These Vegan Tofu Yakitori Skewers are super easy to make and just as delicious as the traditional version!
Yakitori, which is skewered chicken cooked over a charcoal fire or grill, is a popular Japanese dish. It's seasoned by being dipped in a tare, a salty-sweet sauce made with soy sauce, mirin (Japanese sweetened rice wine), sake and sugar. Other seasonings such as shichimi (Japanese seven-spice powder), black pepper or wasabi are often added.
They're a popular street food snack or drinking food, and often sold at festivals.
In Japan, many different parts of the chicken are used to make yakitori, ranging from the thighs to the intestines and the heart. However, I decided to make a yummy veganised version!
I love using tofu to make meat-free versions of my favourite dishes, and knew that firm tofu would work really well in place of chicken for a vegan version of yakitori.
Leeks or spring onions are also added to yakitori skewers, and they add a delicious caramelised sweetness and slight tang that balances the salty-sweet flavours of the sauce.
For the sauce, I used soy sauce (or you can sub tamari) and mirin (you can use any other sweetener if you don't have this), and a pinch of black pepper for a little kick. I also like to add some grated ginger for a little fiery spice.
These Vegan Tofu Yakitori Skewers really couldn't be easier to make! Instead of using a charcoal fire or grill, I prefer to cut the tofu into cubes and cook them in a frying pan and then put skewers through them to serve.
They're delicious on their own with that slightly spicy, caramelised, umami-rich sauce, but also would be great dipped in this Vegan Spicy Miso Mayonnaise!
These skewers make a delicious appetiser but also work as a main course served with rice and a vegetable side dish such as:
Looking for more ways to use firm tofu? You might like my:
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Helpful tools to make these Vegan Tofu Yakitori Skewers:
Vegan Tofu Yakitori Skewers (GF)
For the sauce:
For the tofu:
- 400 g (14oz) firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed or vegetable oil
- 1 leek, thickly sliced
- Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce in a large bowl
- Drain and rinse the tofu, pat dry with a paper towel and cut into small cubes
- Leave the tofu to marinate in the bowl - either for 5 minutes or up to 12 hours covered in the fridge
- Heat up the oil in a large frying pan and once hot, add the leek slices
- Fry for around 10 minutes until softened and slightly caramelised
- Add the tofu pieces and fry for about 10 minutes, turning over halfway through until golden brown and slightly crispy
- To serve, put the skewers through the tofu and the leeks*
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