Coconut Tofu by Chef Jim Keegan

Coconut Tofu by Chef JIm Keegan


  • 1 14-16 ounce package firm or extra firm water packed Tofu
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2-4 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1 small thai or jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (1-2 tbsp)
  • 1 1 inch piece lemon grass, grated or minced (1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (thai basil if available)
  • 1/4-1 cup diced pineapple
  • 3 tbsp red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp purple cabbage
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup basmati or jasmine rice


  • 1. Cut tofu into 6 (2×3-inch) rectangular slices and drain excess water on paper towels.  
    2. Make rice according to package instructions.
    3. Wisk together sugar, lime juice and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Stir in hot pepper, lemongrass, basil, pineapple and bell pepper. Season with kosher salt. I love a lot of salsa, play around with the amounts depending on what you like.
    4. Lightly season one side of each piece of tofu with kosher salt. Combine coconut, flour and cornstarch on a plate. Press both sides of tofu into coconut mixture.
    5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat, and fry tofu about 15 minutes on each side or until golden brown, adding additional oil if needed. Adjust heat as necessary to ensure the tofu maintains a steady, but not aggressive, sizzle. Drain a couple of minutes on paper towels. Plate tofu on top of rice and spoon on salsa. Sprinkle with basil and serve. 
    A nice touch if you like is to also add crushed peanuts!

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