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Thai Tofu Satay with Peanut Sauce

Last Updated on October 11, 2023

Indulge in the combination of East Asian tradition and modern gastronomy with this exquisite Thai tofu satay with peanut sauce.

Bursting with amazing flavors in a plant-based recipe, this tofu satay elevates the timeless satay experience.

Each bite of succulent tofu is a masterpiece of texture and taste.

Tender tofu marinated in aromatic spices creates a savory, sweet, and subtly spiced note on your plate.

This tofu satay takes you on a journey to Asia with its fantastic flavors, aromas, and colors.

If you want to experience the taste of innovation meeting tradition with this plant-based culinary craftsmanship made easily at home with simple and humble ingredients.

Join me as we dive into the rich heritage of satay and how to elevate the dining experience at home.

Let’s get cooking.

Delicious Tofu Satay Recipe – Why You’ll Love This Recipe

tofu satay with peanut sauce
  • Learn an Asian dish with ease. It’s great for themed dinners or family gatherings. vegans or nonvegans will love it.
  • It’s a healthy recipe that can be served as a main or appetizer made with delicious tofu.
  • It can be served with noodles, stir fry veggies, and/or rice.
  • It’s convenient to eat because the tofu skewers are already served in satay sticks.
  • The leftover marinate can be a base for Thai curry. No waste!

Ingredients for Vegan Tofu Satay

satay marinade for tofu

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb/450g firm or extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1”/2.5cm cubes (Softer tofu will break when grilling).
  • 2 large/400g red bell peppers, chopped in 1”/2.5cm pieces
  • 1 medium/185g red onion, chopped in ¾”/18mm pieces

Marinade:

  • 1 ½ cup/355ml coconut milk (full fat preferably)
  • 1 stalk/25g fresh lemongrass
  • 2”/30g fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large/4g bird’s eye chili (Thai pepper)
  • 2 tsp/4g ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp/2g ground coriander
  • 1 tsp/6g coarse salt
  • 2 tbsp/30ml fresh lime juice

To serve:

How To Make Tofu Satay

Prepare the tofu marinade:

veggie satay recipe
  1. Remove the outermost layer of lemongrass to get the freshest portion. Trim the top and bottom off.
  2. With the back of a knife or a meat mallet, beat along the length of the stalk until it starts to split. Then chop into 2″/5cm pieces.
  3. Peel the ginger and slice into ¼”/6mm or thinner slices.
  4. Cut the stem off the chili and slice it in half. For reduced spice, scrape and discard most of the seeds.
vegan satay tofu
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the chopped lemongrass, sliced ginger, and chili. Simmer for 5 minutes, being careful not to let the mixture boil.
  3. Add the turmeric and coriander to the saucepan. Stir well and simmer for another 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add the lime juice—Season with salt and set aside.

How To Prepare and Serve Tofu Skewers

grilled tofu
  1. Drain the tofu well and press to get rid of excess moisture. Cut the tofu into 1″/2.5cm pieces and place the tofu pieces in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Pour the marinade over the tofu and toss them gently to coat everything. Cover and place in the fridge to soak for 1 hour or up to 4 hours for the best flavor.
  3. Turn the oven to broil. Put the rack in the upper third level of the oven (but not in the highest position.) Line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
  4. Cut the bell peppers and onion into ¾”-1”/18-25mm squares. Break the onion section into layers of 2 or 3 at most for an even and easier cooking.
  5. Drain the tofu from the marinade*. To assemble, pierce a piece of tofu with the skewer followed by 2 layers of onion and then bell pepper. Repeat until 1/3 of the skewer is filled.
  6. Repeat for the rest of the skewers and place the tofu on the prepared baking tray.
  7. Cook under the broiler for 4 to 5 minutes until tofu is lightly brown on one side. Flip and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. To make this recipe even more exciting, serve with a plate of jasmine rice and a small bowl of delicious peanut sauce as a dipping sauce.
tofu satay skewers

Cooking Notes

  • You can use the marinade as the base for a curry with potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables of your choice. Remove the lemon grass, ginger, and chili. Add a bit more coconut milk to taste.
  • If using bamboo skewers, soak them in warm water for at least 30 minutes before assembling to prevent ends from burning.
  • You can grill them over a barbecue as well. Place over hot coals with a low flame and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  • If you have leftovers, you can reheat them in the air fryer or a pan on the stove over medium heat with a little bit of oil.

