Coated in a creamy peanut butter sauce, this pineapple tofu rice is bursting with sweet and savory flavors with a hint of spice.
Over the years, peanut butter has become one of my best friends. I like it in sweet treats but also in savory dishes. It’s quite a versatile ingredient and even if high in calories, you would be surprised by its numerous health benefits. Peanut butter is indeed a great source of unsaturated fat (the “good” one, as opposed to saturated fat responsible of the so-called “bad cholesterol”). High in fiber and protein, peanut butter is also rich in vitamin B, E, and other mineral acids.
A few savory dishes with peanut butter you might also like:
- Easy Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles
- Sweet Potato and Peanut Butter Gratin
- Vegan Thai Peanut and Quinoa Salad
- Asian Tofu Broccoli Stir-Fry
Thick in texture, peanut butter can be either smooth or chunky. You can basically go for whichever you like. I personally like the crunchy texture when combined in a savory dish, so I used here half chunky and half creamy peanut butter. This way, there is a great balance between softness and crunchiness. But again, just go for the one you prefer.
The most important when you purchase peanut butter is to make sure that 100% of its ingredients are peanuts. As you know, peanut butter is the natural result of mixing peanuts until they turn to a sort of paste. There is no need of adding oil, peanuts already contain some. Also, choose your peanut butter unsweetened. To sum-up, you need to go for a natural peanut butter, with 100% peanuts, no addition of oil, and unsweetened. Make this choice a habit, whatever recipe you want to use it for; it’s simply healthier this way. Last but not least, I choose my peanut butter organic, as I really care about the origin of peanuts.
For this recipe, I prepared a creamy peanut butter sauce, combining freshly grated ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame and chili oil. You obtain a sweet and savory sauce, slightly spicy, that awakens your palate. To make it creamy (or creamier), I used a can of coconut milk (again, choose it full-fat and unsweetened). Whisk constantly when heating, to make sure you get a smooth, creamy texture.
Then, I simply combined the sauce with tofu, after I first sautéed this one in a cast-iron pan placed on high heat (if you do not owe a cast-iron skillet, you can use a classic one too). I like my tofu slightly golden on each side and crispy in texture. Note here that if you are not vegetarian or vegan, or if you look for an alternative to this dish, you could replace tofu by chicken for instance. This will do the trick beautifully. I considerably increased my plant-based intake these last few years so it came naturally for me to go for tofu. However, I understand it is not necessarily the case for everyone and I’m open to any possible variation to this dish. Chicken or grilled halloumi cheese are the two that come to my mind naturally. I wouldn’t go for fish or red meat, that would not pair very well with the peanut butter.
My last touch to the dish is the addition of pineapple chunks. I highly recommend fresh pineapple over canned or frozen one. Add it at the last minute to the pan, before you coat both tofu and pineapple with the peanut butter sauce. Serve hot with some rice. I like to add sliced green onions on top, as it brings color, texture and some greens as well.
Extremely easy to prepare, this creamy Peanut Butter, Ginger & Pineapple Tofu Rice is game changing and makes a perfect everyday meal with hints of Asian cuisine. It’s also a comforting and nourishing dish, naturally vegan and gluten free. If you like all these flavors, you should definitely give this recipe a try anytime soon!
- 1½ cups (250g) uncooked rice
- 14 oz (400g) super firm tofu
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ fresh pineapple, cubed
- 5 Tablespoons creamy or crunchy peanut butter*
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon agave or maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 can coconut milk, full-fat
- 1-2 spring onions, finely sliced
- Cook the rice according to the package instructions.
- For the tofu: set tofu on top of plate and pat-dry with paper towel. Place a cast iron pan or something else that is heavy on top and let sit for 30 minutes, then cut tofu into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large skillet placed on high heat, stir-fry tofu in vegetable oil on one side, until golden and slightly crispy. Flip it over and fry the other sides.
- Add diced pineapple and cook for a couple of minutes.
- For the sauce: in a small saucepan placed on medium heat, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, garlic and ginger. Loosen the mixture with a few Tablespoons of water, until you reach desired consistency. Pour in the coconut milk at the very end, and stir well. The mixture must be creamy.
- Coat tofu with the creamy peanut butter sauce sauce and serve with rice and sliced green onions on top.