from one generation to the next
The ceiling fans are whirring at a languid pace, they seem lazy, like us, affected by the hot and steamy weather. Most nights, home delivered Thai food with a cold beer would use all the energy I can muster, but a growing pile of interesting Asian style salad recipes I’ve collected called me to consider other dinner options.
Inspired by but not limited to Simon Bryant’s recipe for Carrot and Fried Tofu Salad with Chilli Peanut Sauce from his fabulous book “Vegies,” this dish resemble Indonesian Gado Gado in so much that it features raw and steamed vegetables, tofu and boiled eggs dressed with a deep and richly flavoured peanut sauce with a punchy amount of chilli.
In the cool of the morning I steamed the brocciolini, boiled the eggs and fried the tofu. The sauce quickly came together just before serving, but it could be made a couple of days in advance and gently warmed as you prepared to serve.
In the future, I won’t limit myself to the vegetables here, bean shoots, snow pea tendrils, green beans, spring onions or chives, coriander, shaved fennel and radishes could also be used although I’d limit the selection I chose to avoid flavour confusion.
The Chilli Peanut Sauce makes a surprisingly good salad dressing. I make peanut sauce regularly over the summer months to serve with satays from the BBQ, never before have I thought it would have an alternate use. My old recipe was good, this one is fabulous and worthy of it’s own post.
Chilli Peanut Vegetable Salad with Fried Tofu
400g block firm tofu
500ml peanut oil for deep frying
1 bunch of brocciolini
1 large carrot
1/2 red capsicum
1 Lebanese cucumber
1 cup coarsely shredded wombok
1 cup coarsely shredded iceberg lettuce
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
Wedges of fresh lime to serve
Tear the tofu into bite sized pieces and leave to drain on paper towels while you heat the oil to 180C. Deep fry the tofu in small batches until deeply golden, about 5 minutes. Set the tofu aside on kitchen paper to drain.
Boil the eggs until only just firm, about 4 minutes. Refresh in iced water then peel and set aside.
Peel the stem ends of the brocciolini, then cook for 2 minutes in boiling water. Refresh in iced water, then leave to drain.
Cut the cucumber lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and discard. Slice the cucumber into fine slices.
Cut the carrot and red capsicum into fine julienne.
Wash and spin dry the leafy greens.
Toss the vegetables together then arrange on serving plates.
Toss the tofu in 2 tablespoons of the chilli peanut sauce then scatter it over the vegetables.
Break the eggs in half and add to the plate.
Drizzle the salad generously with peanut chilli sauce.
Serve with wedges of lime.