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*Warning: Lots of fatty language ahead!
“Put the lime in the coconut…” ~ William Nilsom, 1971
Now that I have stuck this song on repeat tracks in your mind, let’s proceed.
I grew up in Maryland. To my knowledge, we have no palm trees growing in the Mid-Atlantic states in the United States. Just kidding, I know we do not.
I do not recall coconut of any source in our kitchen, nor in the school cafeteria, or restaurants. I am certain it was in some candy bars, but none in our house, none placed in bags we carried on Halloween as we knocked on doors, dressed as ghosts, princesses, pirates, Red Riding Hoods, and Peter Pans.
Enter 2007, April 15th to be exact, and I moved into a house for rent in Florida—lured by the song of the palm fronds and a desire to never shovel snow or scrape ice again.
Surrounded by palm trees of many varieties, I settled into a new life and found a love for coconut.
Ah, coconut, or Cocos nucifera, which is actually a drupe, not a nut. Coco from the 16th century Portuguese was, “head,” or “skull.” Okay, I hear you, you expected fatty language and a recipe. Let’s get to it.
Ingredients and suggested supplies:
Tofu: organic, extra-firm works well.
Coconut milk: I used canned for its thickness and full fat. Your choice, as always.
Coconut: shredded, flakes, or grated. I used shredded.
Oil: sesame plain, or toasted. Omit if cooking bare naked.
Liquids: coconut liquid aminos to keep the theme.
Veggies: chef’s choice. I used carrots, zucchini, and sweet peas.
Spices: I used black sesame seeds and fenugreek seeds to add contrast.
Base: noodles or rice. I went with thin rice noodles to keep the white-on-white.
Flavor: tahini to top the rice base.
*This is 36.5 grams of fat of which half is saturated. Feel free to use coconut milk in a container that is made with filtered water, and lower fat tofu. The shredded was only 3.5 grams. Coconut liquid aminos is zero grams. Sesame oil is 14 grams of fat—please don’t hesitate to leave it out, and cook naked. And Waylon said my articles are not sexy.
Supplies: pot with lid, sauté pan, colander, spoon holder, cooking utensils, cutting board, chef’s knife. A song about coconuts in your head, a cat-free counter. Cloths to place the clean veggies, a plate to spread the shredded coconut, a glass dish with lid to add the tofu to the coconut milk. Imagination, love, and gratitude. Serving plates, and utensils of desire.
>> About 30 minutes to several hours before cooking, marinate the tofu.
>> Pour some coconut milk from the shaken can into glass bowl.
>> Cut tofu servings in a block form and add to bowl, cover.
>> Place in fridge.
>> Chill. Really, that—plus you.
Clean those counters, really, especially if pesky pets enjoy them.
Mise en place all of the above.
1. If using a thin rice noodle you can wait to start the pot of water boiling, but mind the time. The noodles only take about two minutes in almost boiling water.
2. Reach inside the bowl and gently remove the gooey coconut milk-infused tofu and feel its smooth, slippery texture in your hand. Clean hands please, sans rings, malas, and watches. Please. Enjoy the sensual feel on your fingers, and tenderly place it on a plate that you have spread shredded coconut. Turn it over, coating both sides.
3. Note the difference in texture once coated. Using a knife, cut it into bite-sized pieces on the plate. Rinse off your hands. They are now properly moisturized, so two for one benefit.
4. Turn on stovetop light to low, turn on burner under the pan. Add oil to pan. Oh, the oil is added fat so keep that in mind too. Add the seeds.
5. Turn the pot with water on, unless you already did so.
6. Cut any veggies. Add tofu to the pan, sooner if you were chopping slowly and dancing to the song.
7. Give the tofu a few minutes, and turn it over. Add veggies. Dash in some coconut liquid aminos.
8. Do some clean-up, whistle the song, the neighbors may appreciate that more.
9. Add noodles to almost boiling, or boiling water.
10. Turn off noodles, and drain into a colander. Add to your bowl or plate you selected for today’s meal. Drizzle some tahini over it.
11. Add the main event over the tahini-noodles.
Find the place best suited to dine, take a moment to show gratitude. Close your eyes for a few seconds if that pleases you. Then open them to smile at the luscious dreamy yumminess.
As always, no critters are ever harmed in the making of this meal, at any stage. One more win for this tiny blue marble we call Momma Earth.
For a whole bunch of delicious recipes, scroll through my author page.