Recipe of the Week | Tofu Satay

 Tofu Satay | Photo by Randolph Graham

Satay is a dish of Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Traditional satay consists of small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer and served with a spicy peanut sauce. My version is vegan substituting super-firm tofu for the meat. I think you’ll like it!


Marinade Ingredients:

4 tablespoons tamari sauce

2 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

2 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoon dried basil

2 teaspoon garlic powder


Satay Ingredients:

14 – 16 ounces organic extra firm tofu


Peanut Sauce Ingredients:

½ small sweet onion (chopped fine)

1 teaspoon garlic (minced)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon red curry paste

1 tablespoon tamari sauce

1 teaspoon tamarind paste

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

½ cup coconut milk

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon lime juice


Additional Ingredients:

9 Bamboo skewers (cut into 8-inch lengths)

Fresh cilantro (chopped for garnish)

Fresh lime wedges (garnish)

Peanuts (chopped for garnish)


Marinade Directions

Combine all ingredients (tamari thru garlic) and whisk until smooth. Set aside.


Satay Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the tofu into three ½-inch slices and place side by side on a layer of five to six paper towels. Place another layer of five to six paper towels on top of the tofu. Place a cutting board on top of the paper towels. Put weights (such as cans of tomato sauce) on top of the cutting board to help press out as much moisture from the tofu as possible.

After the tofu is pressed (about 15 minutes) cut each ½-inch slice into three 1½x5 inch rectangles.  You should have nine rectangles. Pour half of the marinade into a 9×13–inch baking pan and place the tofu rectangles in the marinade, making sure they are evenly coated on all sides. Cover and set aside for at 30 minutes to marinate.

Place the marinaded tofu carefully onto a parchment lined baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and turn the rectangles over. Baste with the balance of the marinade. Bake for 10 minutes more. While the tofu is baking, prepare the peanut sauce.


Peanut Sauce Directions:

Heat a saucepan on medium heat. Add onion to a saucepan with the garlic, sesame oil, and red curry paste. Sauté until the onion is slightly translucent – about three minutes. Add tamari sauce, tamarind paste, brown sugar, and coconut milk. Stir well. Add in the peanut butter and stir again until smooth. The sauce will be quite thick. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Pour sauce into a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside to cool.


To Serve:

Remove the tofu from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before putting the bamboo skewers in one end of each rectangle. The skewers should go all the way to the other end but not so far that they stick out the top. Place the satay on a serving and bring to the table with side dishes of peanut sauce, fresh cilantro, fresh lime wedges, and chopped peanuts.


For additional recipes, see Chef Randy’s website at

Chef Randy has been a vegetarian for over 40 years and eats local and organic grain, fresh fruit, and vegetables as much as possible. He is known locally as the “Healthy Chef.” His column, Chef Randy, is syndicated in California newspapers. See his website at for more recipes.

Visit his author’s page on Amazon for culinary inspiration!  


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