Thanks so much for all your comments and feedback over the last couple of days, it’s been a blast being able to share my creations with you. Today’s recipe is a super simple alternative to meat skewers. They are very easy to put together but you do need to be a little bit organised to make sure you get the most out of the dish.
I’ve been experimenting with tofu a lot since deciding to go vego and while I enjoy it immensely I’m one of those people who is a little fussy about texture. I’m not a huge fan (that might be an understatement) of soft tofu, I just can’t do it so I’ve been working on ways to ensure my tofu is always as firm as possible. To achieve this I buy firm tofu and press it for a couple of hours before using. This removes most of the moisture and ensures a better take up of marinade if you are using it.
To press tofu all you need to do is wrap it up in paper towel, then a tea towel. Pop it on a plate and then put your heaviest cookbook on top. I usually put another tea towel between the book and the tofu to reduce the chance of any moisture getting through. Pop a couple of cans on top for good measure and leave it for a couple of hours, turning once about halfway through. Once pressed you can cut it up and then marinade for a few hours or overnight if possible.
I served these skewers with a peanut sauce that only took a few minutes to prepare. I’ve included the bulk recipe here, which made about 30 skewers, but it should be fairly straightforward to pare it back to smaller amounts. The marinade and peanut sauce also go really well with chicken satay if you are so inclined.
This entire is recipe is 100% vegan and gluten-free (which may come as a surprise to some of the devoutly carnivorous blokes who scoffed these down on Saturday night!).
Marinated Tofu & Capsicum Skewers
Makes about 30
750g block of firm tofu (I used the nutrisoy brand which I got at the Central Market)
2 red capsicum
4 tbspn soy sauce
2 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy)
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp cooking rice wine
2 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 red chilli, finely chopped (optional, depending on heat preference)
15cm Bamboo skewers (about 30), soaked for an hour in water
Press tofu for a minimum of two hours before marinating.
Cut up tofu and capsicum into 2cm squares (you want them about the same size so that they cook evenly).
Add the tofu and capsicum to a large bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl or jar and then pour over the tofu mix.
Combine everything really well, ensuring even coverage.
Cover and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours or (ideally) overnight.
About an hour before threading, soak your skewers in cold water. This is to stop them from catching on fire on the barbie or grill.
Thread the tofu and capsicum onto your skewers.
Cook over a high heat on a barbie or under the grill.
Serve with peanut sauce.
Makes about 3 cups
3 tbsp peanut oil
3 tbspns minced garlic
2 cans coconut milk
2 tbspns chilli powder (adjust for preference)
3 tbspns brown sugar
1 tspn balsamic vinegar
Juice of one large lemon
3 cups smooth peanut butter (or crunchy if you prefer)
Heat oil in a large wok or skillet.
Lightly fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant.
Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. The peanut butter might need to melt a little before you’ll start to get an even consistency.
Once all combined and heated through you can remove from the stove and either serve immediately or allow to cool. If using later give it a good stir before serving or, if possible, heat it up a little as the peanut butter may have started to set again.