Tofu Satay with Cocoa Nib Rub | CUESA

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Returns March 17, 2022

Tofu Satay with Cocoa Nib Rub


Eli Curtis, Bisou Chocolate

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on January 19, 2019.

Note that the rub recipe makes more than you will need for one recipe of the tofu. It can be stored, as directed below, for future use.

Serves 6 as a main dish or up to 12 as a side dish


Cocoa Nib Rub

1 cup roasted cocoa nibs
1 cup fine sea salt
1 cup natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground black cardamom

Satay Sauce

3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons nut butter (peanut, walnut, or almond work nicely)
2 tablespoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon tamari


2 12 ounce blocks firm tofu (preferably Hodo)
1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil


To prepare the rub: Using a mortar & pestle or blade grinder, grind the cocoa nibs into a coarse powder (if you grind too long, they’ll form a paste). Combine well with other ingredients in a bowl. Any extra rub not used can be stored for several weeks in an airtight container.

To prepare the sauce: Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with a whisk. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.

To prepare the tofu: Cut tofu into cutlets about ½” thick along the short side of the block. Coat tofu in rub lightly and set aside for 10-30 minutes (30 is optimal) at room temperature. Heat a cast iron or heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat and drizzle in oil. Sauté cutlets on both sides and transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately with satay sauce.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »