A Thai-style recipe that shows off summer herbs perfectly, making them a vital part rather than an accent. If you can’t find Thai basil, use only coriander and/or mint. By tamarind ‘water’ I mean the strained liquid from soaking one part seedless tamarind pulp in six parts boiling water. If you use jars of tamarind purée, dilute it with an equal amount of water.
Thai-Style Tofu Salad
I N G R E D I E N T S
For the dressing
2–3 green birdseye chillies, thinly sliced
1 tbsp palm sugar
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp tamarind water (see recipe introduction)
2 tbsp Vegetarian ‘Fish’ Sauce, or light soy sauce
For the salad
1 lemongrass stalk
1 fresh kaffir lime leaf
400g bought marinated tofu cubes (ideally those in tamari)
3 red Asian shallots, thinly sliced
Large handful of mixed coriander, mint and Thai basil leaves
2 tbsp unsalted peanuts, Crushed
M E T H O D
To make the dressing, pound the chillies and sugar in a mortar and pestle to form a rough paste. Stir in the lime juice, tamarind water and fish sauce and check the seasoning.
Remove the tough outer layers from the lemongrass stalk and finely chop the tender core, discarding the fibrous top part of the stalk. Roll the lime leaf into a ‘cigar’ and slice into tiny shreds, avoiding the central stalk.
Either shave the cucumber into wide ribbons with a vegetable peeler or slice it finely.
Toss the lemongrass, lime leaf, cucumber, tofu, shallots and herbs together in a bowl. Add the dressing and half the crushed peanuts, gently.
Toss again and serve with the remaining crushed nuts scattered over.
Photography & recipe from 'The New Vegetarian' by Alice Hart, out this month!