Monday, June 24, 2013

Silken tofu salad with ginger and mint

One of my favorite chefs is Kylie Kwong. Her take on Chinese cuisine is authentic as well as interesting. Out of the many recipes of hers which are a part of our regular dinner repertoire, this cold tofu salad is truly worth sharing. Extremely simple, but with a little twist using aromatics and spices to take it a level above ordinary.

She uses cold tofu, shredded spring onions and shredded vegetables dressed with a hot oil dressing to make this wonderful summertime salad. This is a perfect make ahead dish - pour the hot dressing just before serving. I have adapted it slightly and omitted the spring onions and substituted chili oil for freshly sliced red chilis.

Silken tofu salad with ginger and mint
1 small cucumber
1 small carrot peeled
14 oz silken tofu chilled
2 tablespoons finely sliced fresh mint leaves
Pinch of Sichuan pepper salt

Dressing
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
½ tablespoon fresh peeled ginger, cut into julienne
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon malt vinegar (substitute is rice vinegar)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil (substitute is grape seed or canola oil)
  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a heatproof bowl. Heat peanut oil in a small frying pan until moderately hot, and then carefully pour over dressing ingredients to scald them and release their flavors. Stir to combine and set aside.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, finely slice cucumber and carrot length-ways into ribbons and then into a fine julienne or use a julienne peeler.
  3. Take tofu from the refrigerator and immediately invert into a shallow bowl. Carefully cut into 8 equal slices width ways and top with cucumber and carrot. Pour over dressing and garnish with mint, Sichuan pepper salt and serve immediately. 

Serves 3 to 4 as a first course

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