Coconut Ranch Strips
I'm baaaaack and it feels *so* good!
You see, in July my family left Shanghai after 9 crazy and amazing years. We've traded a city life full of rats, cockroaches, and honking horns for a bit more country, full of snakes, spiders, and even larger cockroaches. It's a new kind of adventure; one that more resembles being closer to nature like we were as kids. It was something we wanted to give our growing boys, green grass (and bats, yes a bat was in our apartment yesterday).
Aside from the adventures in insects and more, there have also been adventures in eating. Southern China presents itself with all kinds of new flavors and textures (so many noodz!), and I have loved exploring them. Culinary influences come from Hong Kong with dim sum being everywhere, along with hot pot from Sichuan as well as Hunan's tongue tingling flavors being found everywhere as well.
I will be busy testing out some of these new flavors to share with you here, but for now, I want to share something that combines one of my favorite childhood flavors, ranch flavor, with one of my favorite adult foods, tofu and coconut. I found a great local market just down the street that makes tofu fresh on the spot, and all kinds of tofu too! One of the kinds soaks up flavors and browns beautifully, making it both juicy and crispy. I'm a little bit obsessed with it. It comes sliced up just how it is in the photo. If you can't find something like this, you can also buy the puffed tofu cubes and slice them up. Not sure what the heck I am talking about? Check out what they look like in this recipe.
This recipe can be baked or pan cooked. I opted for baking because I was making Broccoli, Rice n' Cheddar Cheeze Bake that I will be sharing with you soon, and goes with this dish perfectly.
These lil' strips can be added to salad, rice, pasta, and even burritos for a tasty flavor boost that's super satisfying too!
400g tofu strips or sliced puffed tofu cubes
1 C full fat coconut milk or coconut cream
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1. Add coconut milk, minced garlic, nutritional yeast, parsley, dill, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper to a shallow dish that you will use for marinating the tofu strips. Mix well.
2. Add tofu strips and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C and transfer marinated tofu strips to a lined, or non-stick, baking dish, keep any remaining mixture to the side for drizzling on after cooking, if desired. Spread out evenly and drizzle with olive oil. Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes then take out and mix a bit, turning over uncooked pieces so all of the pieces can get golden brown and delicious, about 10 minutes more. If using a wok or pan, just stir fry.
4. Once golden brown, the strips are done. Take out of the oven and serve immediately. Top with freshly chopped parsley if desired.
I recommend doubling the recipe because we gobbled this up in no time and were very disappointed that there wasn't more to eat for dinner that night or lunch the next day.
Feels so good to be back! See you next week! Until then, stay classy my sweet, sweet veggie lovers.