tofu, cubed
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup basil chiffonade, use Thai basil if possible
  • chili oil for drizzling
  1. Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet and saute shallots until golden. Add sliced garlic and sizzle briefly. Add chili-garlic sauce and fry until fragrant. Add fish sauce and sizzle until nearly evaporated. Stir in peanut butter, so mixture forms a rough paste. Whisk in hot water (and sugar, if using) - the consistency of the mixture should be between a thick sauce and a loose paste.
  2. Gently stir in the tofu, trying to keep cubes intact as much as possible, Stir in green onions, cilantro, and basil and heat through. Drizzle with chili oil and serve with brown or basmati rice.

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Entrees|Side Dishes|Tofu|Basil

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Comments (10) Questions (1)


8 months ago Tamara Hudes Agarwal

This was truly amazing! Everyone in my family loved it and went back for seconds.


about 1 year ago Val Fritz

I made this last night and it was spectacular. I substituted light coconut milk for the fish sauce and water because I wanted it to be vegan. I served it with basmati rice and this dish had my whole family astounded that they were absolutely loving lowly tofu. This recipe elevates tofu to true delicious and soul warming comfort food. This is the best tofu dish I have ever had and will be a staple in my journey to veganism. It obliterated the need for takeout Asian. It is restaurant quality. This dish is gonna change my life!


over 1 year ago Sophie S.

This sounds really good! Haha I think I'll make this tomorrow for lunch.
Have you tried plain tofu with fresh minced ginger, chives and a bit of sesame oil? It's wonderful too!


over 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Well, you sure got it right using "comfort" in the title. Here's some comfort food at its best. I made a batch last night; it tasted great when I made it, but even better this morning. I subbed three large scallions for the shallots, left out the chili paste, but added a splash of brown rice vinegar right at the end to brighten it up. Outstanding! Will definitely be making this again, and on a regular basis. ;o)


about 3 years ago bonnie59

Finally tried this recipe and it was delicious! Will continue to make this for one of our meatless meals.


over 3 years ago Rivka

Made this after reading the above comments, and cut back on the fish sauce. Still found the dish too salty, but flavors were great and silken tofu may be my new favorite food. I'm looking forward to experimenting with similar flavors for my next batch.


about 5 years ago rickygee

Ok, 1/4 cup fish sauce has got to be a miss print. I only used 4-5 shakes from the bottle, tablespoon at the most. Fish sauce is way to salty to use a 1/4 cup for this amount of ingredients. If you're using a good hot garlic-chile sauce the heat from that will make up for the salt. Add the water or chicken stock and use as much as is needed to make a sauce that will cover the type of starch you use...use rice or rice vermicelli. I used a squirt of lime at the end.


about 5 years ago Angie

I made this and thought it was very tasty. I added a squirt of lime juice at the end.


over 5 years ago Savorykitchen

I made this last night and really enjoyed it, except ... maybe my fish sauce was saltier than yours, but woof, was my dish salty. I'm going to make it again with less fish sauce and I'm sure it'll be fantastic (because, it was pretty great - despite the salt).


over 5 years ago student epicure

Thank you for sharing this! Oh so comforting! I added some Sichuan pickled vegetable too.