Vegetarian Thai Satay

Vegan Thai Satay. voyagevixen2/Flickr
  • 33 mins
  • Prep: 18 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4

Vegetarian and vegan satay can be as delicious as regular satay, but there's a secret: a good marinade. 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--you will definitely taste its authenticity! 

This satay can be grilled or cooked in your oven. Be sure to pair it with a peanut satay sauce - it's easy to make and adds the finishing touch to this great vegan dish.

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound wheat gluten or soy protein strips, or your favorite vegetarian/mock chicken, or 1 block medium to firm/extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 purple onion or yellow cooking onion, sliced into wedges for skewering, optional
  • Satay Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup minced lemongrass, fresh or frozen
  • 2 shallots, or 1/4 cup purple onion, sliced
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 to 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 wheat gluten, mock chicken or tofu into strips or workable pieces (on the thin side for weaving the satay sticks through). Place in a bowl large enough for marinating and set aside.
  2. Place all marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend to create a dark, rich satay marinade. Taste-test the marinade for salt, spice and sweetness. With this marinade, you should first taste salty, followed by sweet and then 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 prepared strips, turning them to cover all sides.
  2. Add the onion, if using, and gently toss all together. Set in the refrigerator to marinate at least 1 hour, or cover and leave up to 24 hours. If using wooden skewers, soak in water 10 minutes before threading to prevent burning.
  3. Thread the wheat gluten, mock chicken or tofu pieces onto soaked wooden skewers or stainless-steel skewers. Reserve the leftover mariande for basting.
  4. If grilling, lightly brush grill with oil, then set skewers over a hot fire. Grill, rotating skewers, until all sides are lightly browned, basting generously with leftover marinade. (See below for oven instructions.)
  5. Serve with Easy Satay Peanut Sauce and plain rice, coconut rice or sticky rice

To Make this Dish in Your Oven

  1. After skewering, lay prepared satay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, if desired.
  2. Set oven to broil and place a rack on the highest or second-highest rung of your oven. Slide satay under the broiler and broil 5 minutes before turning. Continue broiling in this way until nicely browned on all sides and onions, if using, are lightly charred.
  3. Baste halfway through cooking with leftover marinade, and follow serving instructions above.