Today is Tofu Tuesday in my house.
I have a list of about 7 tofu dishes we love that I cycle through, and this one is my absolute favorite.
When I was a teenager in Missouri, I worked as a hostess at a popular Asian restaurant. They make a cashew chicken that I crave. Crispy white meat chicken battered and fried, topped with oyster sauce, and sprinkled with cashews and green onions. I practically lived off that cashew chicken during high school.
When I moved to Texas, I was heartbroken to discover cashew chicken here is completely different. It has sauteed chicken, a white sauce, and is loaded with celery. It simply cannot satisfy my craving. For the last 14 years I’ve had to settle with having my favorite food once every couple years during visits to my hometown.
I have tested and tested and tested various ways to make the sauce and have come up with one that satisfies my craving. The only difference is that at home, I prefer to pour it over crisped tofu instead of fried pieces of chicken. If you don’t like tofu, please, try this with chicken. It’s good. The only different prep for the chicken would be to batter it in flour to fry instead of the cornstarch I use for the tofu.
Downloadable PDF of Cashew Tofu
- Press 1 16-ounce package extra firm tofu 1 hour or more before making the meal
- Do this by draining the water the tofu is packaged in
- Cut the tofu into 1-inch steaks
- Place the steaks between paper towels – I use 6 paper towels topped with 5 tofu steaks, topped with another 6 paper towels, another layer of 5 tofu steaks, and another layer of 6 paper towels.
- Top with either a large skillet or heavy pot
- If using a cast iron skillet, as I do, place a layer of parchment paper on top of the paper towels to keep the moisture from harming the cast iron.
- When ready to make the meal, chop:
- 1/4 cup cashews
- Toast cashews over medium low heat in a dry skillet – do not burn!
- While cashews toast, chop:
- 4 green onions
- Set aside chopped green onions and toasted cashews
- In a medium saucepan, combine:
- 3/4 cup brown rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 Tablespoon butter (I use Smart Balance brand 50/50 butter)
- Bring water to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes
- While rice is simmering, prepare the tofu
- Remove the pressed tofu steaks from the paper towels
- Cut each into cubes
- In a large bowl, combine:
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- Place cubed tofu in bowl and toss to coat with cornstarch mixture
- In a large, deep skillet, heat:
- 4 Tablespoons canola oil
- Once hot, pour cubed tofu into skillet and cook over medium high heat until crispy and browned, about 17 – 20 minutes, separating stuck-together pieces and stirring periodically
- While tofu is cooking, prepare sauce by combining in a small saucepan:
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 Tablespoon Tamari or light soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- Whisk ingredients together, then bring to a simmer over medium low heat until thickened
- Once tofu is browned and crispy, pour sauce over tofu
- Serve over rice, sprinkled with green onions and cashews
Yum, yum, yum, yum! I’m so excited I can make this anytime I want and satisfy my craving for that addicting cashew chicken I lived on as at teen. I usually serve steamed broccoli alongside, since it’s a family favorite veggie.
What is your favorite restaurant meal? Do you make a version of it at home?
~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~