Tofu in Plant-Based Cooking

vegetarian satay skewers

Tofu is a type of bean curd made with ground soybeans boiled in water with salt until they coagulate and form curds.

Once the curds are formed, they are taken out of the water and pressed into blocks, which are sold as tofu.

You can find several types of tofu depending on their density. Silken tofu is usually sweetened and mixed with other ingredients to make desserts.

The firm variety, which are the ones we are using in this recipe, is known for holding their shape while cooking and is excellent for deep frying, broiling, grilling, and more.

Health benefits of Tofu

It is known to have a high protein content. It can take the place of any meat in many recipes.

It is also low in fat and low carb, which can be fitted into many diets, including keto. It is also known to help combat certain cancers, heart conditions, and diseases.

(Source: WebMD)

What To Serve With Thai Tofu Satay Skewers

peanut satay tofu

There are different ways to enjoy Thai tofu satay with peanut sauce around the streets of Asia. 

Stir-fried noodles – Such as Pad See Ew, Pad Thai, or Peanut Noodles. As they can take the place of rice as a starch. It’s quick to make and packs many of the same bold flavors that Asian cuisine has. It can be served with veggies and mushrooms.

Coconut Rice – This is what completes the meal. As Asians say, “A meal isn’t a meal without rice.” Tofu satay served with rice is always a winner. You can have it steamed or tossed in a wok for fried rice. If you’re cooking fried rice, add a few more veggies or mushrooms.

Thai peanut sauce (Satay sauce) – In the West, they call it peanut sauce. This is made with creamy peanut butter, rice vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, and a few more ingredients.

Tofu satay with peanut sauce pairs well together as the creamy taste of the dip balances the savory tofu.

How To Make Satay Sauce

As mentioned before, satay sauce pairs well with our tofu satay recipe. And in this part, I’ll teach you how to make it at home. Here’s a simple version.

peanut butter sauce

Peanut Sauce Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (unsweetened, unseasoned)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water (to thin it out)

How To Make The Peanut Sauce

  1. In a small bowl, add the peanut butter, brown sugar, soy sauce, and lime juice.
  2. Whisk until everything is combined and the sauce is smooth.
  3. If it becomes too thick, add water a tablespoon at a time to thin it out. Consistency should be thick but pourable.
  4. Add the chili garlic sauce and whisk again. This is optional if you want it spicy.

This quick and easy peanut sauce is best made with natural peanut butter, savory soy sauce, a little sweetener, and lime juice for tang.

This sauce is really versatile, and you can use it on other dishes as well. You can use it on pad Thai noodles, spring rolls, and much more. 

Tips, Variations, And Substitutions

🍢 Almond butter – This can take the place of peanut butter. It acts as the base of the peanut sauce and gives off a nutty, creamy flavor.

🍢 Maple syrup – This is an amazing sweetener. It has a caramel-vanilla taste that adds a different depth of flavor to our sauce.

But be careful as maple syrup is 3 times sweeter than brown sugar. Maple syrup can be easily found in the breakfast aisle section of your nearest grocery or supermarket.

🍢 Lemon – It has the same citrusy, tangy-sweet flavor as the lime.

🍢 Eggplant – Aside from bell peppers, you can add more veggies to the skewers by using eggplants.

This gives it a meatier texture while keeping it light and vegan if you don’t want to add something heavy.

