Earlier this year, we took a 2-week vacation to the West Coast and we had a road trip while we were there. We had loads of fun and tons of good food those 2 weeks I had to admit. The airplane ride and the sick kiddos did drain lots of my energy. Though I must say that my two kids were quite troopers considering their ages and having to endure 8-10 hour drive without much melt down. I used to love road trip when I was still in my 20s. Now in my mid 30s, I just have to say, anything above 3 hours of driving is a bit too much for my sitting bones to handle. Not sure if it’s the old injury I sustained decade ago or what, but who would have thought just sitting in the car could be tormenting. Now, if you ask me if I would do it again…No. I would probably wait until my boy is a little bit older. He is a ball of energy and I could hardly keep up these days.
I remember the meal that I made when we just got back from that road trip was this silken tofu with fried anchovies and peanuts. I really didn’t have much energy to spend at the kitchen and just resorted to something simple but nutritious. I love tofu, especially soft and silken tofu. They melt in your mouth. My favorite way of using anchovies is pan frying them with the peanuts. In Indonesia, we put some red chili sambal with the peanuts and anchovies to make sambal ikan teri
You can make it spicy or not by omitting the chili oil and red chili paste. They will still turn out great. Dried anchovies can be found at Asian grocery store. I used the large Korean anchovies. My husband is not too crazy about tofu (he never say it, but I know 😉 ), but he found this silken tofu with fried anchovies and peanuts pretty satisfying and a great meat-alternative.
Silken tofu with fried anchovies and peanuts (4 servings)
- 14-15 oz silken tofu
- 8 oz of good quality medium to large dried anchovies
- 8 oz of unsalted roasted peanuts
- 3 Tbsp of cooking oil
- 2 stalks of green onions finely chopped
Preparing the tofu:
- Drain the water off the tofu and very gently place on serving platter that will fit into a steamer. I found it easier with a steamer as it won't break the incredibly soft tofu. Steam the whole block of tofu for about 5 minutes. Remove from steamer and then carefully drain off the extra water that sip out from the tofu while steaming. Very gently, use a knife to slice the tofu on the platter to about 1/2-inch thickness and you can gently push them down so they lean on each other or you can arrange them to stack up. I did the latter for photography purpose. Set aside
- Prepare the seasonings by mixing the soy sauce and sugar in a small sauce pan and cook until just the sugar melt. Remove from the heat. Add in sesame oil and the rest of the ingredients
Cooking the peanuts and anchovies
- Heat about 3 Tbsp of oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add in the anchovies and fry until crispy. Dish out and place on an absorbent paper towel. Continue with the peanuts and fry until about golden brown, dish out and place on an absorbent paper towel. Mix the peanuts and anchovies together and sprinkle with a small pinch of salt
When ready to serve:
- Pour the seasonings over the tofu and then top the tofu with the anchovies and peanuts mixture and garnish with the chopped green onions