Why are there consistently bottomless leftovers from Thanksgiving? I went by my parents house today and there remain two giant tupperware full of stuffing. I didn't take home any leftovers and still do not want to look at any dish that represents colonial America. Our dinner this year was great. The food was lovely, we were in good company, my grandma said inappropriate things to new guests, my mom fell four feet off a stool getting mugs and bruised her entire left side, the dogs ate so many scraps they threw up in the know, the usual. There were vegetables present at the table, but I have been craving something light, crispy and resembling a place far far away from the motherland of butter, salt and starch. Not to mention that Hugh often asks for asian food, and it's the last culture I lean towards for inspiration, so it was about time to compromise.

I'm not going to say "this is the best peanut sauce recipe I've tasted", but it was a nice change and certianly good enough to make again. I have read that using Skippy or Jiff yields a better consistency, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I like the idea of a mix of raw and steamed vegetables with a savory sauce, so you can play around with it. A traditional Japanese bento box typically includes a lean protien, rice, pickled vegetable and represents a balanced, complete meal. This is our intrepretation... Thai meets Japan... every component gets along quite well in this lovely bowl of goodness.bento_0002

12 oz. Extra Firm Tofu
1/2 lb. Soba or Rice Noodles
1 Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
4 Baby Bok Choy
2 Carrots, Shaved with a Vegetable Peeler
Half a Cucumber, Sliced on a Bias
4 Scallions, Halved Length Wise
Sesame Oil
Cilantro for Garnish
1/3 Cup Pickled Ginger

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Light Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Water
1 tbsp. Tamari/Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
2 tsp. Lime Juice
2 tbsp. Agave
1 Shallot, finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp. Canola/Peanut Oilbento_0003bento_0004

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the noodles. Drain and press the tofu. Cut it into cubes and saute on medium heat with 1 tsp. sesame oil until lightly browned. Be gentle so the tofu stays in cube form.
2. Start the sauce. Saute the the garlic and shallot in the oil to soften, whisk in the peanut butter, coconut milk, water, agave and soy sauce and mix to combine. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes. When all ingredients are warmed through, add the lime juice. Add spices as you wish here.
3. In a steamer basket, or pan filled 1'' with water. Steam the bok choy, scallions and bell peppers for 6 minutes with the lid on (time may vary). Remove.
4. Cook the noodles according to instructions. Drain and drizzle a little sesame oil to prevent them from sticking. Mix the tofu with desired amount of sauce so it looks like a creamy mess. Lay the tofu on top of the noodles and arrange the bok choy, peppers, cucumber, pickled ginger and shaved carrots along side. Sprinkle everything with sesame seeds and fresh chopped cilantro.bento_0005

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Reader Comments (46)

hi, it's me. can we make this again next week?

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterhugh

wow, i must make this asap. i know you probably hear this all the time, but your photos and food preparations are seriously inspiring. like out of this world cool. thank you, thank you, thank you!

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteramanda

Being in Canada this year made me really miss Thanksgiving and the usual family antics. Nevertheless, I totally understand what you mean about turkey and stuffing overkill.
I am similar in that I love Asian food but don't cook it as often at home as I would like to. The bento bowl looks great! I will definitely be trying it out soon. :)

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNadia

hi there! i just gotta say love your site. i've been trying to find healthy, exciting recipes like this for a very long time. i even dedicated a post to you guys on my new blog. thanks and keep up the great work!

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjordan

I absolutely love peanut sauce, this looks perfect. I may throw together the sauce tomorrow for lunch, I'm totally craving it now.

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

Ah yes, the colonial meal. I'm pretty sure they probably ate fish, nuts and berries at the real Thanksgiving but hey, who needs reality when you have Swanson's broth. I guess this is my strange way of saying I agree and I very much look forward to trying your peanut sauce. The pictures are great as always and I hope your mom is ok.

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEl

Awesome photography. Cute, colorful, stylish :] This Asian-fusion recipe looks gorgeous (and tasty)! I have an unhealthy addiction to all things peanut, and peanut sauce is no exception... neither is soba. Mmmm mmm.

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercandice

Sounds like a nice combination...Thai meeting Japanese. Love the photos, always so fresh and appealing!

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercoconut and quinoa

sara, i happened upon your blog in a cross-reference from heidi's and man, am i glad! your pictures are beautiful and your recipes inspiring, yet warmly approachable. wow. i especially love how the pictures tell a story. keep up the great work. :]

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteramanda

Not going to lie, I giggled when I read your description of the "usual" Thanksgiving. Then I skimmed the recipe and got hungry enough to go to the kitchen and get a spoonful of peanut butter. (Not Skippy or Jiff.) :)

December 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElissa

ca tombe bien c'est l'heure du repas ici
ca semble délicieux !!!

December 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpierre

Sara, this looks so yummy! I've been thinking of making more asian dishes and this is a perfect start!

December 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

This is my kind of dish. I make a similar one with egg noodles and it is gorgeous. Your presentation is really fabulous :)

December 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline

This looks like the thing I have been craving that I haven't quite been able to put my finger on. Gorgeous.

