Satay is my all time favorite Thai dish. (Although it was originally an Indonesian food, many cultures have their own version of it.) It is listed at number 14 on World’s 50 most delicious foods readers’ poll compiled by CNN in 2011. I have made it my mission to try every satay at as many Thai restaurants in Los Angeles as possible. Believe it or not there are like 10 vegan options in this city! I’ve even tried a large number of the actual chicken satays from before I became a vegetarian. After doing this very important research, I’ve concluded that there are 3 main factors that define a good satay- a balanced peanut sauce, (not too sweet, not too sour) a creamy satay marinade, and juicy ‘meat’ with crispy edges. You can’t really mess up the cucumber salad.
Traditionally satay is grilled, but I was out of propane so I baked these in the oven. Still delicious! These tasty skewers are about 120 calories each, with 15 grams of protein.
Tofu Satay with Chili Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Salad
makes about 5 skewers
5 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes
1 block of tofu (I used Trader Joe’s High Protein Organic Super Firm Tofu)
1 recipe for Sweet and Spicy Curry Sauce
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1.5 tsp raw agave nectar
2 tbs peanut butter (I actually used raw almond butter and it still tastes great.)
1 tbs Chili Garlic Sauce, you can find it in the grocery store next to the Sriracha
juice from 1/2 a lime
2 to 3 tsp agave nectar
1 tbs water
slice the tofu into 1″ square chunks, about 1/4 ” thick. dip them one by one into the curry sauce and stack them on the skewers. Set them aside to marinate while you make the rest.
For the cucumber sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine, set aside in the fridge.
Peanut sauce is NEVER perfect when you first combine the ingredients, at least not for me! Combine all the ingredients and stir well until smooth, then taste it. You might have to adjust the balance by adding a tiny bit more peanut butter, or adding a tiny bit more water if it’s not saucy enough. Just taste often and make sure the adjustments are incremental.
Preheat the oven t0 400 degrees, or fire up your grill.
For the oven: Thoroughly grease a pan with some oil. I found it was best to use the coconut oil or olive oil spray, and spray the pan generously. Then lay the satay skewers on the pan and lightly spray them as well.
Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for about 5 more minutes, until edges are golden brown.
For the grill: (recommended) Make sure your grill is well-greased and cook the skewers until the edges get charred and crispy. If you have some leftover curry sauce, you can baste the skewers with a little more sauce about halfway through. Handle them very carefully as the tofu can easily crumble.
Serve with the peanut dipping sauce and cucumber salad on the side.