Vegetable and Tofu Satay Skewers

These vegetable skewers are a take on my favourite starter at my local Thai/Chinese restaurant which uses a combination of marinated Tofu and vegetables including onion, pepper, courgette and aubergine which are all cooked, skewered and smothered in a yummy satay sauce for an ideal starter or side dish.

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Due to a recent visit to mine and my partner Ryan’s favourite Thai/Chinese restaurant I was inspired to make my own satay skewers which we both cannot get enough of when we visit this place. Okay so let me tell you about this place firstly because it is one of those deceiving restaurants that you would walk past and either miss completely or notice it and not want to walk through the door…like my first opinion when my partner suggested visiting as he had been on a few occasions with family and obviously enjoyed but my first thoughts were “oh jeez really”.

Obviously now I’m super glad I did walk through the door and discover this little jem which is a family run restaurant in our small little suburb which is perfect to fill up and roll home once we’ve finished. This place is an all-you-can-eat Thai/Chinese style buffet restaurant where you order your starters, soups, intermediates, mains and side dishes and it is then bought out to you freshly cooked. But one thing we fill up on several plates worth is the satay skewers for starters which we then return to when it comes to mains because they are that good, so I needed to create my own version at home.

I’ve kept this simple and used very similar ingredients to my favourite restaurant as they offer a ‘mock duck’ vegetarian version or a chicken version for the meat eaters, so being vegetarian I love the fact they use ‘mock’ ingredients which I find to be extremely rare for eateries which aren’t specifically vegetarian/vegan. For my take on this classic I have used Tofu chunks which I marinate overnight, and I have combined this with a mixture of vegetables to include chunks of onion, pepper, aubergine and courgette as I find these to be the best when it comes to skewering and cooking as they soften up perfectly yet remain chunky and tender.

Firstly, I prepare my tofu the night before so that it is pressed and drained to remove any excess liquid which tofu is notorious for and then I marinate this in a little marinade which can vary depending on what you prefer but you could just use some soy sauce with ginger, garlic and chili or you could make up some extra satay sauce and use this for your marinade as tofu is very bland and therefore will take on any flavours put to it. When you are ready to cook the dish, prepare all of your vegetables into bite sized chunks as equal sizes as possible, and set aside your skewers and a parchment lined baking tray ready for baking and remove any excess marinade from the tofu, reserving it for later.

Start with sautéing your tofu in a large pan heated with olive oil, cook the tofu on each side until slightly browned (I cover mine with cornstarch to help cooking and add a coating). Then set aside and add some more olive oil and add the aubergine and courgette for 5 minutes until softening, then add the pepper and onion for another 5 minutes to soften. Set aside to cool slightly. Once cooled you are ready to skewer the vegetables, repeating until each piece of tofu and vegetable has been used up. Then place the skewers on the lined baking tray and top each piece with half of the satay sauce and cook for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender, then add the remaining satay sauce so that they are covered in sauce ready to be served alongside some rice as a main dish or as a starter or side dish.

Vegetable and Tofu Satay Skewers
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Vegan
Cuisine: Main
Serves: Serves 4
  • 400g block firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1 bell pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 aubergine, cut into chunks
  • 1 courgette, cut into chunks
Satay Sauce
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • ½ red chilli finely chopped
  • ⅓ clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • Water as needed (to reach desired consistency)
  1. Firstly, heat coconut oil in a large pan and saute the tofu for 5 minutes until cooked on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Next add the aubergine and courgette and saute in some olive oil for approximately 5 minutes until softening then add the onion and pepper for another 5 minutes until softened. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Prepare the satay sauce by combining all ingredients in a saucepan until combined and thickened approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Set aside 20 mini skewers or 10 large skewers and thread through each piece of vegetable starting with tofu, pepper, aubergine, onion, courgette, repeating process until each piece is finished.
  5. Then place the skewers on a lined baking tray, top each piece with some sauce but leave half behind for serving at the end of cooking. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until vegetables look cooked, then top with more sauce if desired, serve on 5 mini skewers each or 3 large skewers, alongside some cooked rice.

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