I love this salad…a one-dish meal that’s light, fresh, but deeply satisfying. Smoky baked tofu is beautifully offset with crisp greens, sweet roasted peanuts and sensually sweet mangoes for just a hint of the tropics.
Makes 3-4 servings
Toasted sesame oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
3-4 shallots, halved, thinly sliced into half-moon pieces
5-6 thin slices fresh ginger, finely minced
grated zest of 1 lime
organic soy sauce
1 red bell pepper, roasted over an open flame, peeled, seeded, diced
1 carrot, fine matchstick pieces
Mirin or white wine
4 slices packaged baked tofu
1 bunch watercress, rinsed well, finely diced
brown rice vinegar
1 mango, peeled, pitted, thinly sliced
Place about 3 tablespoons of oil in a deep skillet and turn heat to medium-low. When the oil is warm, add garlic, shallots, ginger and lemon zest, a splash of organic soy sauce and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stir in red pepper and carrot, another splash of organic soy sauce and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add ½ cup mirin/wine, season lightly with organic soy sauce and reduce heat to low. Cook vegetables, uncovered, until liquid has reduced to a thin syrup, 7-10 minutes. Stir in baked tofu and lay watercress on top. Cover and turn off heat. Allow watercress to steam until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in a sprinkle of brown rice vinegar.
While the vegetables cook, prepare the peanuts. Place the peanuts in a heat-resistant bowl. Bring rice syrup and salt to a foaming boil over high heat. Pour over peanuts and stir well to coat. Immediately stir sweet peanuts into tofu dish.
Transfer cooked tofu mixture to a serving platter and arrange sliced mangoes around the rim of the dish.
Cook’s Tip: if you prefer to make this dish without wine or mirin to avoid any alcohol, simply substitute sparkling apple juice for a delicious result.