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Tofu Satay Bowls

Tofu satay bowls are a brilliant way to spice up a few crispy cubes of tofu and a bowlful of rice. The spicy peanut sauce, made with brown sugar, lime juice, toasted sesame oil, and red pepper flakes is so flavorful that you’ll be slathering it on everything. Don’t forget peanuts, cucumber, and fresh cilantro for serving!

A white pottery bowl filled with tofu satay bowls garnished with cilantro, extra dressing, a serving bowl, and a glass of water beside it.

Adapted from Cassy Joy Garcia | Cook Once Dinner Fix | Simon & Schuster, 2021

Extra-firm tofu and rice take center stage with a peanut-focused, satay-inspired tofu skewer playing the main role. The sauce is notable in its own right, but the whole dish is a triumph.–Cassy Joy Garcia

Tofu Satay Bowls

A white pottery bowl filled with tofu satay bowls garnished with cilantro, extra dressing, a serving bowl, and a glass of water beside it.

You can find prepared peanut sauce in the Asian food section of the grocery store if you don’t want to make your own. That’s also where you can find sambal oelek, a bright red Indonesian chile paste that gives this recipe its spicy kick.

Cassy Joy Garcia

Prep 25 mins

Cook 15 mins

Total 2 hrs 50 mins



3 to 4 servings

592 kcal

No ratings yet

For the tofu kabobs

For the peanut sauce

Make the tofu kabobs

  • If you have a tofu press, press the tofu for at least 10 minutes. Otherwise, wrap tofu in a clean kitchen towel, set it on a plate, and top with a heavy pan (or another plate weighted down with a few cans), and let stand for 10 minutes to press the tofu. Cut tofu into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, sambal oelek, brown sugar, and turmeric until smooth. Add tofu and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

Make the peanut sauce

  • In a blender, combine peanut butter, coconut aminos or soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Add 2 tablespoons of water and blend until smooth. (If you won’t be serving the sauce right away, it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.)

Cook the tofu

  • Thread 5 or 6 pieces of tofu onto metal or wooden skewers.

  • In a large skillet or grill pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches, add tofu kabobs and sear until they darken in color, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Don’t let them burn. Move to a large plate and repeat with the remaining kabobs.
  • Divvy rice among four bowls. Top with tofu kabobs, then drizzle with peanut sauce. Garnish with cucumber, cilantro, peanuts, and red pepper flakes and serve, with lime wedges alongside for squeezing over the top.

*How do I make extra-firm tofu crispy?

If you feel like this dish would benefit from a bit of a crisp, brown edge on those tofu cubes, here’s a tip. The best way to get crispy tofu is to make sure that it’s fully drained of water.
If you have time, follow the instructions in step 1 to press the tofu, then wrap it in a fresh kitchen towel, set it on a plate, and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. Sear until crisp and serve.

Serving: 1servingCalories: 592kcal (30%)Carbohydrates: 67g (22%)Protein: 20g (40%)Fat: 28g (43%)Saturated Fat: 10g (63%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gSodium: 884mg (38%)Potassium: 335mg (10%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 12g (13%)Vitamin A: 311IU (6%)Vitamin C: 13mg (16%)Calcium: 226mg (23%)Iron: 4mg (22%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published September 23, 2021


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