Marinated Vegetables and Baked Tofu Salad
This main course salad showcases tofu at its most delicious...richly flavored and baked on a bed of deliciously marinated veggies.
4 slices extra firm tofu, 1/4-inch thick
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
spring or filtered water
1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, very thin half moon slices
1 carrot, very fine matchstick pieces, blanched for 30 seconds, drained well
1 red onion, thin half moon slices, blanched for 30 seconds, drained well
2 teaspoons stoneground mustard
2 teaspoons sesame tahini
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon umeboshi vinegar
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup
juice of 1/2 fresh orange
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tofu slices in a shallow baking dish and cover with water. Swirl in soy sauce and mirin and marinate for 10 minutes. Drain away marinade and bake tofu, uncovered, until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Turn the tofu slices and brown, about 7 minutes more. (You may also broil the tofu under high heat, but take care not to burn it. It will take between 3 and 5 minutes on each side, but it can vary.)
While the tofu bakes, prepare the salad. Toss the sliced cucumber with a generous pinch of salt and place in a strainer in the sink or over a bowl (to remove excess fluid from the cucumber). Bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanche carrot and then onion. Mix vegetables together. Cool tofu until you can handle it. Using a sharp knife, begin shredding the baked tofu into irregular pieces. Stir into vegetables. Prepare the dressing by simply whisking all the ingredients together until smooth.
Add a small amount of water if you would like the dressing to be thinner. To serve, simply toss the cucumber and tofu mixture with the dressing. Serve at room temperature or lightly chilled. If serving chilled, refrigerate the salad and dressing and mix together just before serving.