You’ll want to press the tofu first so that it can absorb the marinade. After pressing, the tofu was cut into one-inch cubes and covered with a mix of vegetable oil and soy sauce. You could place as many as four tofu cubes on each skewer, but I went with three. The skewers were soaked in water to prevent them from burning as the tofu cooks. The kabobs were placed on a baking sheet and popped into a 425 degree F oven for about 25 minutes. I turned the kabobs at the half-way point of cooking. They don’t look very exciting after only 12 minutes in the oven, but just wait. After the full cooking time, the tofu turns golden and a little crisp on the edges. Meanwhile, the peanut sauce was a quick mix of peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, water, sesame oil, honey, and I used sriracha for hot sauce. Taste as you mix, and choose your consistency. I added a bit more water to thin the sauce to a good pourable state, and I added a bit more sriracha for an extra spicy kick.
The kabobs were served on a platter with the peanut sauce drizzled over top. Extra peanut sauce was served on the side for dipping. I had to add a sprinkle of a few garnishes including chopped green onions, garlic chives, and serrano chiles. The platter of kabobs was soon empty, and I can see why these are a favorite. I’m so glad to have gotten to know Moosewood through their books thanks to my friend mentioning them all those years ago.
Tofukabobs with Peanut Sauce
Recipe reprinted with publisher's permission from Moosewood Restaurant Favorites.
Tofu cubes baked on a skewer come out nice and chewy, a perfect vehicle for the delicious peanut sauce. We can’t tell you how many people this recipe— twelve tofukabobs— will serve. Is it going to be a snack, appetizer, central on the dinner plate, or part of a buff et? Then there is a bigger consideration: who will be eating them? Some people are happy with one skewer. Others force themselves to stop after four or five. Tofukabob enthusiasts are often people who said when they were first offered one, “Oh. OK, but I’m not too fond of tofu.” All it takes is a couple of people who go gaga over them to wipe out a platterful in no time. All tofu is not the same— the consistency varies. Be sure to get fresh tofu if you can. And, if you have a convection oven, use it for this recipe.
Yields 12 skewers; about 1 cup sauce
Prep time: 20 minutes Baking time: 20 to 25 minutes
two 14- to 16- ounce blocks firm or extra- firm tofu
twelve 10- inch bamboo skewers
1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
1⁄4 cup soy sauce
1⁄3 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
1⁄3 cup water
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
First, press the tofu for at least 10 minutes (see page 388). Soak the skewers in water. Preheat the oven to 450°F, or a convection oven to 425°F. Generously oil a large baking sheet.
Cut the blocks of tofu into 1- inch cubes; you should get 24 cubes from each block. Transfer the tofu cubes to a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil and soy sauce and pour over the tofu. Using a rubber spatula, gently turn the tofu cubes to coat all sides.
Thread 4 cubes onto each soaked skewer, leaving about 1⁄2 inch of space between them, and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between the tofukabobs. Bake until sizzling and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes; less if using a convection oven.
While the tofu bakes, stir together all of the peanut sauce ingredients until smooth. Serve warm or at room temperature. Arrange the tofukabobs on a serving platter and drizzle them with peanut sauce. Put the rest of the peanut sauce in a little pitcher, so the peanut sauce lovers can drench their tofukabobs, if they like.
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