This recipe was an experimentation: we had never made tofu before and I had never even tried it. We had purchased the green beans at the farmer’s market on a whim (similar to our eggplant) and looked through our Simply in Season cookbook to see if we could find anything. Most of the green bean recipes were side dishes, but we really wanted to make something where the green beans were a little more featured. After some searching, we finally found a Thai recipe that was primarily green beans, with other vegetables and tofu as options. We decided to try that one, throw in some carrots we already had in the fridge, and to try adding the tofu, because why not? It turned out to be a great decision.
I don’t really know what I was expecting from tofu, but it wasn’t quite what we ended up with. I think I expected it to be a little bland and underwhelming, which was the wrong assumption. Because of the garlic/ginger/Thai sweet chili sauce, the tofu absorbed all of those flavors and had a real kick to it! Will was really pleased with the result of his tofu cooking and I was thrilled that it wasn’t just some bland, chewy block of stuff. We actually both sincerely enjoyed eating this dinner. We had the leftovers, and like with most things, the longer you let the flavors set in, the better it gets! All I have to say to summarize this first attempt at tofu is: YUM. If you’re afraid of eating/trying to cook tofu, this is a super simple recipe, is incredibly flavorful and makes tofu really exciting to eat!
Cooking Notes: We chose to add carrots, since we didn’t have enough green beans for the original recipe. The tofu was also an “optional” addition, but after trying it, I would consider it a “must.”
Tofu Thai Green Beans (adapted from Simply in Season; serves 4)
5 cups greens beans and julienned carrots
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tbsp ginger root, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
1 cup extra firm tofu
Steam green beans and carrots for 8-10 minutes until the beans turn light green and are crunchy. In a wok, add toasted sesame oil, onions, ginger, and garlic, sauteing until tender–about 5 minutes. Add the soy and chili sauces, cooking for another minute. Finally add the tofu and cook for 5 minutes. Add the steamed beans to the wok and stir to coat with the sauce. Simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. When done, serve over rice!