Tofu Satay

Looking to spice up your holiday food selection? Make tofu satay! It might not be what you typically think of when you think “holiday food,” but the creamy texture and bold flavors are definitely a comfort from the cold weather. It is a super versatile dish: it appeals to vegans and omnivores alike. The sauce is so delicious you’ll be trying not to eat spoonfuls of it before your guests arrive. Seriously, make extra. If by some miracle you have any left at the end of your party, you’ll be looking forward to reusing it on roasted veggies, pasta, sandwiches, wraps, etc the next day. This particular recipe comes from Jeanne Lemlin’s “Vegetarian Classics.” It says you can roast or grill the tofu. The roasted version is below but you can find the grilling instructions here.

What You Need:
3 ½ tbsp tamari soy sauce*
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sherry*
¾ cup canned coconut milk*
½ cup natural-style peanut butter*
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tsp curry powder
1 ½ tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp canola oil*
Dash of cayenne pepper
2 lbs. extra-firm tofu cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares

What to Do:
Combine two tablespoons of the soy sauce with the sherry and sesame oil in a bowl and add in the tofu and red peppers. Toss very gently to coat evenly. Let marinate anywhere from 30 minutes to up to 8 hours (refrigerate if marinating over an hour).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a large, shallow backing dish with foil.

Make the curry sauce by tossing the rest of the ingredients into a blender and pureeing until smooth. Set aside.

Very gently toss the tofu and red peppers with 1/3 of the curry sauce. Place into your baking dish and roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tofu turns a deep, golden brown.

Let the tofu and peppers cool to room temperature. When you can easily handle them, skewer them onto mini bamboo skewers alternating tofu with peppers. Serve alongside the rest of the curry sauce.

*Notes: While I followed the recipe pretty closely, I made a few minor substitutions that I don’t think affected the flavor or texture in any significant way. I used regular, lite soy sauce instead of tamari, olive oil instead of canola oil and regular peanut butter instead of the natural-style kind.

While I happened to have sherry on hand, I suspect that sake, mirin or any slightly sweet alcohol will do. The alcohol is there mostly to create an emulsion and it adds only a small about a flavor

Lastly, coconut milk tends to separate so I recommend giving the can a few good shakes before opening it.

About the Author

Currently based out of Boston, Jesal is a blogger, freelance writer, yoga enthusiast and lifelong vegetarian who spent four years eating her way through New York City and various other cities around the globe. After answering hundreds of emails and phone calls answering the question, "Where's a cool place I can take my vegetarian friend out to eat" she started Veggiewala to efficiently share her knowledge of the vegetarian food scene with curious carnivores, flexitarians and other vegetarians.