A few weeks ago Bob and I did our annual DC trip. We had an amazing meal at the Fancy Radish, a completely vegan restaurant. I honestly can’t say enough about that meal, but this post isn’t about that – although I’m pretty much betting we end up back there next year because it was so good.
This post is about a dish we shared at another restaurant, the Right Proper Brewing Company. While most of the meal was good, the Brussels Sprouts from the appetizer list was just fantastic. When we were done eating, I had really, really wished I had the sprouts all to myself for dinner.
So what does any self-respecting home cook do when faced with a fantastic dish that you know you can’t get again for a while (that is possible to make – I am not attempting the Fancy Radish dishes …. they were a little too different than what is in my repertoire to really attempt)? You make you own version.
Because this was a lunch dish, I wanted more than just the Brussels Sprouts, I wanted some tofu and rice too. I figured this would increase the protein and the full feeling factor. I didn’t have a recipe for any of this … I just went with what I had on hand, a little knowledge from having made pieces of this in different forms before and a bit of tasting along the way.
- Brussels Sprouts (I think I had 10 oz)
- 8 oz extra firm tofu
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 2/3-3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tbs. maple syrup
- 1/2 Tbs. ginger (puree from the refrigerator section of the grocery)
- 2-3 Tbs. chili garlic sauce
- 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
- 2 Tbs. corn starch
- salt and pepper
- oil – I used a combination of olive oil and sesame oil
- Scallions (optional)
- Dry roasted peanuts (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 400. Wash, dry, and trim the Brussels Sprouts. Cut in half and toss with about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake 25-30 minutes tossing half way through. You want the sprouts crispy and slightly charred, but not burnt.
Cut tofu into cubes of desired size. Lay flat on a cutting board lined with a paper towel. Layer another paper towel on top and press down. Let sit for a few minutes while you make the sauce.
Transfer the tofu to a bowl or a zip top bag and add 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Toss to coat.
Heat oil in a frying pan (I used half olive and half sesame for a bit of extra flavor but you can use whatever you like). When oil is hot, add coated tofu to the pan. Spread out and let cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the bottom is crisp and lightly browned/golden in color. Turn and toss to ensure the oil is evenly distributed. Cook about 3-5 minutes, until the second side is golden in color.
Thai Peanut Sauce:
Combine soy sauce, peanut butter, ginger, chili garlic sauce, rice vinegar and maple syrup. Mix well and taste. Adjust amounts as needed – more soy for more salt, maple syrup for sweetness, peanut butter to cut the salt, chili garlic for more heat. You could also thin it more with warm water, but I like a thicker sauce.
Spoon rice onto the plate. Top with Brussels Sprouts and tofu. Drizzle sauce (be generous – this dish is really about the sauce) over everything. Top with chopped peanuts and scallions if desired.
The best part of this – leftovers!