September already! In an attempt to push out any thoughts of the oncoming British winter (brrr) I got busy delving around on the blog of This Mama Cooks, my 2nd project for The Secret Recipe Club. My first is here to get you up to speed on what the SRC is all about.
After poking around her website a bit I was a quite in awe of Anne-marie Nichols of This Mama Cooks, and her many years of freelance food writing credits. Wow! Kudos to her ability to make her PASSION work for her. It was a bit of a challenge for me to find a recipe to play with as she, by her own admission, is all about the meat. Being a torch barer for healthy eating and low-fat eating though, she had a few vegan dishes on her website but I wanted to try something new, so I rang a circle around one of her husbands favourite dishes and set to work veganizing Anne-marie's sriracha chicken skewers
The Internet availed me with a couple of recipes for the Sriracha sauce (my, by the looks of it you Americans love your sriracha sauce..there's even a dedicated cookbook!). Bonzai Aphrodite had a recipe for a raw vegan version and Viet World Kitchen 'fast' and 'fermented' versions> I learnt that basically the sauce is named after the Thai town it hailed from and it is a hot sauce, typically made from sun-ripened chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt.
Can I be honest? I've never tried sriracha sauce, so I've no idea what it tastes like. I tried hard to imagine what This Mama Cooks (but tofu'd)...this is my virgin foray into the hot world of sriracha. This Mama Cooks' original recipe here. I adapted different elements from her recipe, and incorporated some of the ideas from the sauce recipes I mentioned above. The recipe is low-fat, vegan, sugar and gluten free. Green lights all round!
Sticky, zesty Sriracha tofu
2 medium heat red chili
1 red bell or long Romano pepper
1/4 cup fruit syrup
2 prunes (for depth)
3 tbs tamari sauce
2 cloves garlic
juice of 1/2 lime
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
450g extra firm tofu
3 tbs sesame seeds
1 tsp arrowroot
zest of 1 lime
4 - 6 prepared BBQ skewers (soaked)
Preheat oven 350 degrees
1. I tested the heat of the chili and decided to keep the seeds of one and discard the seeds from the other (I don't like 'blow the doors off' heat). Bonzai Aphrodite offered a tip and advised keeping the crown of the chili (omit the stalk) as it adds depth of flavour. I roughly chopped and put it along with all the other ingredients, through to the tofu, into the food processor.
2. Prepare the tofu by wrapping it in kitchen towel and pressing it between two plates for an hour to reduce the water content.
3. cube the tofu and marinate in 4 tbs of the sauce (keep the rest in a to use for other recipes) for 1 hour
4.Place tofu on an oil baking tray and pour the marinade into a saucepan
5. heat with the arrowroot. Remove immediately once reached boiling (it will thicken. But if overcooked the arrowroot will loose its thickness)
6.coat the tofu in the sriracha and then sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
7.slide onto the skewers and bake for 40 mins or until the tofu is firm and the coating sticky.
8. garnish with zest of 1 lime.
9. I served with brown rice cooked with coconut milk, coriander and lime zest.
I loved the sauce and the recipe left me with 1/2 jar of the stuff to use on other recipes. I'm thinking poured over a kale stir fry, spooned onto a baked sweet potato with Daiya cheese or for dipping. I think I'd try this recipe with tempeh too.
What other ways do you use with your sauce?
I'd love (love, love) to hear from you your views on how my recipe compares to the 'real' thing.
The Secret Recipe Club is such a fun way of getting to know other food bloggers and set yourself a challenge once a month. If you want to join us then sign up here