We’ve been wanting to make this FOREVER and I finally got the stuff together to do it the other day. It’s a great complete meal but it’s not an authentic Southeast-Asian satay seeing as how we didn’t grill it or even use skewers. We did marinade the tofu in a pretty typical marinade and serve with the sauces and accompaniments you would see in a Thai restaurant. This makes plenty of food and the prep can be done ahead of time; I did the pickled vegetables the night before so they could really soak up the flavor, and you could do the same with the tofu!
To make the pickled vegetables, get a large cucumber, two large carrots, and half a pepper. You can of course vary these as you like, but cucumber should be the main ingredient. You’re going to brunoise all the vegetables, essentially cutting them into small, equally sized cubes. Here’s a video; it’s not in English but it illustrates very well how to brunoise a vegetable.
Place the vegetables into a seal-able jar or tupperware container. Cover with equal parts rice wine vinegar and water and add a good amount of salt, pepper, and sugar. Smash a few cloves of garlic and a thumb sized portion of ginger and throw those in as well; if you’re not pickling for a few days/weeks, finely mince the ginger and garlic.
Next, slice your tofu and lay in a pan to prepare for the marinade. To make the marinade, combine a good amount of tumeric with a pinches of cumin, hot pepper, coriander, fennel seeds and enough soy sauce to cover the tofu. You can also add garlic, brown sugar and sesame oil if you happen to have any of these kicking around. Let this sit for as long as possible and then drain the liquid.
You can buy peanut sauce or make your own. I make my own, but do it the the easy way but you can make it on a saucepan and it will have a better flavor. The quick way is to microwave some peanut butter and mix it with equal parts hot water, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. I also add about a tablespoon or two of sesame seeds and a dash of cayenne pepper. Whisk it all together until it combines.
To fry the tofu, get your pan really hot and add a bit of oil. Lay the tofu in and shake it around a little so it doesn’t stick. If the tofu sits in one place for too long, it will stick to the pan and will get really nasty. I like to use the combination of shimmying the pan around and moving it a little bit with the spatula/turner. Once you’ve cooked these to a brown on both sides, you can broil them a bit to get them more brown, or just leave as is.
We served ours with green onions and sesame seeds on top and sides of avocado and jasmine rice! It was delicious and enough to serve about five people. If you wanted a more authentic satay, you could skewer the tofu and grill (or add the skewers later!)