Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Baked Tofu

Today I made a new recipe from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. All you vegans and plant-based dieters know this cookbook author I’m sure. She’s written a number of books , the latest being Isa Does It, just released this year, and on my Christmas list. Check out her website, Post Punk Kitchen, listed at the bottom on my blogroll. Anyway, back to the recipe … I tweaked Isa’s original recipe a bit, so check out my tweaks and Tom’s suggestions at the end.

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Dressing:

1/3 cup warm water

3 tbsps agave nectar

3 tbsps chili garlic sauce

1 tbsp tamari sauce *

1/4 cup lime juice **

1/4 tsp salt

Salad:

350 grams medium-firm tofu ***

1/2 of a 450 gram package of rice noodle sticks ****

1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced half moons

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced *****

1 cup edamame beans ******

1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves

Peanut-Mint Gremolata

1/4 cup peanuts, chopped very well

3 tbsps finely chopped mint

zest of 1/2 lime

Press the tofu like this. After pressing overnight or all day, slice the tofu into 8 equal pieces widthwise, then slice each rectangle into 2 long triangles. Mix the dressing ingredients together, then marinade the tofu triangles in the dressing overnight or all day. Lightly grease a baking sheet, place the marinated (after removing the tofu from the marinade, reserve the marinade for dressing the salad) tofu triangles on the sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes then flip the tofu and bake for another 15 minutes. Set aside.

Cook the rice noodles – boil a pot of water, put the noodles in the hot water, remove from heat and let soak for about 20 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Toss the cucumber, red onion, edamame and mint together, then add the noodles and toss again. Pour the reserved marinade/dressing over and toss again.

Combine the gremolata ingredients in a small bowl.

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To serve, spoon some salad into a big bowl, add a few triangles of baked tofu, sprinkle on some gremolata, eat!

* original recipe called for soy sauce, I changed it to tamari sauce

** original recipe called for freshly squeezed lime juice, I didn’t have any limes at the time I made the marinade, so I used bottled lime juice, but I recommend the fresh lime juice if possible

*** the original recipe called for a much shorter marinating time and also fried the tofu, I marinated for several hours and baked the tofu

**** the original recipe called for thin rice noodles, vermicelli, but I didn’t have any so I used the rice sticks instead – I’ll use the vermicelli next time, I also think this salad would be good with soba noodles

***** the original recipe called for 1 whole red onion, but I reduced it to 1/2 red onion because too much raw onion doesn’t sit well with my gastro-intestinal system

****** the original recipe called for string beans, but I don’t like those kind of beans so I substituted edemame and they worked wonderfully

Tom’s suggestions:

  • no cucumber – use grated carrot and/or cabbage instead

  • add toasted sesame seeds to the gremolata mix

  • finely dice some red pepper and use as a garnish (for colour)

  • more salt or more tamari

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