African Peanut-Coconut Stew

Last night was epic. My friend Brooks and I had a bunch of pals over to his house to celebrate both our friend Megan’s birthday as well as the end of 2009. This past summer, Brooks and I had these awesome monthly barbeques at his place. They were great. I’d show up at around 2 p.m., we’d go grocery shopping, and then spend the entire afternoon in his kitchen prepping the feast for the 20 or so friends that would come by later to hang out. Each cookout seems to be better than the last. We have a good little tradition going! Once it started to get a bit too chilly outside for the grill, we had a wicked taco night in September. It was set up buffet-style with three different kinds of fresh salsa, salsa verde, cashew sour cream, ground walnut taco ‘meat,’ re-fried black beans, and some other fixins’ I can’t remember of the top of my head. Basically, it ruled. Yesterday, I didn’t know how the hell we were going to top taco night! Especially since I really, really friggin’ love tacos! Well, we did pretty good!

I served this Peanut-Coconut Stew as the main course and people really liked it! For starters, I made a couple salads, including a roasted pear and butternut squash quinoa salad, which was probably my favourite dish of the night. Chili-spiced sweet potato fries (with homemade ketchup) and roasted garlic mashed potatoes rounded out the feast. Oh, and Shannon made a sweet vegan chocolate cake for the birthday girl. It was a total success. Happy birthday, Megaaaaannnnn! And thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate!

I made the dish last night with the marinated tofu recipe below. If you don’t want to put in the extra time, you don’t absolutely need to use the tofu for the stew; should still be good without it. I mean, it’s probably more authentic without the tofu, since I don’t really know how African soy-marinated tofu is! I definitely think it’s a tasty addition though!

For marinated tofu:
1/3 cup good quality soy sauce (Tamari or Kikkoman is good)
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar (can also use regular rice vinegar)
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
8 oz. package extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/4″ thick triangles (should make 8 pieces)
2 teaspoons canola oil, for frying

1. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, and sugar. Whisk until sugar is mostly dissolved.
2. Add the tofu slices, cover, and let marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
3. In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the tofu slices and fry on each side until crispy. About 5 minutes each side, depending on how hot the pan is.
4. Set aside for later (refrigerate once cooled if not using immediately).
Note: You can reuse the marinade for another few days if you want to put some extra tofu in it.

Peanut-Coconut Stew

1 tablespoon peanut oil (can also use canola or olive oil)
1 medium-sized onion, diced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, sliced 1/4″ thick
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek (or your favourite hot sauce, to taste)
2 tablespoon good quality soy sauce
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, ground in food processor with 1 tablespoon peanut oil*
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter*
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 bunch kale, chopped (about 7 or 8 cups)
3 cups green cabbage, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups low-sodium or homemade vegetable broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
1 19oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Cooked marinated tofu slices
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

1. In a stockpot or large saucepan, heat peanut oil over medium heat. Add the onions, ginger, garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté for about 7 minutes, stirring often, until onions are translucent.
2. Add tomatoes, cumin, coriander, allspice, cinnamon, sambal oelek, soy sauce, ground peanuts, and peanut butter. Sauté for another 2 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add kale, cabbage, sweet potatoes, and potatoes. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring, until kale in beginning to wilt down.
4. Add vegetable broth, tomato sauce, and sugar. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, immediately turn heat down to low, cover the pot and let simmer for about 35-40 minutes. Or until the root vegetable are tender.
5. Remove lid, stir in the chickpeas, tofu, and coconut milk. Heat through for about 5 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice and cilantro. If needed, adjust seasonings to taste with more salt, lime juice or sugar.
Serves: 5 to 7

*If you don’t want to take the time to grind the peanuts, just substitute about 1/4 or 1/3 cup natural peanut butter.


8 Responses to “African Peanut-Coconut Stew”

  1. 1 Colleen December 30, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Will you please cook for me everyday?

  2. 2 Paul W January 18, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Ross, Brooks’ friend Paul here. I just made this for my house out here in Vancouver and they all raved about how good it was! I had already eaten when you made this in December, but it is so good. Keep it up!

    • 3 rosscorder January 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks! Yeah, people seem to really like that recipe. Probably the most out of anything I’ve put on here. I think it’s the richness of the peanut butter… who doesn’t like peanut butter?! Every kid in North America grows up eating PB and J sandwiches!

  3. 4 Carmelia October 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    This stew is delicious! The first time I made it I served it over quinoa, the second over red rice. Amazing!

  4. 5 Carmyn December 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I’ve made this stew several times, it’s delicous! I love tofu but omit it on this dish and instead rely on the delicous chick peas for the protein. I give this recipe a 10.

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My name is Ross. I'm a food loving vegan and these are some of my recipes. I'm also the owner of Hot Beans vegan takeout in Kensington Market, Toronto. Check out my 'about' page for more info. Enjoy!

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