It’s been too long since I’ve had tofu, and I need some of that weird, sponge-y goodness in my life again. I’m also trying to pack out my meals with really lean protein so that I stop wanting to eat an entire sharing bag of Kettle Chips after dinner while sobbing. What do they put in those things? They’re like crack.*
Anyway — this is basically a vegetarian version of cashew chicken. We have a lot of cashews in the house at the moment (not just in the house – I don’t think they’re down the back of the sofa cushions or anything) because Isla is either snacking or thinking about snacking at any given time. Our kitchen is filled with Twirls, dried fruit and nuts. I can’t open a cupboard without getting hit in the face by a bag of pecans. I live in fear for my own life.
So here is the answer! Crispy tofu, toasted cashews, and a sweet, sticky sauce.
Sticky Tofu with Spring Onions & Cashews (Vegetarian, Vegan)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Wok or medium-large frying pan; paper towels; shallow dish/bowl; spatula and/or whisk; choppy cutty slicer items.
- 1 block extra-firm tofu (roughly 280g – you can use firm tofu if preferred)
- 40g cashew nuts
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce (sub for reduced salt if you’re sensitive to it)
- 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp sweetener (can sub in brown sugar or honey)
- 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce (sub in hoisin for veggies/vegans)
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 3 large spring onions
Optional: wholegrain rice to serve.
- Get your pan on a low heat and toss your cashews into the pan, dry. You will need to move them occasionally and toast for about 5-10 minutes until they’re starting to colour. While the nuts heat up, prepare your tofu by draining it and patting dry. Cut into bite-sized cubes and pat dry again. Pour cornflour into your small dish/bowl and coat the tofu pieces all over by tossing them with your hands. Peel the outer layers off the spring onions – slice in half lengthways on the diagonal into small-ish pieces.
- Get the cashews out of the pan and turn up the heat to medium-high. Add in the oil, making sure to get it all round the pan, then add your coated tofu. Cook for around 10-15 minutes, turning regularly, until they’re all crispy, then take out the pieces and start on the sauce.
- Add the soy sauce, sweetener, vinegar and oyster/hoisin sauce, stir to combine, and add in the spring onions – heat everything through until it starts to bubble. Add in the tofu and cashews and cook for a further couple of minutes, then divide between two bowls.
I ended up eating my portion and the rest of Isla’s (because I am a huge fan of salty things and she has a much lower tolerance) but there are some notes in the ingredients so that you can tailor this to your personal tastes. If using honey or brown sugar it will be much stickier, since any artificial sweetener would really only be there for flavour purposes.
Happy cooking, my fine friends!
*I assume. I’ve never actually had crack. Kettle Chips are probably way nicer than crack, let’s be real. Also cheaper? I don’t know, I feel like I’m a bit out of my depth here.