The culinary world is divided into three camps: tofu lovers, tofu haters, and tofu tolerators. While this recipe will probably not convert anyone who hates the stuff despite its chameleon-like ability to ingratiate itself with finesse into nearly any recipe, it has made a lover out of a tolerator like me. And for the very reason that it wants so very much to please. But, no, it doesn't taste like chicken. Not everything does, you know, no matter what Robert Klein says. And it doesn't have to.
Tofu Satay with Peanut Sauce - Adapted from the MalaysianFood.net recipe
2 14-ounce blocks extra firm tofu, drained and blotted of excess moisture
3 large cloves garlic
3 large shallots
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/4 cup water
4 tablespoons brown sugar
16 wooden skewers, soaked in warm water for at least 1 hour
Slice tofu into oblongs, approximately 4 inches by 1 inch; each block will yield eight oblongs. You can also cut it into cubes. Set aside.
Using a food processor, grind garlic and shallots into a paste. Transfer to a small bowl. Add all other ingredients to the paste. Mix well, then spread half the paste in a large, shallow casserole dish. Use a spoon to prevent staining your hands with turmeric. Press tofu into mixture to cover the underside. Spread the remaining paste on top of tofu. With a fork, gently and repeatedly turn tofu by quarters to cover with paste. Cover dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate to marinate at least four hours.
Remove marinated tofu from refrigerator. Wearing gloves to protect your hands from staining, thread tofu onto skewers, dividing it uniformly among the skewers if you are using cubes. Allow some space between cubes.
Arrange tofu skewers without crowding in a hot, greased grill pan or skillet that has heated for a few minutes over medium-high heat. Carefully turn the skewers every few minutes to brown tofu on all sides. Remove from pan and serve immediately while still hot with peanut sauce (recipe below). I also served mine with a tiny side salad of cubed cucumber dressed in sweetened rice vinegar. Serves 4 as a starter; 2 as an entrée.--
1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
3 large shallots, peeled
2 macadamia nuts
3 tablespoons sliced lemongrass, white ends
2 tablespoons sambal oelek (or other savory red chile paste)
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 tablespoon tamarind paste mixed with 1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
12 ounces coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Using a food processor, grind onion, shallots, nuts, lemongrass, and sambal oelek into a paste. In a large skillet over low heat, warm oil then add paste. Stir to mix, then allow mixture to simmer until oil begins to separate. Add tamarind water, soy sauce, coconut milk, and brown sugar. Bring to simmer again. After ten minutes, mix in peanuts, and simmer another five minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to serving bowl to allow to cool to room temperature.
Peanut sauce, hold the belacan.
It isn't often that I've prepared a recipe that is suitable to submit to two separate events. This veganized adaptation of traditional Malaysian satay and peanut sauce, usually prepared with meat and shrimp paste, is for Vaishali, hosting It's a Vegan World: Malaysian. This is also my ridiculously late entry for MLLA14, hosted by yours truly. It's been a hell of a few weeks for me; hence the delay. Please bear with me. I will have the round-up of your fine recipes online as soon as possible. Please be sure to set your sites and appetites on Sia, now hosting MLLA15 at Monsoon Spice.
Been There, Done That ~
Leblebi - Tunisian Hot Chickpea Soup
Chinese Steamed Red Bean Buns
African Peanut and Yam Soup
Other People's Eats ~
Malaysian Honeycomb Cake