Crispy baked tofu satay served with peanut sauce. This high-protein appetizer is marinaded and then baked for the most delicious tofu ever.
A few years ago (well…more than a few really…) Jaye and I went to New York City for a month-long visit. We were there to record music for our first album, or should I say ‘only’ album so far.
But aside from music, the biggest fun we had was vegan restaurants. We spent an insane amount of money (that we only realized once we got home and tallied up the damages, oh the naivety!) eating out at ALL the fancy vegan and raw vegan places in New York.
One place was our total favorite. It was called ‘Soy and Sake’ and had an awesome, and very extensive, vegan menu. I was so sad to hear this place is no longer, because seriously we’d make a trip to New York JUST for this restaurant!
One of the things we had every time we went there was tofu satay with peanut sauce. It was simply divine!
Ever since then, every time we’re in any restaurant and see the word ‘satay’ we always get so excited but it’s NEVER tofu, it’s always chicken! So sad!
We’ve even asked (many times) if they can do it with tofu for us, but the answer has always been no. So we never had tofu satay again – until now!
This dish takes a bit of time, but the bulk of it is hands off time, just while the tofu is pressing and then marinating and then baking, but the time spent is totally worth it.
You get the most deliciously impressive appetizer out of your effort. Putting in a bit of effort isn’t the issue, it’s just that you want the result to be worth it, and this is.
How To Make Tofu Satay
You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
So there are a few stages to it. You first have to press the tofu. A tofu press is super helpful for this step! Though you can also just press it by putting it on a plate with another plate on top of it and then stack something heavy on top of that. We tried it without pressing it first and it was still okay but the tofu was much more fragile and breakable. So pressing it first takes care of that issue.
And then you marinade it in a simple marinade of soy sauce, peanut butter, brown sugar, dried basil and garlic powder.
Then transfer to a parchment lined baking tray and bake for around 20-25 minutes until crispy (turning over once).
While the tofu is baking you whip up your peanut sauce, which you heat gently in a saucepan and then squeeze in some lime.
And once the tofu is baked to perfection, you let it cool for a bit and then place the tofu onto satay sticks.
Serve with fresh lime and cilantro!
A Perfect Appetizer
It makes a perfect appetizer and about 2 tofu satay per person is probably good. Don’t make the mistake we did and eat all of it (12 satays) with only 2 people!
Sure, we had it for lunch and it wasn’t an appetizer, but it is much more filling than it looks.
This does keep very well so if you have leftovers you can keep them stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
We had some leftover peanut sauce that Jaye was serving on noodles the next day. The peanut sauce does firm up quite a bit in the fridge, but when put onto hot food that isn’t an issue (or you can reheat it).
More Delicious Vegan Appetizers
- Vegan Chicken Nuggets
- Crispy Air Fryer Tofu
- Vegan Dumplings
- Crispy BBQ Tofu
- Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower
- Baked Portobello Mushrooms
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!
Tofu Satay with Peanut Sauce
- 16 ounces Firm Tofu (450g) Two 8-ounce blocks
For the Marinade Sauce:
For the Peanut Sauce:
- ½ Small Onion White, Yellow or Brown, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Crushed Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- 1 teaspoon Red Curry Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Tamarind Paste
- 2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
- ½ cup Coconut Milk (120ml) Canned, Full Fat, Unsweetened
- ⅓ cup Peanut Butter (83g)
- ½ Small Lime squeezed
- Fresh Cilantro
- Fresh Lime
- Crushed Peanuts
- Press the tofu for 30 minutes either using a tofu press or by placing the tofu on a plate, with another plate on top of it and then piling some heavy stuff on top, like a heavy pot.
- While the tofu is pressing prepare the marinade sauce. Add the soy sauce, peanut butter, brown sugar, dried basil and garlic powder to a dish and use a whisk to mix together.
- When the tofu is pressed, cut each block into 5-6 strips and place them in the marinade sauce, using a teaspoon to put marinade sauce on top of the tofu strips as well so that there is marinade on the top and bottom of the tofu.
- Leave the tofu in the marinade sauce for at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 430°F (220°C).
- Place the marinaded tofu carefully onto a parchment lined baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes, turning over at the fifteen minute mark and then putting it back in for another 10 minutes.
- While the tofu is baking prepare your peanut sauce.
- Finely chop up half a small onion or quarter of a larger onion and add to a saucepan with the crushed garlic, sesame oil and red curry paste. Sauté until the onion is slightly softened. Add in the soy sauce, tamarind paste, brown sugar and coconut milk and stir in well. Then add in the peanut butter and stir until perfectly mixed and smooth. The sauce will be quite thick. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice.
- Remove the tofu from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before skewering them on the satay sticks.
- Serve with the peanut sauce, fresh cilantro, fresh lime and crushed peanuts.
- To make this meal gluten-free ensure you use a gluten-free soy sauce or use tamari instead.
- Check the red curry paste for vegan friendliness as some brands contain fish oil.
- Prep time does not include time spent pressing the tofu.
- Nutritional info includes the sauce.