These satay tofu skewers are so easy to make with shortcut ingredients, and can be cooked in the oven, BBQ or air fryer. A crunchy peanut sauce makes the perfect dip.
🍴 Why you will love this recipe
These deliciously crispy tofu skewers are so easy to make, but an impressive vegan or vegetarian dish. They can be cooked in the oven, air fryer or on the BBQ.
Satay tofu is so versatile - it makes a great starter, a light lunch or a BBQ main event. Both the tofu and the peanut sauce are packed with protein, so this is both delicious and nutritious!
The creamy peanut sauce is slightly spicy and sour with chilli and lime, and makes a perfect dip for the skewers.
📝 What you need
Extra firm tofu It is really important that you use extra-firm tofu rather than any other variety. I really like the Tofoo brand pictured above, as it doesn't need any pressing or faffing about, you can use it straight out of the packet once you have patted it dry.
Peanut butter You can choose whether to use smooth or crunchy peanut butter, depending on how crunchy you would like your sauce to be. Look for a brand with as few ingredients as possible.
Thai curry paste Using a pre-made paste makes this a quick and easy recipe. Do check ingredients as many contain fish sauce. My favourite brand is Thai Taste as pictured above.
You will need:
- 9 wooden skewers
- A tub for marinading
- Frying pan
- Baking tray
👩🏽🍳 How to make your Satay Tofu
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼.
Slice the tofu block into three rectangles, then each into three long fingers. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a large tub. Place the tofu into the marinade, turning to make sure it is fully coated on all sides. Chill for 30 minutes or more.
To make the peanut sauce, finely chop the onion and chilli. Fry gently, then add the Thai curry paste, sugar and coconut milk. Simmer, then add the peanut butter and lime juice. Set aside.
Place the tofu pieces onto an oiled baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, turning a few times to make sure they are golden and crispy all over. Remove from the oven and put a wooden skewer through each piece, then serve with the peanut sauce.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
Get the tofu pieces as dry as you can. This helps them to drink in as much of the marinade as possible, and also helps them get even crispier in the oven.
Marinate the tofu for as long as you can. Longer in the marinade means even more flavour in the tofu. 30 minutes is a minimum, but overnight is even better!
Bake until golden and crispy all over. The final baking time will very according to how wet your tofu is when it goes in, whether you have a fan oven or not, and all sorts of other factors. Just keep turning and brushing with marinade until it is a deep golden brown and just starting to char on the corners.
Adjust the consistency of the peanut sauce as you like. If it seems a bit too thick, add more lime juice or just a splash of water until it is a thick dipping consistency. If it is too runny, just bubble it in the frying pan for a minute more until thick.
Keep leftover peanut sauce in the fridge. It makes a delicious sauce for noodles or stir fries!
Yes absolutely, though I would recommend pre-cooking for 20 minutes in the oven first to get a crispy coating and chewy texture, then finishing on the BBQ for smokiness and charred edges.
Yes, they cook beautifully in an air fryer. Cook them at 180°C for 10-12 minutes. Half way through cooking, turn them and brush with a little more of the marinade.
The peanut sauce keeps well in the fridge for a day or two so is perfect to prep ahead. You can put the tofu fingers in the marinade a day ahead too, then all you need to do on the day is bake them, put the wooden skewers in and reheat the peanut sauce. The sauce does thicken a little in the fridge so you may need to add some water to get it back to the right consistency.
You absolutely need to use extra-firm tofu for these skewers, no other will do. If you use the Tofoo brand pictured above it doesn't need pressing, but other brands will need to be pressed to get rid of the moisture - this handy BBC guide to pressing tofu will help.
The tofu skewers are really at their best straight from the oven, and certainly eaten on the same day. It is safe to keep them in the fridge for a day or two, but they will lose their lovely crispy crust and texture inside. The peanut sauce keeps well in the fridge for a day or two.
The texture of the satay tofu will be compromised by freezing, so it really is best to eat on the day you make it.
🍽 If you liked that...
.... you might also enjoy these vegan recipes from The Veg Space:
Easy Satay Tofu
- 450 g extra-firm tofu I use the 'Tofoo' brand
For the marinade:
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp thai curry paste red or green
- 1 tsp dark brown sugar
- 4 tbsp coconut milk from a tin
For the peanut sauce:
- 1 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
- ½ onion
- 1 red chilli
- 1 tbsp thai curry paste red or green
- 100 ml coconut milk from a tin
- 1 tsp dark brown sugar
- 75 g peanut butter crunchy or smooth, as you prefer
- 1 lime
- fresh coriander
- sesame seeds
- chopped peanuts
Marinade the tofu:
- Squeeze any excess liquid from the block of tofu and pat dry with kitchen paper. Slice the block into three large rectangles, then slice each rectangle into three long 'fingers' of tofu. Pat dry again.
- Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large tub and place all the tofu fingers into the marinade, turning until they are fully coated. Chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan) / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
Make the peanut sauce:
- Peel and chop the onion as finely as possible. De-seed and slice the chilli.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion and chilli. After 3-4 minutes add the thai curry paste, and continue to cook gently for 2 minutes more.
- Add the coconut milk and sugar, and simmer until starting to thicken, then finally stir through the peanut butter.
- Continue cooking gently until the peanut butter has completely melted into the sauce, then add the juice of the lime.
- Bring the sauce back to a simmer, and if it is too thick, add water until it is a glossy dipping consistency. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Bake the tofu (to cook the tofu in an air fryer or BBQ see notes below):
- Oil a large baking tray, and place each of the fingers of tofu on the sheet, spaced apart a little. Keep the remaining marinade aside.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes turning occasionally, until the tofu is browned and crisp on the outside. Each time you turn them, brush them with a little of the remaining marinade.
- Remove from the oven and carefully put a wooden skewer through each piece of tofu. Reheat the peanut sauce if required and serve immediately.
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