Savory zest and sweet digest, this soba noodle salad makes a fantastic lunch or light dinner.
To make the salad
For the dressing
- 60g (¹∕³ cup) toasted or untoasted sesame oil
- 3-4 tbsp rice vinegar, to taste (I like it tangy, so I use 4)
- 25ml (¹∕8 cup) tahini
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup, or to taste
- 1 tbsp low-sodium tamari
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
For the salad
- 225g soba noodles
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 3-4 (80g) spring onions, finely chopped
- 50g (1 cup) coriander leaves, minced
- 1 batch Cast-Iron Tofu (see recipe)
- Fine sea salt
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, for garnish
- Fresh lime juice, for serving (optional)
- Sriracha, for serving
- Prepare the Cast-Iron Tofu (see recipe below)
- Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth. Cover and refrigerate to thicken slightly.
- Make the salad. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl.
- Add the bell peppers, spring onions and coriander to the bowl with the noodles. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Add half the tofu cubes and toss again. Taste and season with sea salt if necessary.
- Top the salad with the remaining tofu, sesame seeds, and coriander scattered on top. You can also add a squeeze of lime juice on top of each bowl just before serving or simply serve with a lime wedge.
- The salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The tofu will soften as it sits, but it’s still very tasty.
Top Tip: If you dont have time to make the cast iron tofu, then just fry some extra firm tofu in a frying and serve with salad.
For the cast iron tofu
- 340 to 450g (1¹∕³-2 cups) block firm or extrafirm tofu
- 3 tsp avocado oil, grapeseed oil or olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp onion powder (optional)
- Press the tofu overnight, or for at least 30 minutes.
- Slice the pressed tofu into 9 or 10 rectangles 1cm thick and then slice each rectangle into 6 squares, to make a total of 54 to 60 tofu pieces.
- Heat a large cast-iron (or non-stick) frying pan over medium-high heat for several minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the tofu with 1 ½ teaspoons of the oil. Gently stir until all the tofu is coated. Stir in the garlic powder, salt, and onion powder (if using).
- When a drop of water gently sizzles on the frying pan, it is hot enough. Carefully add the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons oil and tilt the pan to coat it evenly with the oil. Add the tofu to the pan in a single layer (be careful, as the oil might splatter—use a splatter guard, if desired), making sure all the pieces lay flat. If yours is too small to cook all the tofu at once, work in batches.
- Cook the tofu on one side for 4 to 7 minutes, until you have a golden crust with some speckled brown spots (the crust should be about 1.5mm in thickness). With a fork, flip each piece (yes, this step is a bit arduous) and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more, until golden. Serve immediately; the tofu crust will soften as it cools.
Taken from March 2017 (Issue 24) Vegan Life Magazine
Recipes and images from Oh She Glows Every day by Angela Liddon