Spitting Out Tofu

Ladies and gentleman, it’s a sad day in NMA world.

Last night, for the first time ever, my wife spit out the food I made for her.  I don’t remember her exact words, but it was something to the extent of “If I swallow that, I’ll puke.”

The food in question was a piece of lightly-seared tofu, coated in a delicate peanut butter coconut curry sauce, served with snow peas over soba noodles.  And she frickin’ spit it out.

[peanut butter tofu photo]

[Chewed up tofu in napkin photo removed by censors.]

It’s not as bad as it sounds.  Erin is 14 weeks pregnant and this is her first instance of being otherwise-inexplicably grossed out by a random food.  At least, that’s her excuse.  She says the texture of the tofu, combined with the pastiness of the sauce (didn’t seem pasty to me), is what made it impossible to get down.  Funny, I used to be the one who couldn’t stand the texture of tofu.

But by all means, don’t let the vision of chewed-up, peanut-buttery tofu in a dirty, crumbled napkin prevent you from trying this one tonight. :)  I actually really enjoyed mine.

I found the recipe in my recent go-to cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Vegetarian.  Time and time again, I’m finding this book to be an ass-saver when Erin is going to be home in 45 minutes and I haven’t even thought about dinner.  Not that there’d be trouble if she came home and I hadn’t cooked, but it doesn’t hurt to keep the wheels of marriage greased, you know?

Anyway, I usually change the recipes a little based on what I have in the kitchen. (This also allows me to post them without getting threatening phone calls from guys in suits.)  This time, among other things, that meant curry paste instead of chili paste and using different noodles.

[soba noodles photo]

And, most notably, substituting for coconut milk.

Ok, I have a coconut milk question.  Usually when I open a can of coconut milk, it smells nice.  Like coconuts.  But this can and two of the past three cans I have opened, from different brands, have smelled like feet.  Nasty, sweaty, feet.  Rotting feet, perhaps.

I’ve chosen to throw them out and then swear I’m going to write a stongly-worded letter to the grocery store. (I won’t.)  But is this common?  It never seems to happen with other canned goods.  Anyone else have this experience?  Should I just put the rotten feet coconut milk in my food and hope you can’t taste it?  I mean, if Erin’s going to spit it out anyway…

So here’s the recipe I’ve used, just in case you still have some semblance of an appetite.  I really liked the peanut butter sauce; substituting almond milk and coconut oil seemed to work just fine in it.  And the peanut butter (which I hardly ever eat anymore) reminded me of my college days, when I was hell-bent on gaining weight and muscle and used to set my alarm for 2 a.m. every night so I could get up and eat a peanut butter sandwich for extra calories.

I do weird things.

Peanut Butter Tofu with Snow Peas

Vegan Peanut Butter Tofu with Snow Peas
Serves: 4 Servings
  • One carton extra-firm tofu (14 ounces)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or other cooking oil
  • ½ lb Asian noodles, like soba
  • 1 cup snow peas or snap peas, trimmed
  • 2 tsp curry paste
  • ½ cup coconut milk (or sub other milk and coconut oil)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  1. Cut the tofu block into two slabs, then cover on all sides with lots of paper towels and set some plates or a skillet on top to weigh it down and remove water. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, then cube the tofu.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Lightly salt and add snow peas for 30 seconds; remove and set aside. Cook the noodles according to the package directions; when they're done, drain and rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking and set them aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the tofu cubes, turning after about two minutes and repeating until each side is lightly browned. Lightly sprinkle with salt and remove from heat, but you'll be adding the sauce to the pan with the tofu.
  4. While you're searing the tofu, whisk together the peanut butter and coconut milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste (you may want more or less, to taste), soy sauce, lime juice, and sugar and whisk to combine.
  5. Dump the sauce into the tofu pan and add the noodles and snap peas. Let the flavors combine over medium heat for a minute or two before serving.


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  1. Eww a night run. Nice! I ran into a guy at the start of the trail a few weekends ago that had just finished his run. He had started when it was dark and tripped over a big log during his run. I ran by the same log too. Even with the head lamp he missed it. So, be careful.
    .-= Caleb´s last blog ..Fall Color – Arkansas style =-.

  2. This recipe looks absolutely fabulous. But then, I’m post-menopausal. Poor Erin – I can empathize.

    I don’t think coconut milk should smell like rotten feet. Certainly have never noticed it in the cans I’ve used, but perhaps I should pay better attention.
    .-= Candy´s last blog ..One Word at a Time: Trust =-.

