Tofu Satay with spicy peanut sauce and Thai cucumber saladPressing firm tofu creates a meaty texture that holds up to grilling like satay. Spicy sunflower seed sauce and Thai-style cucumber salad make for a refreshing meal. 

What’s a TofuXpress? It’s a handy little gadget that makes pressing tofu super-easy. When you press the water out, you can infuse more flavor into the tofu. In my next post I’ll give you a list of ways I use the TofuXpress.

Suitable for:
vegan, gluten-free, reduced-sugar diets

Not for:
low-sodium or migraine diets

Alternate serving suggestion:
Cook 4-6 oz. of rice stick noodles or buckwheat soba noodles until tender. Rinse and drain well. Coat the noodles generously with sunflower seed sauce and stir until well mixed. Cube the cooked tofu satay and add it to the noodles. Mix in the drained cucumber salad. Garnish with chopped nuts, cilantro, mint, and red pepper slices.

Spicy Sunflower Seed Sauce
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 T. (15 ml) grapeseed oil
2 t. (10 g) Thai red curry paste*
1/2 C. (115 ml) sunflower seed butter*
1/2 C. (115 ml) light coconut milk
1/2 C. (115 ml) filtered water
1 T. (15 ml) agave syrup
2 t. (10 ml) vegan fish sauce or regular fish sauce
1-3 t. (515 ml) fresh lime juice
hot sauce to taste

Heat the oil in a nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and fry until it sizzles. Turn the heat to low and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring constantly with a whisk for about five minutes. Add additional water if needed to get the consistency you want. Served topped with chopped nuts (peanuts or cashews) and Sriracha sauce.

Notes: Check the label before buying curry paste. Some brands have sugar, some do not. I avoid peanuts, so I make this sauce with sunflower seed butter or cashew butter, but the authentic version is made with natural peanut butter. My vegan fish sauce is not as salty as true Southeast Asian fish sauce, so you may need to add a little salt.

Spicy Thai-style cucumber salad
About 4 servings

1/4 C. (60 ml) rice wine vinegar
2 T. (30 ml) agave syrup
1/2 t. (2 g) sea salt
3 T. (45 ml) filtered water

2 cucumbers (English or Persian if available)
1 shallot
1/4 C. mint leaves (about 10)
1/4 C. cilantro leaves (about 6 sprigs)
1 hot red chili pepper
2 T. (30 g) toasted cashews or peanuts

Mix the first four ingredients in a serving bowl until well blended.

Prep each ingredient and then add to the bowl:
Peel the cucumbers, remove the ends, and cut in half lengthwise. Use a grapefruit spoon to remove the seeds.

Peel the shallot and mince. Fry it lightly in a small nonstick skillet until golden brown with just a touch of oil to keep it from sticking.

Wash the pepper, cut off the stem, and thinly slice into discs.

Wash and dry the herbs; mince finely.

Let it stand 15 minutes for the flavors to develop. Garnish with chopped nuts.

All of our recipes are gluten-free, sugar-free, and made with plant-based ingredients to help you build a healthy life. Look for midweek posts on meditation, service, and life lessons, helping you create inner balance.

Tofu Satay with spicy peanut sauce and Thai cucumber salad

Pressed tofu satay

Delicious alternative to meat satay!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 16 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


  • 16 ounces tofu super-firm or extra-firm, pressed
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk light or regular
  • 1 tbsp dark toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp agave syrup
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp fish sauce vegan or regular
  • 1 tsp ginger (fresh) grated
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic minced, or garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (dried)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (dried)
  • 1/4 tsp coriander (dried)
  • 20 bamboo skewers or 10 long metal skewers


  • Press the tofu using weights or a TofuXpress for at least 30 minutes. If using the TofuXpress, slice off two slices and set them vertically in the press next to the block of tofu. Here is a photo. This will keep you from putting too much pressure on the mechanism (trust me on this). Drain off the excess water. Slice the block of tofu into 10 even slices (including the first 2), then cut each slice in half lengthwise so you have 20 long thin pieces. (In the photo, I did not do the lengthwise slices.)
  • Whisk together all the other ingredients in a bowl. Marinate the tofu for several hours or overnight.
  • Soak the bamboo skewers for 30 minutes before grilling to prevent them from catching on fire. Heat your grill, grill pan, or broiler. Carefully thread the tofu onto the skewers. Spray the grill pan or broiler pan lightly with cooking spray, then grill the tofu for 3 minutes per side.


Per serving (without sauce or salad):
  • 134 calories
  • 10 g fat
  • 3 g saturated fat
  • 1 g monounsaturated fat
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 0 g cholesterol
  • 689 mg sodium (127 mg sodium with salt omitted)
  • 214 mg potassium
  • 4 g carbohydrate
  • 1 g fiber
  • 2 g sugars
  • 10 g protein
  • 4 Weight Watchers Points Plus
Serve with spicy sunflower seed sauce and Thai cucumber salad (recipes above).
These recipes are adapted from The Best of Vietnamese & Thai Cooking: Favorite Recipes from Lemon Grass Restaurant and Cafes. Love this cookbook!