Spicy peanut sauce and crispy baked tofu are made for each other—truly a match made in flavor heaven! This recipe for peanut tofu with green beans emerges from the oven perfectly crispy, tender and browned after just 30 minutes. Serve with a side of warm brown rice for a simple and scrumptious vegan dinner.
I personally always prefer to bake tofu rather than pan fry it–I also explore this in my cookbook! This roasting method is especially nice because we can get a vegetable on the baking sheet too! Here, green beans roast up alongside so that you can have a nice peanut tofu bowl in the end! My tofu peanut sauce is a little spicy and comes together simply in the blender.
How to get a crispy crust on tofu:
- Lately I’ve been tearing my tofu into pieces rather than cutting it. The jagged edges have more opportunity for crispiness!
- I thoroughly blot the pieces of tofu dry before roasting at high heat.
- Space out the tofu out as much as possible in the oven so that air can circulate around each piece.
- After tossing with oil, salt, and pepper, I coat the tofu pieces with arrowroot starch. The starch will absorb moisture from the tofu’s surface, making for a crispier exterior. You can also substitute cornstarch!
The peanut sauce for this peanut tofu recipe is inspired by satay sauce, which originates in Indonesia, but is served in various forms all over Southeast Asia. My version is not authentic to one particular region. The well-rounded sweet, sour, and slightly spicy nature of satay preparations in general is the main inspiration. You can read more about satay and its traditional applications here.
I hope that you give this easy, sheet pan-centric dinner recipe a try soon! I know that sheet pan dinners have been a thing online for the last few years (maybe longer?). Are we still making and loving them? Let me know in the comments.
Spicy & Crispy Peanut Tofu with Green Beans
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- ½ cup water
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 2-inch piece ginger, peeled
- 2 tablespoons Tamari
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek (or Sriracha, Gochujang, other hot sauce/chili paste to taste)
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Crispy Tofu & Green Beans:
- 1 lb (454 grams) firm or extra firm tofu
- 3 ½ tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
- 2 teaspoons onion powder, divided
- ¾ lb (340 grams) green beans, trimmed
- 2 green onions, sliced
- warm cooked rice, for serving
- chili crisp, for serving (optional)
- Normally I advocate for pressing tofu prior to cooking. Lately though, I place my blocks of tofu in the freezer as soon as I get home from the grocery store and then thaw them in the fridge one day prior to cooking. I find that the freezing gives me the texture that I love with tofu–chewy and crispy, and it’s less fuss than pressing.
- You can sub cornstarch for arrowroot.
- If you’re willing to compromise crispiness, you can toss the finished tofu with some of the peanut sauce and pop it under the broiler for a minute or so–just to get a more outright peanut-y flavour!
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In an upright blender, combine the peanut butter, water, garlic, ginger, Tamari, maple syrup, lime juice, rice vinegar, Sambal Oelek, salt, and pepper. Blend on high until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- Tear the tofu into 1-2 inch pieces and place them on a clean kitchen towel. Blot the pieces dry as best you can. Transfer tofu pieces to a medium bowl.
- To the bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the oil, salt, and pepper. Give the tofu a toss to coat. Then, to the tofu add the arrowroot, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon onion powder. Toss again to coat. Lay the tofu out on the baking sheet in a single layer. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.
- Wipe out the medium bowl that you used for the tofu and add the green beans to it. To the green beans, add the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons oil, remaining teaspoon garlic powder, remaining teaspoon onion powder, and some salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- When the 15 minute timer goes off, remove the tofu from the oven. Using a spatula, stir up the tofu pieces and move them all over to one half of the baking sheet. Add the green beans to the empty half of the baking sheet and spread them out. Slide the baking tray back in and set the timer for 15 minutes again.
- Once the green beans are tender and lightly browned in spots, and the tofu is crispy and browned, you’re good to go! I like to give the tofu and green beans a quick broil too. Serve the crispy tofu and green beans with warm rice, green onions, chili crisp, and heavy drizzles of the spicy peanut sauce. Enjoy!