Thai Tofu Satay (Vegetarian/Vegan)

Thai Tofu Satay
Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, 08/18/10
    35 mins
Try this Thai Tofu Satay for a vegetarian/vegan main course dish that's incredibly flavorful and nutritionally complete. The satay marinade for this dish has been handed down through my husband's family for generations, going all the way back to Thailand and northern Malaysia, and you'll taste its authenticity! Be sure to pair it with my Real Peanut Satay Sauce - it's easy to make and adds the finishing touch to this great vegan dish. (Note: this satay can be grilled OR cooked in your oven - see oven instructions below recipe.) ENJOY!

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 to 1 package firm tofu (approx. 12 oz./350 g)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 purple onion OR yellow cooking onion, sliced into wedges for skewering
  • optional: 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup minced lemongrass, fresh or frozen-prepared
  • 2 shallots OR 1/4 cup purple onion, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 fresh red chilies, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. regular soy sauce
  • 6 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • salt to taste

How to Make It

  1. Slice tofu into thick cubes or long pieces, as shown in the photo. Place in a mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Place all marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blitz to create a dark, rich Thai marinade.
  3. Taste-test the marinade for salt, spice, and sweetness. Note: with this mariande, you should first taste SALTY, followed by SWEET and spicy. Add a little salt if needed, or more sugar if not sweet enough. Add more chili for more heat, if desired.
  1. Pour marinade over the tofu, turning tofu to cover all sides. Add the bell pepper pieces and onion wedges and gently turn in the marinade together with the tofu. Set in the refrigerator to marinate at least 1 hour, or cover and leave to marinate up to 24 hours.
  2. Thread the tofu, bell pepper, and onion onto wooden or stainless-steel skewers (soak wooden ones in your sink 10 minutes beforehand to prevent burning). Retain the bowl with the leftover mariande for basting.
  3. Lightly brush grill with oil, then set skewers over the fire. Grill until tofu and vegetables are lightly browned. As you grill, baste with leftover marinade. If desired, sprinkle some sesame seeds over each satay stick after basting.
  4. Serve with my Easy Satay Peanut Sauce , and plain rice, Coconut Rice , or Sticky Rice. ENJOY!

To Make this Dish in Your Oven: Be sure to soak wooden satay sticks at least 10 minutes before using this method. Lay prepared satay on a baking sheet (cover first with parchment paper, if desired). Set oven to BROIL, and place a rack on the highest or second-highest rung of your oven. Slide tofu under the broiler and broil 5 minutes per side, or until tofu is nicely browned and vegetables are lightly charred. Baste halfway through cooking with leftover marinade, and sprinkle over the sesame seeds just before serving.