Tofu cubes coated in a thick and spicy peanut satay sauce – entirely plant based using aromatic spices in place of red curry paste. Pair this with a crisp raw Thai salad and a zingy dressing, and you’ve got one deliciously healthy meal.
Updated 17 July, 2019.
Tofu Satay - mid-week dinner win!
Honestly I could live off a pretty simple diet of whole foods with minimal sauces/dressings – I prefer my food light like this and can appreciate the full flavour of good produce.
But living with a meat-and-cheese-eating wine-loving Croatian man – not gonna happen.
In order to find a happy medium, and prevent him sneaking off down the road for yet another pizza with all the toppings, hearty and flavour-packed meals are where it’s at.
This tofu satay recipe caters to us both just perfectly: the satay – rich, thick, fragrant, sweet, spicy, tangy. The ‘Life Force Salad’ (I know, I’m such a fairy sometimes) – colourful, light, antioxidant packed, and tossed with a killer dressing. Big ticks from us both all round.
It's also a recipe you can whip up in under 30 minutes - and, you’ll have enough for two generous mains or three smaller meals.
[bctt tweet="Tofu Satay and Life Force Salad! The perfect combo of healthy and indulgent, find the recipe here." username="laurenglucina"]
Vegan Tofu Satay Sauce
A satay sauce is typically made with peanut butter, coconut milk, sugar, red curry paste and fish sauce.
My plant-based makeover uses:
- Coriander and cumin powder in place of red curry paste. Why? Because both are key spices in red curry paste, and this way we get all of the flavour without the shrimp it typically contains!
- Organic tamari (gluten free soy sauce) in place of the fish sauce, which helps give a little of that umami flavour
- Pure maple syrup as an alternative to cane sugar - less refined and tastes great
Add a bit of chilli, garlic and ginger, and a squeeze of fresh lime to your peanut and coconut base, and you’ve got one epic sauce right there!
Making the Perfect Vibrant Salad
The key to creating a visually impressive raw salad is to make use of a julienne peeler – they’re not too expensive and will quickly shred your vegetables into perfect ribbons – Master Chef style!
I've opted for a colourful combo of vegetables with different textures - mung bean sprouts, carrot, zucchini, cucumber, fennel and coriander.
Lastly - I highly recommend a salad spinner, to help you spin your washed vegetables dry. They're cheap as anything - so handy, no more soggy salads!
Nutritionist tip: because the tofu satay is quite rich, It's best to stick with a heaping plate full of vegetables rather than opting for rice. Less simple carbs, more phytonutrients.
Nutrition and Health Benefits
- Tofu is a complete protein source. Because it is a processed form of soy (unlike tempeh), I recommend sticking to one serving of tofu per week. However, the soy isoflavones within it have shown to be beneficial for post-menopausal women – promoting bone health via their phytoestrogen effects. Studies also show that soy isoflavones may support cardiovascular health, helping reduce arterial stiffness. Always choose organic, as soy, as you know, is often GMO
- Peanut butter is another great source of plant protein – again, choose a quality organic product as it can be heavily sprayed and poor quality peanuts are susceptible to mould growth (and therefore, a big trigger for immune reactions). Make sure there is no added sugar
- Garlic, ginger, cumin and coriander – all are aromatic spices that calm the gut and promote digestion
- Raw carrot, zucchini, fennel and cucumber are all jam packed with phytonutrients and enzymes – the best way to enjoy your vege!
More Tofu Recipes
- Quick Vegan Pho
- Rainbow Summer Roles with Spicy Peanut Lime Dipping Sauce
- Shiitake Immuno-Soup
- Holy Moly Lasagna
Happy cooking guys!
If you make and enjoy this recipe, please leave a rating below. And better yet – leave me a comment to tell me how you got on, or just say hi – I LOVE hearing from you. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest to see more of my everyday recipes and wellness tips.
- light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to cook in
- 300 g organic tofu firm (10.5oz)
- 1 shallot minced (or white onion)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
- 2 inch piece red chilli de-seeded, finely sliced
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon mirin or rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons tamari gluten free soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
- ½ cup coconut milk
- juice of half a lime see notes
LIFE FORCE SALAD:
- 1½ carrots
- 1½ zucchinis
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1½ cups mung bean sprouts
- 2 baby cucumbers
LIFE FORCE SALAD DRESSING
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon mirin or rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon tamari
- ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger peeled and minced
- 1cm piece red chilli de-seeded, minced
- juice of 1 lime
- Remove tofu from packet, pat dry with a paper towel and cut into cubes.
- Heat a small drizzle of olive oil in a pan (low-medium heat) and cook the tofu on all sides till golden. Set aside.
- Add another light drizzle of oil if needed, then fry shallot till golden. Add garlic, ginger, chilli and cook a few minutes. Add spices and cook till fragrant.
- Add maple, vinegar and tamari, followed by the peanut butter and coconut milk. Stir well to soften and combine.
- Remove from heat, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, add tofu back into the pan and toss to coat, then serve with a raw salad.
LIFE FORCE SALAD:
- Use a julienne peeler to shred the carrot and zucchini, and finely slice the fennel bulb.
- Rinse mung beans and spin dry.
- Top and tail the cucumber and slice into thin strips.
- Combine all ingredients in a salad bowl and toss to combine.
LIFE FORCE SALAD DRESSING:
- Add all ingredients to a jar and whisk well to combine. Drizzle over the salad and serve with the tofu satay. You may like to decorate the salad with fresh torn coriander and crushed peanuts.
- Firm tofu is preferred, otherwise it will crumble and turn to mush in the pan
- When you cook the tofu, keep the heat on the lower side to avoid burning
- Tempeh would be a great alternative to tofu
- I highly recommend the use of a salad spinner when washing/drying your vegetables - no more soggy salads
- A julienne peeler will give you fancy super thin strips of raw vegetables, it looks great
- Can't get fresh limes? Add 2-3 drops of doTERRA Lime essential oil for an intense flavour explosion!
- Store leftovers in the fridge
- Nutrition panel is an estimate only