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Light and fast: Vietnamese tofu salad


by Meg Walker
17th Jul 2019
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A really fresh-tasting salad that’s hearty enough to enjoy as a main meal. Vegetarians and vegans can substitute soy sauce or tamari for the nam pla in the dressing. The thinner the strips of carrot, courgette and cucumber, the better – you don’t need a spiraliser; a vegetable peeler works just as well.

Vietnamese Tofu Salad

Serves 4
Prep 20 minutes
Soaking 12-15 minutes
Cook 4 minutes

Ingredients

For the dressing
1 red bird’s eye chilli, chopped
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 tbsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp caster sugar

For the salad
200g rice noodles
60g unsalted peanuts
2 carrots, peeled into long, thin strips
1 large courgette, peeled into long, thin strips
100g mangetout, trimmed and halved lengthways
1 bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced
½ cucumber, cut into strips
2 little gem lettuces, trimmed and separated into leaves
400g extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into cubes
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
a few basil leaves, chopped
a handful of coriander, chopped
lime wedges, to serve  

Method
Add all the dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine.

Soak the rice noodles in plenty of cold water for 12-15 minutes, or until softened (or follow the instructions on the pack). Drain well.

Place a non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat. When it’s hot, add the peanuts and toss gently until they are golden brown and fragrant. Remove immediately, before they burn, and chop them coarsely.

Mix together the carrots, courgette, mangetout, spring onions, cucumber and lettuce in a large bowl.

Place the tofu cubes in a bowl with the soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce. Stir together gently to lightly coat the tofu. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan set over a medium to high heat, and when it’s hot add the tofu. Cook for about 4 minutes, turning, until golden brown all over. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Stir the drained rice noodles into the vegetables and toss lightly in the dressing. Divide between 4 serving plates and top with the hot tofu. Sprinkle with the chopped herbs and toasted peanuts. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

Or you can try this…
Omit the noodles and serve with boiled rice.
Add some thinly sliced red or yellow peppers or beansprouts.
Use mint instead of basil or coriander.

 

Extracted from The Tofu Cookbook by Heather Thomas (Ebury Press, approx €11.50).

 

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