We first discovered tofu made from peanuts in Okinawa, Japan. It is know as Jimami Tofu and our first taste of it was served as a mid-afternoon snack; Peanut tofu with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, brown sugar syrup and chopped roasted nuts. The peanut tofu has a gentle peanut taste, neither sweet nor savoury. It worked well with the creaminess of the ice cream and just a hint of sweetness, and chopped nuts adding a crunchy texture to the soft tofu.
250g raw peanuts (without skin)
500 ml water
60g potato starch
pinch of salt
To extract the peanut milk, soak the peanuts in plenty of water for 24 hours, leaving it covered in the fridge. The next day, pour the water away and put the peanuts in a blender. Add the 500ml of water.
Blend the mixture until it is smooth, about 1-2 minutes, pulsing initially to ensure all the nuts are blended. Prepare a jug lined with a nut milk bag or muslin cloth. Pour the mixture into the jug then squeeze to extract all the liquid. The leftover peanut pulp, known as okara, is also used in Japan to make other dishes. Nothing goes to waste.
Put the peanut milk in a saucepan. In a small bowl, put the potato starch and use some of the peanut milk from the saucepan to make a loose paste. This is to avoid any lumps when adding to the milk.
Add the potato starch liquid to the saucepan with a pinch of salt. Heat the milk on medium high, stirring to ensure it is not clumping at the bottom of the pan. As the mixture cooks, it becomes thicker and requires continuous stirring. It is a good idea to have an extra pair of hands in the kitchen to help.
Keep cooking and stirring for about 20-30 minutes until the peanut milk does not taste raw. The stirring gives the tofu a soft and glossy texture.
Prepare a shallow dish, approximately 16x16x5 cm, lined with a muslin cloth which will ensure the tofu can be easily removed from the dish. Once the tofu is ready, pour the mixture into the dish. Level with a spatula, cover and leave in the fridge to set.
Serve with ice cream, black sugar syrup as a dessert, or it can be eaten as per normal tofu, with soy sauce, a dab of wasabi, and grated ginger or made into Agedashi Tofu.