Roasted Tofu Skewers with Spicy Peanut Sauce

December 5th, 2011 2 Comments

Chewy tasty tidbits on a stick….everyone loves them!  Perhaps it harkens back to our cave days, we do seem to love the food-delivery system that is a skewer.   Especially when it is accompanied by a flavor bomb of a dip.  For many people, Thanksgiving marked the beginning of The Indoor Party Season.  Whether you’re hosting or just bringing a dish, it’s handy to have something that is exciting to taste, yet can be done in advance and sit patiently.  And when that item can be Little Buddies on Skewers, that’s even better.

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Some of you may recognize the Teabowl of Timothy Langholz, a gift at one of the Edible Alien Theatre dinners. .

 

 

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About Tofu–the curd of the Soybean: Fresh tofu has flavor, but I consider a loaf of packaged tofu to be like a blank slate, waiting for texture and flavor to be applied (that’s just an opinion…).  For purees use the soft or silk tofu, and for baking, frying or anything that needs shape, use firm or extra firm.

Tofu also has many virtues in baking, especially as a binder when needing an egg substitute.

But when it comes to savory dishes I treat tofu like fish, chicken, or pork, giving it similar spicing.  Marinate it, then grill or fry or roast it.  The chewy, jerky-like results are highly snackable, and you will amaze yourself at your ability to nibble on soy.

 

Hmm, I think my Type O is showing…blood type that is.  Isn’t it funny that in a post about tofu I refer to chicken and pork?  Here and now, I will confess something to you all:  I Love Meat.  I really love vegetables too, my 2nd most frequently used cookbook is Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, but I want to be out in the open in the beginning of this relationship…I just thought you should know.  I could be stranded on a remote island with a patch of kale and a tree full of chickens, and life would be good.  Well maybe my 8″ Trident knife,  a chicken wrangler and a coffee bush would be nifty too.

But enough of that, we’re talking about one of my favorite ways to eat tofu!

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Let the cubes have some breathing room on the pan—the more surface area exposed to the roasting oven air, the easier it will be for them to dehydrate and get a crusty outer shell.

The roasting process then cooks off the water, leaving the previously crumbly tofu much more manageable and durable.  Not to mention chomp-able and tasty.

Definitely make extra so you still have some for the party.

 

 

Look at that toasted chewy skin!

 

The peanut sauce is fairly simple, and can be used on countless other dishes—–a fun side-road detour to take with your meal.

Or you can just eat it with a spoon, that works too.

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Be careful to not sauté the garlic too long—it scorches easily and becomes bitter.

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It may look gooky in the beginning, but the end result is luscious, hot or cold.  It also freezes well if you need to make it in advance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variations

Some of my friend are allergic to peanuts and soy, so what to do?

The sauce is creamy, mildly sweet, salty, has a bit of warmth and a bright surprise of mint—that is the end result you want when thinking about substitutes.

The peanuts give the sauce a creamy texture with a little crunch, plus some depth of flavor.   Substitutes could be almonds, hazelnuts or cashews.

I think tahini would be too bitter, and walnuts too tannic.

The tamari (similar to soy sauce, generally has no wheat) in the sauce gives it salt and some depth of flavor.   Salt and some kind of dark stock could work as a substitute–perhaps bouillon in water, or strong beef stock with rice vinegar, or a little fish sauce.

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And now, without further delay…I give you Snacks on a Stick with a Tasty Dip. 

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Roasted Tofu

Prep Time: 10 minutes   Cooking Time: 45 minutes

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cube:

1 pound Extra Firm Tofu, drained

Marinate in:

2 Tbsp Tamari

2 tsp Cider Vinegar

1/2 tsp Granulated Garlic

2 Tbsp oil (canola, olive)

Roast on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes.  Flip at least once—it can be crumbly, so be gentle. 

Add another:

1 Tbsp Tamari

Flip, then roast another 15-20 minutes. 

Eat it, or skewer it, or serve it with dinner.   I think it’s good hot or cold.

Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

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Spicy Peanut Sauce

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes   Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes

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Saute for 2-3 minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic):

2 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, minced (approximately 4 cloves)

2 tsp Canola Oil, or oil of your choice

1/2 tsp Crushed Red Chiles or 1 small Chili Pepper, minced

Add:

1 cup Water

1 cup Peanut Butter, chunky, unsweetened

1/4 cup Tamari

4 Tbsp Honey or Agave Syrup

2 tsp Dried Mint or 2 Tbsp Fresh Mint, chopped

Simmer for 6-8 minutes, whisking. 

Taste and adjust.

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This is thick enough for a dip—add more water if you want a sauce.

Also great on:

  • Noodles with Cilantro
  • Chicken
  • Rice and garbanzos
  • Broccoli and other vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    I love your cooking, and your ideas. Thanks for sharing. I’ll come here often for inspiration!

  2. Gabi says:

    YUM. Made this last weekend for a NYE party and it was a huge hit. One of the best peanut sauces I’ve had–and people couldn’t believe it was tofu!! Thanks for your inspiration Ruthie (I had to get more tofu today as I’m craving that flavor!)

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