What To Do With Your Leftover Marinade Sauce

You do not want to dispose of your marinade, believe me. You can use it as a base to make a delicious vegan curry. 

Bring the marinade to a boil in a saucepan. Once it begins to simmer, take out the aromatics like the ginger and lemon grass.

Then add vegetables like potatoes, carrots, or even eggplant. Pour in more coconut milk and add your curry paste. Stir until combined and serve with rice or your tofu satay as well.

You can also use green or red curry paste for this.

Storage Tips

If you have leftover cooked tofu satay, you can wrap them up in a big sheet of aluminum foil and keep them in the fridge. You can heat them up in a pan or air fryer when you need them.

The marinade can also be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge.

Store your peanut sauce in the fridge, and it should be kept in a separate airtight container and chilled as well. These will be kept for 5 to 7 days.

Make sure it is stored properly so the quality and taste will still be optimal for consumption.

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tofu in satay sauce

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. IS THAI TOFU SATAY VEGAN?

Yes, but even if you’re not vegan, you can still enjoy this recipe, as the tofu has the texture of meat. You can cook it on the grill if you don’t have an oven at home.

2. WHAT ELSE IS THE PEANUT SAUCE GOOD FOR?

Peanut sauce is an incredibly versatile condiment. It’s also suitable for salads, spring rolls, noodles, and more.

satay tofu recipe

Thai Tofu Satay Recipe

This Thai tofu satay recipe will take you on a vegan trip. The delicious tofu skewers are soaked in an Asian marinade and are the perfect appetizer or main!
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
resting time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 257kcal
Author: SHU-CHUN

Ingredients

  • 1 lb firm or extra firm tofu drained and cut into 1”/2.5cm cubes
  • 2 pcs large red bell peppers chopped in 1”/2.5cm pieces
  • 1 medium red onion chopped in ¾”/18mm pieces

Marinade

  • cup coconut milk (full fat preferably)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 30 g fresh ginger peeled and sliced
  • 1 large bird’s eye chili (Thai pepper)
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

To Serve

  • Cooked rice (optional)
  • Peanut sauce (optional)

Instructions

Prepare the tofu marinade:

  • Remove the outermost layer of lemongrass to get the freshest portion. Trim the top and bottom off.
  • With the back of a knife or a meat mallet, beat along the length of the stalk until it starts to split. Then chop into 2"/5cm pieces.
  • Peel the ginger and slice into ¼”/6mm or thinner slices.
  • Cut the stem off the chili and slice it in half. For reduced spice, scrape and discard most of the seeds.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  • Add the chopped lemongrass, sliced ginger, and chili. Simmer for 5 minutes, being careful not to let the mixture boil.
  • Add the turmeric and coriander to the saucepan. Stir well and simmer for another 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the lime juice. Season with salt and set aside.

How To Prepare and Serve Tofu Skewers

  • Drain the tofu well and press to get rid of excess moisture. Cut the tofu into 1"/2.5cm pieces and place the tofu pieces in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Pour the marinade over the tofu and toss them gently to coat everything. Cover and place in the fridge to soak for 1 hour or up to 4 hours for the best flavor.
  • Turn the oven to broil. Put the rack in the upper third level of the oven (but not in the highest position.) Line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
  • Cut the bell peppers and onion into ¾”-1”/18-25mm squares. Break the onion section into layers of 2 or 3 at most for an even and easier cooking.
  • Drain the tofu from the marinade*. To assemble, pierce a piece of tofu with the skewer followed by 2 layers of onion and then bell pepper. Repeat until 1/3 of the skewer is filled.
  • Repeat for the rest of the skewers and place the tofu on the prepared baking tray.
  • Cook under the broiler for 4 to 5 minutes until tofu is lightly brown on one side. Flip and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and serve immediately. To make this recipe even more exciting, serve with a plate of jasmine rice and a small bowl of delicious peanut sauce as a dipping sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 667mg | Potassium: 504mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 5mg

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