Tofu Doodle Salad with Peanut dressing
Here's a delicious gluten free noodle dish! It's fresh, delicious and reminiscent of the flavour in raw Asian spring rolls. Crisp with a sauce that adds an edge.
This dish has three main elements:
- A cool fresh salad with coriander, sprouts, scallions and crispy romaine salad.
- Tofu, cooked in the best way possible - crispy fried and flavoured with chilli, soy and maple syrup
- A peanut sauce - with strong character that defines the dish!
Personally I don't think marinating tofu is a super idea - you want the tofu to be as dry as possible when you fry it for that crispiness to appear. Use firm tofu and press it between two plates with a paper kitchen towels under the tofu Place something heavy above the top plate and squeeze out excess moist.
I like a strong punch, so I maxed the lime, ginger and shoy for a strong flavour. Though taste buds are like people - often different - I've made an option in the recipe so that you can choose a milder or stronger flavour.
ZOODLES AND OTHER PLANT NOODLES
Zoodles are bands of spiralized raw zucchini. They're perfect to use as a substitute for any pasta or noodle dish, personally I think they fit the best with Mediterranean dishes, like vegetarian lentil Bolognese and just simply with tomato, pesto, parmesan; or just herbs, olive oil and salt. There is one minus with zoodles - they release the plant juices easily and therefore lose their bouncy shape and go soggy fast, especially in a sauce. They can add to the juiciness of a dish and some people like that a lot. Though with food styling or if you're making an Instagram shot, you might wanna consider adding the zoodles just before it's time to shoot or serve for a firmer zoodle.
Carrots make great noodles, they stay firm and have a delicious and slightly sweet taste. They work across many flavour palates, but pair extra well with North African and Indian dishes, regions where carrot salads are a common cooling contrast to spicier ingredients.
Daikon noodles ( doodles :D )
I made daikon noodles recently and they look magical as you can see in the image above. They're almost perfect in every sense, from appearance, to taste and firmness, and they fit wonderfully with Asian dishes. There's just one catch, daikon smells of sulphur!! And when you spiralize a whole daikon, it can be at bit overwhelming for a sensitive nose. Serving doodles is a risk! I experienced that half of the table loved it while the other half couldn't bare the smell. There could be ways of masking the sulphuric smell with vinegar to try for experimental home cooks.
Sweet potato, parnsip and all other plants that can be spiralized.
Plenty of plants can become plant noodles. If they're firm enough, can be eaten raw, and fit into the spiralizing tool - there's no reason not to get creative. Raw sweet potato noodles are delicious, as are parnsip. Explore new kinds of noodles by spiralizing your veggies at home.
There are tools that cost a pretty penny and then there's a whole range down to really cheap ones. I've got a little plastic cone that was less then 10 euros (10 dollars) and it's easy to use. But you don't need to have a special tool, although it's quite fun and useful if you find one you like. You can also make tagliatelle shaped zoodles with a cheese slicer and a knife. Sometimes I also use a julienne knife that cuts beautiful straight thin slices of vegetables. Anything that slices thin will do.
Asian salad with Crispy Tofu and Peanut sauce
250g firm tofu
500g daikon or zucchini or carrot (you can use regular noodles as well if, use soba or rice noodles for a gluten free meal )
1 tbsp maple syrup or agave syrup or honey
2 tbsp tamari or shoyu sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp shichimi togarashi or other chilli flakes
150 g romaine lettuce, shredded
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 handfuls coriander, chopped
2 handfuls beansprouts
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
salt to taste
100 ml natural peanut butter
2-4 tbsp tamari soy (use 2 tbsp for a milder sauce - and up to 4 tbsp for a stronger punch)
2-4 tbsp fresh lime juice (use 2 tbsp for a milder sauce - and up to 4 tbsp for a stronger punch)
2 tbsp rape seed oil
½ -1 tbsp fresh ginger grated(use ½ tbsp for a milder sauce and 1 for a stronger punch)
2 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
water to thin
Mix the ingredients for the peanut sauce until smooth, add small amounts of water to thin the sauce until desired thickness.
Spiralize the daikon/zucchini or carrots into noodles. Peel and half the avocado, remove the pit and cut the avocado into small pieces.
Stir and fry the tofu in a pan with 1-2 tbsp rape seed oil on medium to high heat until it's golden and crispy, pour over the tamari mix and allow the tofu to absorb it. Remove from heat.
Toss the the ingredients except the sauce together in bowl and serve with the peanut sauce.