  3. hmmmm yah….I’m not sure anything you eat should smell like feet. Maybe switch brands again? LOVE LOVE peanut noodles & veggies- one of my favorite go to meals. I made a modified version of Rachel Ray’s and love it every time. Hope you guys have a nice weekend planned
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Double Digits & Savory Oats Brinner =-.

  4. Aww man, what a bummer! Tofu is kind of weird, I guess.. Oh, and coconut milk should NOT smell like feet, thats gross. I’ve personally never have tried it, but still….yuck.
    .-= Kathleen´s last blog ..This is supposed to be a health blog… =-.

  5. Poor Erin :-( But it will all be worth it in April! And then you can show this funny blog entry to the little one. I’m a HUGE fan of peanut butter, so if you have any extra, send it my way, hehe.
    .-= Megan (The Runner’s Kitchen)´s last blog ..Tempo on the Treadmill =-.

  6. I hope the food aversions stop, but at least they are for a good reason :)
    This recipe looks fantastic to me! I just managed to convince the husband how wonderful tofu is instead of meat, so I need to make it as flavorful as possible for him. Plus, any excuse to use soba noodles is OK in my book (does that make me weird?)

  7. ohhhh this looks delicious! i guess we can forgive erin since she is pregnant and all :)

    any reason you don’t eat peanut butter anymore? do you eat any nut butters? just wondering…

    i have had a few cans of coconut milk that didn’t smell the greatest, but i still used them, it tasted good and i am alive, if that helps at all :)
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..just one of those days =-.

  8. Haha, oh well, I guess every dish can’t please everyone, right? That sounds like a great recipe, though I’m not a huge coconut fan so hopefully the flavor would be subtle
    .-= Evan Thomas´s last blog ..Caffeine Hangover =-.

  9. Ymmmm…I will definitely be trying this. I have a really yummy recipe that’s called Tofu and Veggies in Peanut Sauce that’s served over brown rice, so this should be good with soba noodles. I had a couple food aversions when I was pregnant too. I’m sorry Erin didn’t like the taste, but the good thing is that it will pass! Thanks for another good recipe! :)

  10. Oh Matt . . . I can’t help but laugh, but truly she does have a good excuse. I haven’t quite gotten similar responses but my bf sometimes despises the food I make . . . especially the red beans as taco “meat” . . . it turned into quite the situation.

  11. That’s a shame, I wouldn’t take offense since her excuse was an honest one…it happens and as soon as the little one is out and about she’ll be back to her old eating habits.
    I love tofu and peanut butter sauce, I made a version before and thought it was the best thing ever, but then I have a PB addiction.

  12. I think that recipe looks fabulous, I love making peanut butter noodles! (pb addict) I’ve never had that happen with coconut milk, but I don’t use it that often either
    .-= EatingRD´s last blog ..amazing experience =-.

  13. My husband recently got violently ill from a curry I’d cooked. I was mortified! The next time we had curry, he felt ill again, so we figured it had to be either the new brand of curry powder or the coconut milk. He tried drinking the coconut milk and was fine (I thought he might be, since I use coconut milk in lots of dishes), so I tossed the curry and have since bought a different brand, which he can handle with no problems.

    Poor Erin!
    .-= Hanlie´s last blog ..Back to the Future =-.

  14. I get a little gaggy even driving by a restaurant where I had a food aversion to something when I was pregnant and that was 3 years ago. You might never get to make that meal again!
    .-= Suzanne´s last blog ..The newbie’s perspective, a guest post =-.

  15. this sounds delicoous! thank u :)

  16. This looks so YUMMY!

  17. Looks good to me! My favorite tofu recipe at this point is Scrambled Tofu from Vegan With A Vengance.

  18. I would love to try this for my son..He plays football and wants to become a No Meat Athlete. I have him reading up on he does not need meat protein. This would be a great thing for him to try…

  19. I was hoping to like this, but–maybe I messed up the ingredients–maybe too much PB? Altho I did measure everything. My complaint was that the sauce was really dense and I had trouble getting it mixed through the other ingredients–the texture was pretty gummy. Also I haven’t had much experience cooking soba and I may have slightly undercooked it. This probably deserves a second chance but I’d definitely thin down the sauce next time.

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