Tofu with Thai Peanut Sauce (Pra Ram)

Tofu with Peanut Sauce is a simple homemade rendition of a vegan Thai takeout favorite- the sweet and spicy Thai peanut sauce is highly addictive! A healthy low-carb lunch or dinner!

Tofu with Peanut Sauce on a bed of spinach

Craving Take-Out? Make this Vegan Thai Tofu with Peanut Sauce!

I have to thank my bestie Shea for introducing me to this amazeballs vegan Thai dish called Pra Luck Tofu when we went out for lunch the other day.

While I like playing around with Thai recipes and curries at home, when it comes to Thai restaurants I have my tried and true favorite menu items that I rarely stray from (Tom Kai Ga+any Curry+Pad See Yew all day).

However, Shea raved about this vegan tofu with peanut sauce she had and I was game to venture off and try something new.

Thai-Style Tofu with Peanut Sauce served over steamed spinach in two bowls

Tofu with Thai Peanut Sauce – the perfect quick low-carb weeknight dinner! 

Thai Tofu with Peanut Sauce is one of those dishes that upon first glance seems so humble in its simplicity.

Just some lightly browned tofu with Thai peanut sauce over steamed spinach – how good could it be, really?

But that sweet, salty and spicy peanut sauce. WOWSA. It was so complex and flavorful (sweet/salty/spicy/tart) and seriously made me want to lick the plate clean right there in the restaurant.

And I could not stop thinking about that insanely yummy tofu with peanut sauce until I ordered it again for takeout about a week later.

The second time I had it was just as foodgasm inducing as the first.

So, as it usually happens when I become obsessed with a restaurant dish, I decided that I needed to learn how to make vegan Thai Tofu with peanut sauce at home so that I can have it whenever I want.

side view of a bowl of Thai Tofu with Peanut Sauce served over spinach

The weird thing is that when I googled ‘Pra Luck’, a bunch of recipes for ‘Pra Ram’ came up that totally fit the bill, so I guess that’s the authentically correct name for Tofu with Peanut Sauce?

I’m not sure why our Thai place calls it ‘Pra Luck’, but either way it’s surprisingly easy to make! I think I expected the peanut sauce to be elaborate and laborious and require me to go off hunting for exotic Thai ingredients, but not so.

Why take-out fans will love Pra Luck / Pra Ram Tofu with Peanut Sauce: 

  • Unlike many other Thai dishes, this one is really easy to make and does not require very exotic ingredients.
  • It’s low-carb, vegan, yet really filling and satisfying.
  • You can make a double batch of peanut sauce and use it for salad dressings, stir-fries or even lunch wraps or sandwiches.

This is one of those easy and quick 30 minutes meals I can’t get enough of. Tofu with peanut sauce is definitely an ideal recipe for a quick healthy and low-carb weeknight dinner.

overhead shot of a bowl of Tofu with Peanut Sauce served over spinach This Thai-Style Tofu with Peanut Sauce can also be served with Jasmin rice if you’re looking for a more substantial meal.

IMHO this is one of those rare low-carb meals where you really don’t feel like it’s missing anything because the Thai peanut sauce is just EVERYTHING.

Tips for making tofu with peanut sauce: 

  • Make sure you buy firm or even extra-firm tofu as soft aka. silken tofu will break apart when you try to pan-fry it.
  • To keep this dish healthy, make sure you use high-quality peanut butter without any additives.
  • When frying tofu, the key to both crispness and browning is the removal of moisture. The drier you get your tofu to begin with, the better. You can press the tofu to drain excess moisture. Press the whole block between two plates lined with paper towels and top the whole setup with a heavy pot or can. After 30 minutes, you can remove the towels and cut the tofu into cubes.
  • For frying the tofu, use a large, heavy-bottomed pan, preferably cast iron.

close-up of a bowl of Vegan Thai Tofu with Peanut Sauce served over spinach


Variations on this low-carb tofu recipe:

  • For a refined sugar-free version, use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. If you want to go sugar-free use 1/2 tbsp stevia.
  • If you are avoiding gluten, use coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce instead of regular soy sauce.
  • Not crazy about spinach? Cauliflower rice, broccoli rice, or steamed broccoli would make great low-carb accompaniments to this vegan tofu recipe.
  • For extra-crispy tofu, coat the tofu in cornstarch before frying. Arrowroot powder is a great gluten-free choice if you are sensitive to corn-based products like cornstarch. It crisps the tofu cubes just like cornstarch, but might stick to the pan a bit more.

Thanks for reading! To keep up with my kitchen escapades, follow me on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. If you make this Vegan Thai Tofu with Peanut Sauce, please share it using the hashtag #LePetitEats!

Tofu with Thai Peanut Sauce (Pra Ram)

Tofu with Thai Peanut Sauce is a simple homemade rendition of a vegan takeout favorite- the sweet/salty/spicy/tart peanut sauce is highly addictive!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Keyword homemade Thai peanut sauce, Tofu with peanut sauce, vegan tofu with Thai peanut sauce
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2
Author Denisse

Ingredients

For the peanut sauce

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Thai or Fresno chile seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

For the tofu:

  • 14 ounces firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pound spinach leaves rinsed

Instructions

  1. Add 2 tablespoons coconut oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger, chile (if using), garlic, lime zest, and red curry paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. 

  2. Add vegetable broth, peanut butter, coconut milk, brown sugar, and soy sauce and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.

  3. Remove tofu from package and place over a few paper towels. Press on the tofu gently so that the paper towels soak up any excess liquid, replacing the paper towels as necessary until tofu feels mostly dry. Cut tofu into large cubes.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons coconut oil to a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add tofu and pan fry until golden on all sides. This is much easier if using a non-stick or cast iron skillet. If using stainless steel wait until the tofu releases from the pan before browning the next side. Remove from heat, sprinkle with salt and set aside.

  5. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water, and fit with a steamer insert. Bring to a boil. Add spinach. Reduce to a simmer. Cover, and steam until spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes.
  6. Bring the peanut sauce back to a simmer. Transfer spinach and tofu to a plate and top generously with peanut sauce.

Recipe Notes

Tips for making tofu with peanut sauce: 

  • Make sure you buy firm or even extra-firm tofu as soft aka. silken tofu will break apart when you try to pan-fry it.
  • To keep this dish healthy, make sure you use high-quality peanut butter without any additives.
  • When frying tofu, the key to both crispness and browning is the removal of moisture. The drier you get your tofu to begin with, the better. You can press the tofu to drain excess moisture. Press the whole block between two plates lined with paper towels and top the whole setup with a heavy pot or can. After 30 minutes, you can remove the towels and cut the tofu into cubes.
  • For frying the tofu, use a large, heavy-bottomed pan, preferably cast iron.
Tofu with Thai Peanut Sauce - a quick, easy and healthy recipe for a homemade vegan takeout favorite #tofurecipes, #vegan
Tofu with Thai Peanut Sauce - a quick, easy and healthy recipe for a homemade vegan takeout favorite #tofurecipes, #veganrecipes

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