Tofu Satay with Life Force Salad

Sharing is caring!

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.

Close up of a plate filled with fresh raw salad and tofu in a thick satay sauce

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.

Tofu Satay and Life Force Salad! The perfect combo of healthy and indulgent, find the recipe here. Click To Tweet

Two dinner plates filled with fresh raw vegetable salad and tofu in a thick satay sauce on the kitchen table

VEGAN 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!

Ingredients for a vegan satay sauce laid out on the kitchen bench

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!

Fresh raw vegetable 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!

Because the tofu satay is quite rich, I think nutritionally it is best to stick with a heaping plate full of vegetables rather than opting for rice.

Close up of julienned vegetables on a chopping board

You’ll be able to whip this dish up within 30 minutes, and you’ll have enough for two generous mains or three smaller meals.

Close up of a plate filled with tofu satay and fresh vegetables on a woven placemat

Enjoy! Have a wonderful weekend,


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.

Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Tofu Satay

Tofu in a lush spicy peanut satay sauce with a fresh raw salad and tangy dressing – done in 30 minutes and super satisfying. Will serve two as a generous main or three smaller portions (ie serves two with leftovers).
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Gluten free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 3
Calories: 452kcal



  • Light drizzle of olive oil to cook in
  • 300 g organic tofu firm
  • 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
  • 3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • Juice of half a lime


  • carrots
  • zucchinis
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • cups mung beans
  • 2 baby cucumbers


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


Nutrition panel is an estimate only.


Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 508mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin C: 58% | Calcium: 24% | Iron: 30%
Nutrition Facts
Tofu Satay
Amount Per Serving
Calories 452 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 43%
Sodium 508mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 8g 32%
Sugars 17g
Protein 17g 34%
Vitamin C 58%
Calcium 24%
Iron 30%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Vegan Tofu Satay – tofu cubes in a spicy peanut satay sauce paired with a crisp raw salad. Healthy and indulgent! ⠀⠀⠀ #vegantofusatay #tofusataycurry #tofusatayhealthy #vegansataysauce #vegansatayrecipe #vegansataytofu #vegansatayglutenfree #AscensionKitchen ⠀⠀⠀ // Pin to your own inspiration board! //

 Vegan Tofu Satay – tofu cubes in a spicy peanut satay sauce paired with a crisp raw salad. Healthy and indulgent! ⠀⠀⠀ #vegantofusatay #tofusataycurry #tofusatayhealthy #vegansataysauce #vegansatayrecipe #vegansataytofu #vegansatayglutenfree #AscensionKitchen ⠀⠀⠀ // Pin to your own inspiration board! //


Hi I’m Lauren, practising Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutritionist, and essential oils educator in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m incredibly passionate about food as medicine, and helping people connect with the healing power of Nature. I’ve been sharing my recipes and health articles here since 2012.

BNatMed, AdDip NutMed, BCS, Certified FitGenes Practitioner.