Vietnamese Tofu and Noodle Salad
An exciting layered salad combining crisp vegetables flavoured with fresh herbs, noodles and marinated grilled tofu. The tofu is best prepared several hours in advance as longer marinating will enhance the flavour.
2 x 250 gram packages firm tofu, drained
3 1⁄2 cups bean sprouts
200 grams (7 oz) mustard greens, napa cabbage or bokchoy, finely shredded
1⁄4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1⁄2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
2 limes, juiced (use the zest for the marinade)
2 teaspoons superfine sugar
200 grams (7 oz) snow peas
250 grams (1⁄2 lb) medium rice noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
3⁄4 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
1⁄2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into sticks marinade
2 green chili peppers, deseeded and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1⁄3 cup salt-reduced soy saucegrated zest of 2 limes
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1⁄3 cup dry sherry
Slice the blocks of tofu in half horizontally and lay flat in a non-metallic, heatproof dish. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and sprinkle evenly over the tofu. Turn the slices so that both sides are coated, then cover and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the bean sprouts, shredded greens, cilantro and basil in a large, deep serving dish. Sprinkle with the lime juice and half the sugar. Add the snow peas to a pot of boiling water. Bring back to a boil and cook for just 1 minute, then remove with a slotted spoon, drain in a colander and refresh under cold running water. Scatter over the bean sprout mixture.
Add the noodles to the pot of water. Bring back to a boil, then remove the pot from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to stand for 4 minutes or until the noodles have softened. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water, then tip them back into the pot.
Preheat the broiler. Drain the marinade from the tofu onto the noodles, toss and set aside. Leave the tofu lying flat in the dish.
Sprinkle half the oil over the tofu, then broil for 4–6 minutes until beginning to brown and forming a skin on the surface. Use a large spatula to turn the pieces of tofu over. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and oil and broil for a further 4 minutes. Sprinkle the nuts over the tofu and cook for a final 2 minutes or until the nuts are browned.
Tip the noodles on top of the bean sprout mixture to make a separate layer. Slice the tofu into 2 cm thick fingers and arrange on top of the salad with the cucumber sticks and toasted nuts. Serve immediately while the tofu is warm.
Serves 4; each serving: 4 g protein • 4.5 g fat of which 0.5 g saturates • 8.5 g carbohydrate • 1.5 g fibre • 94 Calories