Despite the short rainy summer NYC had seen, the weather gods decided to bestow a wonderfully sunny and breezy weekend to welcome us into Autumn. The City was deserted as many set out for the beach, and others escaped into the ‘burbs, longing for relief from the hustle & bustle of city-life, and some quality time with family & friends.
So off to the Suburbs Brian and I went, to take comfort in the smell of freshly mowed grass, the relief of having that ONE extra day off, and the delight of rocking away our everyday worries on the porch swing, while engaging in a non-stop food-fest.
My family’s go-to BBQ favorite has always been the veggie shish kebab, made with my mother’s special Satay sauce for an Asian twist. It lends a lot of versatility, since everyone can build their own skewers with their favorite combination of veggies and protein. It’s also super-easy and quick to make, gives off bold bursts of flavor, and is fun to eat (like a lollipop)!
Crisp, sweet veggies that soak up flavors work best – mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, and bell peppers are all good choices. Other ingredients you can use include: carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, broccoli, butternut squash.
We chose a combination of mock meat easily found at any Chinese grocery store. May Wah http://www.vegieworld.com in NYC Chinatown has a great selection – mostly soy-based or made from cool ingredients like yam flour. You can also find veggie chicken strips/nuggets in the frozen section of the local store. We also used some extra firm tofu flavored with chinese 5-spice. If the idea of “mock animals” scare you, ingredients like tempeh and seitan are great substitutes too.
Arrange the ingredients on skewers – alternating between veggie & protein
And the final touch before working the grill – The Sauce:
- Heat up some soy sauce in the saucepan. When warm, add a little water and cornstarch, and stir very quickly until the consistency thickens
- Add minced ginger and Chinese “Sa Cha” (BBQ) Sauce
This sauce has a slightly spicy kick to it and is more savory than sweet. I like to add more crushed red peppers or chinese red pepper sauce to dial up the heat even more. If your palate craves sweet tanginess, you can always add some sweet & sour/sweet chili sauce, or mango chunks. And of course, traditional BBQ sauce straight out of the jar works perfectly fine too – I’m just biased towards my family recipe 🙂
And there you go – tasty, mouthwatering kebabs infused with veggie goodness and bursting with flavor!