Curry Tofu Satay with Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Salad

It was one of those evenings when I really, really, REALLY wanted to go out to eat but alas, it was not in the cards. You see, I wanted Thai food but all the good Thai restaurants around here are not what you’d call “kid-friendly.” They’re quiet, peaceful, candlelit and meant for well-behaving patrons. My girls are fairly well-behaved around the dinner table but my little guy? Not so much. He’s two. Need I say more?

So into the kitchen I went. I needed to make something that would curb my stomach’s growing demand for Thai. This dish is one of my favorite things to order at a Thai restaurant. Chicken and beef satay are typical fare but every now and then you’ll find a restaurant that serves tofu satay. Oh how happy that makes me!

This tofu satay with peanut sauce and chilled cucumber salad hits all the right notes. The curry is mild but still has that flavorful kick. The peanut sauce is perfectly savory and sweet and deliciously creamy. The cucumber salad is cool and crisp and refreshes the palate. Combining all three things in one single bite is a taste sensation unlike any other. If you haven’t tried this before, you simply must try it now.

For the satay:

  • 2 boxes of extra firm tofu, drained and dry (rest on paper towels, continuing to replace the towels until most of the water is out)
  • 3 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • skewers

For the peanut sauce, I slightly adapted this fabulous recipe from “She Simmers.” Here’s what you’ll need:

  • one 13.5-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk
  • ¾ cup unsweetened creamy peanut butter (with oil on top)
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water

For the cucumber salad:

  • 1 large green cucumber or 2 yellow cucumbers, peeled and sliced into discs, then halved (I used two yellow cucumbers given to me by our neighbors. Each was the size of a small orange)
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 mild red chilies, minced
  • 6 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Once your tofu is mostly dry, cut each block into thirds horizontally and then in half vertically. You should have six rectangular slabs. In a shallow pan, mix together the curry powder, salt, cumin and garlic powder.

curry powder, salt, cumin and garlic powder

Spread the mixture evenly around the pan. Carefully pierce each tofu slab with a wooden skewer. Next lay each one into the dry mixture, gently turning each of them over to get an even coating.

Heat some canola oil on a griddle and cook both sides until golden. If you don’t have an electric griddle, you can try to place the skewers on an oiled baking sheet and bake them in the oven.

While they cook, make your peanut sauce. Put all the ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes over low heat, being very careful not to let the mixture burn at the bottom of the saucepan. Remove it from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.

For the cucumber salad, simply mix all the ingredients together and place in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes or more. It should be served cold.

Yellow cucumbers from my neighbors’ garden!

Cucumber salad, mixed and ready to be chilled

When you’re ready to eat, plate the satay, the peanut sauce and the cucumber salad together and get ready to dig in.

Happy eating!