Spicy Thai Coconut Quinoa Recipe
There are a few components and a bunch of ingredients in this dish, but don’t let that fool you—it’s still simple enough for a weeknight dinner and you won’t use every pot and pan in the house. The key is to prepare the ingredients as you cook: The spicy peanut dressing comes together in 1 minute, and while the quinoa simmers, cut the tofu and vegetables, which only take a few minutes to cook. Then just toss everything together for an easy, healthy, filling dinner, or a healthy lunch to bring to work.
For the dressing:
- 1 2/3 cups fresh cilantro (from about 1/2 bunch), long, thick stems removed
- 3/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
- 1/3 cup Sriracha hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest (from about 3 medium limes)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 3 medium limes)
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
For the quinoa:
- 2 cups quinoa, any color or variety
- 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 1/3 cups vegetable stock or low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) package firm tofu
- 2 medium carrots (about 8 ounces)
- 1 medium broccoli head (about 1 pound)
- 4 medium scallions
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- Coarsely chopped roasted, unsalted peanuts
- Thinly sliced scallions
- Place all of the ingredients in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 1 minute; set aside.
For the quinoa:
- Rinse the quinoa in a strainer under cold water until the water runs clear. Place in a large saucepan; add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, and measured salt; and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the white outer casings on the quinoa have popped, revealing translucent little beads, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line a large plate with several layers of paper towels. Drain the tofu, cut it into large dice, and place it in a single layer on the paper-towel-lined plate; set aside. Trim the carrots and cut them into 1/8-inch-thick rounds; set aside. Trim the stem of the broccoli to 1/2 inch and cut the head into 1-inch florets; set aside. Thinly slice the white and light green parts of the scallions; set aside.
- When the quinoa is ready, remove it to a large serving bowl and set aside. Wash the saucepan, fill it with water, and season generously with salt. Cover with a tightfitting lid and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the tofu and cook without stirring until the bottoms are golden brown, about 4 minutes. (While the tofu is cooking, line the plate you drained it on with fresh paper towels.) Flip and cook until the other sides are golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, remove to the paper-towel-lined plate and season with salt; set aside.
- Add the carrots to the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove them to the bowl with the quinoa. Return the water to a boil, add the broccoli, and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and place in the bowl with the quinoa and carrots.
- Add the cooked tofu, dressing, and scallions to the bowl and stir to combine. Garnish with additional cilantro, peanuts, and scallions before serving.