Vegan Pad thai style tofu satay skewers with peanut sauce marks the beginning of party themed posts on my blog. As most of you know carveyourcraving is turning one this month. It’s party time , so stay tuned for party food ideas and recipes which will be going all month long . Do follow me on facebook and pinterest for recent recipe updates.
This post is devoted to Pad thai lovers!
If you love Pad thai , you will agree that these babies are so appetizer worthy. Entertain your guests with this delicious skewers which requires easy preparation .
These Vegan Pad thai tofu satay skewers are inspired by the classic Pad Thai which is served as a main course.
It’s summertime , so get grilling . I do not have an outdoor grill but thoroughly enjoying grilling on my small panini grill . If you do not own one, then pan fried or baked tofu tastes equally great.
These Vegan Pad thai tofu satay skewers are packed with pad thai flavors .
What is Satay?
Satay actually originated in Indonesia . It’s considered their national dish and mainly uses skewered / grilled and seasoned meat and poultry . It’s the most famous street food out there.
Although both Thailand and Malaysia claim it as their own, its Southeast Asian origin was in Java, Indonesia. There satay was developed from the Indian kebab brought by the Muslim traders. Even India cannot claim its origin, for there it was a legacy of Middle Eastern influence.
— Jennifer Brennan (1988), Satay
Information credit – Wikipedia
We love ordering this appetizer in the restaurants which is served along with peanut sauce.
The recipe I am sharing today is a vegan and thai spin on satay. It starts with pressing the water out of the tofu , marinating them with pad thai sauce , grilling tofu skewers to perfection and serving them with quick salad and peanut sauce.
Tofu – I am not sure about using it , I don’t like the taste.
Well I have been there – turned from tofu hater to tofu lover , infact my husband (an ardent paneer lover) is still skeptical about having tofu. But he loved the way this one turned out. So if he has approved it then I have to share it with you too.
In all my cooking years I have learnt that choosing the right kind of tofu and preparing it right before actual cooking is very important.
I like firm and extra firm tofu for grilling and baking.
What about the texture and the taste ?
It’s so mushy , full of water and not at all appetizing look wise or taste -wise.
That is true , tofu is taste less and comes packaged sunk in water.
But there is an easy and effective trick to make it sturdier texture wise and more appetizing.
This trick totally changes the texture making it so appetizing.
I agree it it tasteless, but isn’t that good news. I mean you can infuse in whatever flavors you like. You can customize the heck out of it.
I wanna know the trick please!
Take off the tofu block from the package. Now for more chewy dense texture you have to press the tofu to get rid of excess water. You have to wrap tofu with couple of dish towels or cheesecloth . Place it on a strainer / colander . And top the tofu gently with some weight so that the tofu is pressed down and excess water drains slowly. You will even need to place the colander on a plate or a tray to collect the dripping water from the tofu.
Now this weight can be a stack of sturdy bowls or a heavy pan. Press it down for at least 20 minutes and maximum upto 2 hours. Congratulations- your tofu is all ready to be used.
See how easy it is. By just adding one step extra to the process is so worth it.
At this point you may store tofu in an airtight container or zip lock bag for 2 days without water until ready to use.
By the time tofu is pressing down , you can do other preparations on the side , like making the sauce , cutting veggies if any and cleaning up the space to save time.
Hope you give this trick a try which will change your opinion about tofu.
Let’s get back to the recipe
You guyssss , it’s all about the sauce. It has bold flavors – a mix of sweetness, tang , spice and crunch. It has it all.
The sweetness comes from the agave while peanut butter adds substance to this sauce. Tamarind is used here to boost up the tang and roasted peanuts provide exciting crunch to this recipe. Not to forget the heat factor- cayenne pepper gives a great kick and sprinkle of fresh red chillies just makes it even better. The entire package screams thai . Authentic satay requires turmeric to be an important ingredient, but I took a liberty to add very little here. Feel free to add some more if you wish.
Did I tell you the best part – this recipe doesn’t call for making dipping sauce separately . It’s all in one.
Below picture shows step by step marinating process .
As I mentioned tofu will pick up any flavors you throw in , so marinating is important. Marinate for at least 20 minutes recommended . You can leave the marinated tofu for upto 2 days in the fridge in a airtight container .This make ahead of time option makes it more desirable for a party menu.
If you are not Vegan , you may substitute tofu with paneer too , no need to press it . Just marinate and grill or pan fry. It’s equally delicious!
Wanna join in!
Vegan Pad thai style tofu satay skewers with peanut sauce
- 14 oz/ 397 grams /1 package extra firm tofu pressed *
- For marinating and pad thai dipping sauce
- 4 tablespoon peanut butter
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil or of your choice
- 3 tablespoon naturally brewed soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon agave nectar*
- 2 tablespoon tamarind paste
- ½ tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chilly sauce / cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon corn flour
- 2 tablespoon water
- 3-4 twists of black pepper
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup roasted roughly crushed peanuts
- Shredded cabbage and fresh red chilies for garnish* optional
Cut pressed tofu in desired shapes, square or long rectangle pieces .
Whisk or blend in all ingredients mentioned for marinating until smooth.
Reserve 3 tablespoon of the prepared marinade to use as dipping sauce.
Dip each tofu piece in the remaining marinade to coat well all sides.
Let it marinate for 20 minutes at least.
Now heat up the grill to high. Brush some oil on it.
Insert metal or wooden skewers into the tofu carefully.
Grill on each side for about 6-7 minutes or until grill mark appears.
Serve it on a bed of chopped cabbage or greens.
Top it with peanuts and fresh red chilies.
Serve it with prepared dipping sauce.
Refer to above pictorial for marinating.
Refer above - how to press tofu
If you are a paneer lover - Paneer works great as well instead of tofu
You can pan fry tofu using a non stick pan if you do not own a grill.
You can even bake tofu at 400 deg f/200 deg c , flipping it halfway for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crisp
If using wooden skewers , soak them in water for 15 minutes before using. This is to prevent burning.
Substitute agave with honey or same amount of sugar.
Substitute vinegar with lemon juice.
Taste the marinade and make changes to your preference .
You can serve it with a side of small salad too.
This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled for larger crowd .
Make ahead of time tip-
Marinate and refrigerate up to 2 days in advance.
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Hope you like this recipe and do give it a try.
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Satay information credit- Wikipedia