Breakfast Television – Spicy Thai Cashew Tofu

One of the most enjoyable parts of doing the live television cooking segments on Breakfast Television is all the people I get to connect with.  On the day it’s the crew and cast of the show, then the station staff coming in to sample what we’ve made, and later on, the viewers who get in touch.

This is one of the most requested recipes I’ve done on Breakfast Television to date. (Click here to download the recipe or read it below.)

Some people are leery of the texture. A nutrient dense protein, I suggest using extra-firm tofu for stirfried dishes as it has a consistency closer to cubed cooked meat,

Some folks say they don’t like tofu because it’s bland.  That’s its beauty!  Tofu takes on the flavours of what it’s cooked with, and marinating tofu for a few minutes or a couple of hours deepens the flavour even more.  I’m not a vegan but I do believe that eating about 80% plant-based, getting our protein from tofu, edamame beans, lentils, beans or quinoa, is an important part of a balanced diet and a balanced digestive  system.

Spicy Thai Cashew Tofu Stirfry

Spicy Thai Cashew Tofu with Holy Basil

Serves 4 as a meal, or 8 as part of a multi-course Thai feast

15 ml oil (grapeseed, coconut, peanut or canola)
7 garlic cloves, minced
2 to 4 Thai chili peppers, sliced
90 gr cashews
300 gr extra-firm tofu, cut into ½” cubes
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
120 ml Mae Krua oyster sauce*
30 ml water (if needed)
15 ml fish sauce
5 ml palm sugar (or brown sugar)
500 grams stirfry vegetables (bok choy, peppers, broccoli, etc.)*
2 handfuls Thai or holy basil* leaves, roughly chopped
Optional:  cooked jasmine rice or rice noodles

  1. Heat a wok or large fry pan over medium heat until hot – add the oil and garlic, stir cooking until it begins to brown, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the chilies and cashews and stir cook another minute or two until cashews begin to nicely brown.
  3. Add the tofu and stir cook another 2-3 min until it begins to brown a bit.
  4. Add the onion and oyster sauce mixture and stirfy for another 2 to 3 minutes until onion is soft and the sauce has thickened a bit.
  5. Remove the stirfry from the heat and add the holy basil leaves, stir until they just wilt.
  6. Serve as is, or over hot jasmine rice or on rice noodles.

Tips, Suggestions, and Variations

  • No time to prep vegetables? Use a frozen stirfry blend such as Europe’s Best Zen.
  • Holy basil, or Thai basil, has a licorice note and is very popular in Southeast Asian cooking. It’s available at Asian markets such as Lucky 97 or T&T. If unavailable, don’t use Italian basil. Instead, add a bit of ground fennel when adding the onion.
  • The tofu can be replaced with tiny cubes of chicken, beef or pork, or ground chicken or pork, or shrimp. Be sure to cook the meat thoroughly – you may need to simmer longer in the oyster sauce, so add a bit of water if it gets too thick.
  • Fish sauce is readily available in most supermarkets, though it is far cheaper in larger bottles purchased in Asian markets like Lucky 97 or T&T Supermarket.
  • Thai chilis are readily available in most supermarkets and Asian markets like Lucky 97 or T&T Supermarket, fresh and frozen.
  • Mae Krua oyster sauce is essential for Thai cooking and is available in Edmonton only at Vien Dong in Chinatown.  The flavour is unique and so good – and the best Thai restaurants don’t compromise on this either. If not available, use the best quality Lee Kum Kee brand oyster sauce (about $6/bottle).
  • Not in Edmonton?  Check with your local Thai restaurant for shops to purchase quality Thai products, or order online and have it delivered from www.ImportFood.com.