Bring delicious Indonesian flavours to your own kitchen!
I have fond childhood memories of my parents experimenting with different dishes and flavours in the kitchen ... and a personal favourite was a spicy peanut satay sauce enjoyed with an Indonesian rice dish!
By being more plant - focused, I have been experimenting with various way to cook with tofu. Although tofu can be incorporated into many dishes because of its versatility, it can be challenging as it often scrambles and loses its form. However, by baking it, tofu becomes crispy on the outside, soft on the inside YET retains its shape. Yay!
This satay sauce gets its spicy kick from the homemade chili jam (which was given as a gift) and pairs really well with nutty peanut butter and sweet dates. Spicy and Sweet!
D - I - V - I - N - E!
Serves: 3 - 4 serves (makes 1 to 1.5 cups satay sauce)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes baking time + 10 minutes cooking time
400g fresh tofu, pressed (+/- 100g tofu per person i.e. one medium block)
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
3 - 4 cups of 2 different vegetables such as finely chopped bok choy or spinach, shredded chinese cabbage, de - stemmed green beans or snap peas.
Any starch of choice: wholewheat noodles, brown rice or any starchy vegetables
Spicy Satay Sauce
1/2 heaped cup (100 g) pitted dates, softened
2 Tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
2 heaped Tbsp (40 g) peanut butter or nut butter of choice
2 tsp (10 ml) lime juice
1 Tbsp (15ml) chili jam or any chili sauce (one can alternatively use 1 tsp dried chili flakes)
1/2 to 1 cup (125 - 250 ml) warm water
Salt to taste
Bake your tofu: Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicon baking sheet. Dice the tofu into bite - sized cubes and spread into a single layer on the pre - lined baking tray.
Roast for 15 - 18 minutes, turning over the tofu at 10 minutes. Tofu is ready when it turns golden around the edges. Keep aside.
Meanwhile, prepare your satay sauce: In a blender, combine all of the ingredients for the satay sauce. Start with 1/2 cup of warm water.
Blend until creamy. You may need more water to reach a smoother and pourable consistency.Taste to adjust seasoning and spice level, and add more chili if you prefer.
Heat a deep pan or wok over a medium - high heat. Add the sliced onions to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until they start to caramelize. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes or until aromatic. Tip: Instead of using oil, use splashes of water when sautéing (lower in fat).
Add the vegetable(s) and 1/4 cup water. Sauté for about 4 - 5 minutes or until the vegetables are bright and tender. Add the satay sauce and baked tofu. Stir gently to combine everything and continue cooking for about 2 - 3 minutes over a medium - high heat until warm and well - incorporated.
Serve with a wholegrain serving such as brown rice, noodles or even a starchy vegetable such as sweet potatoes.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Extra Sauce: Make a double batch of the spicy satay sauce and freeze for future use. In addition, enjoy it with grilled vegetables, potatoes wedges or as a dip with vegetables.
Bulk It Up: Add 1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas to the satay sauce to boost the fiber and protein content of the dish. You will need to add more water accordingly.
Spicy Satay Sauce with Baked Tofu served with Brown Rice and Steamed Bok-Choy
Tofu: Also known as bean curd is made from soy beans. Unlike most plant proteins, soy beans are a complete plant protein as it contains all of the essential amino acids we need to get from food as our bodies cannot produce them. Tofu can provide between 15 - 20g protein/100g - making it an ideal protein source in a vegetarian, vegan or plant - focused diet.
Buying Tofu Tip: Tofu is also one of the most affordable plant proteins (find it at any local Chinese supermarket where they make it fresh or get it delivered on a daily basis). I usually pay between R4 - R6.50 per block of tofu (a block weighs approximately 100g - 140g) - this is in Cape Town, South Africa.
Serve it with a side of wholegrain (brown rice, buckwheat noodles, quinoa etc) to make it a high fiber, protein packed balanced meal.