December 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDani Craig

i love a great meal in a bowl like this one... something so soothing about eating everything all self-contained and brightly colored. And -- a superb description of the usual thanksgiving -- family time is always crazed, huh? But gloriously crazed! Reminded me of my aunt who served take out pizza she got after it had fallen onto the floor -- she just dusted that thing off and we all ate it, laughing... while the dogs ate the remains from the ground and threw up all afternoon.

December 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterleela

love family gatherings for all the good and all the bad. gotta love it. i can't get over the beautiful and colorful produce shots!

December 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCannelle Et Vanille

Wow! Wow! Wow! There's a peanut sauce recipe I love, but am always happy to kick it to the curb in exchange for something new. The pics are crazy good:)

December 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle @ CrispyTarts

oh! the pictures of the veggies are so cool! props to hugh and props to you miss sara for yet another perfect and healthy recipe! Thank you for sharing

December 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin @ Roost

Hey this is random but I'd love to see what sort of homemade holiday goodies you'd whip up as gifts. I bet they would be unbelievable!

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy@OldSweetSong

Wow, sounds great, and I love your photos!

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

I can never get my tofu nice and browned, but this looks soooo good, I will give it an honest try. love your blog!

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteramelia

Sara, you've done it again... this looks absolutely perfect! Beautiful pictures, beautiful words, and beautiful food!!

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

@hugh- can YOU make this again next week?@Amy- to be honest, I don't usually give away sweet things as there is just too much of that going on. I'd like to give away sauces in pretty jars, such as this one or from posts past, to change it up. I will try and post a good treat, I appreciate the feedback! @amelia- Saute in the pan, then saute it will a bit of the sauce so it caramelizes on the tofu. It makes a mess, but gives you the browness you're looking for.

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Such an amazing bowl of goodness! I could eat that twice a day everyday. Maybe even for breakfast too. All my favorite things and flavors in one bowl. Somehow, I know my bowl wouldn't look as gorgeous.

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDana

The photos you take are so amazingly beautiful. I get inspired every time I visit:)

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDiana @ frontyardfoodie

I think I almost gasped aloud when I saw your photos for this post. Beautiful. Super inspiring and delicious-sounding, of course.

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkickpleat

I just crunched through the crumbs left on the baking sheet after cooling and breaking up a batch of chocolate almond toffee, and now I'm thinking that I could use of bowl of this stat to counteract all of that sugar. I've never cooked with coconut milk before, but now I'm inspired to give it a go! Thank you.

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Votre site est fabuleux, j'en ai le souffle coupé !!!
Il va directement dans mes liens. Félicitations et merci de nous faire partager votre talent !

December 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermi'dinettes

Mmmmm, this looks mag-NIF-icent! Delicious post. Cheers, Molly

December 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermolly

Oh Sara, you had me at peanut sauce!

December 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfresh365

Do you know this is one of my all-time favorite dinners? When I'm feeling lazy, I just make a batch of my peanut sauce (no coconut milk, lots of ginger) and serve over noodles. When I'm more ambitious, I add tofu and veggies like you. Beautiful pictures!

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersmall kitch cara

This is super gorgeous. I love peanut sauce with almost anything. I should try this soon.

December 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDivina

[...] the hearty soup and well balance bowl we’ve had the past two posts, it seems my diet lately has consisted of more treats than [...]

Ok...yum..the molten now I know what we (Oops,I mean Santa) are delivering as a surprise for Christmas Eve to our friends..thanks, SRM. Hugh...fabulous photography. Makes me want to eat right through the computer screen...Bless you guys :) kP

December 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKris Patton

ca l'air tres tres bon..........merci

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermistralu

[...] 10, 2010 · Leave a Comment For more easy goodness, go to Sprouted Kitchen for this recipe.   Anna made this for us, veering off from the recipe a bit to use the ingredients [...]

January 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeanut Sauce Tofu Bowl «

Just subscribed to you rss feed and going through your posted recipes.
This is the first one I clicked on. Those produce pictures! I am in love.
If only I had the right ingredients at home!

January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnnika

[...] In Praise of Leftovers – Galette or Pizza of her choice 3. Sara from Sprouted Kitchen – Peanut Sauce Bento Bowls for everyone and her boyfriend as a photographer 4. Joy from Joy the Baker – Dessert and [...]

January 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter300 « Dana Treat –

This looks gorgeous and sounds delicious! Good call on not using commercial peanut butter brands. I don't think they even taste like peanuts, which means the sauce probably would have ended up oily but not peanutty.

January 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

I just made this for dinner! It was amazing !
it was the best ''peanut sauce'' i had ever...i always find them too...peanuty this one was perfect !

thanx for sharing!

January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHelene


Lovely recipes, they're so simple and don't use far fetched ingredients. Thank you!

Perhaps I'm blind..but you didn't mention how much tofu to use in your ingredient list.

Thanks again

April 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAZ

this is the most delicious looking thing I've seen in ages. Your photos and presentation are sending me out to the grocery store in search of bok choy now. thanks for posting this!

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercloudberry

This dish looks amazing. Can't wait to try it!

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebekah

[...] finally, I made the peanut sauce from this, one of my new favorite blogs, tonight again for dinner and oh yum, is it tasty. I hope [...]

Shots are amazing, I love your blog !

January 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEvanna

Thank you for the recipe. It looks great...

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDC Personal Trainer

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