If you know me in real life (wait, where am I?), you’ll probably know that I love a good salad, and that I have many salad-related recipes up my sleeve, ready to bust out at any given moment. What you may not know, however, is that I rarely get excited by salads, dressings and the like. That is, up until now.
This salad had me bouncing around the kitchen like Martha Stewart on crack. No exaggeration. The scent of sesame wafting through the air, the green goodness piled high on the chopping board, and then, then the crispy tofu went and tipped me right over the edge. I’ve never been so excited to sit down for dinner.
Seriously, this humble noodle salad is like a flavour bomb in a bowl. I mean, don’t even bother with whatever you were planning on making tonight, make this instead. You can thank me later.
150g firm tofu, sliced into 4x 1cm thick slabs
1 tbsp Sriracha chilli sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Pinch white pepper
270g dried soba noodles
1 handful snow peas, sliced thinly on the diagonal
4 spring onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1/2 bunch Thai basil, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 Lebanese cucumber, diced into chunks
1/2 avocado, diced into cubes
4 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan (for garnish)
Nanami Togarashi spice mix (optional, for garnish)*
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp olive oil
Place the sliced tofu into a shallow dish and pour over the marinade ingredients. Swish it around a bit to make sure the tofu is covered, then cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge.
Cook the soba noodles in rapidly boiling water for 4 minutes, drain, and run under cold water until cool to touch. Transfer to a large salad bowl and throw in all your chopped veg and herbs.
Next, pour all the dressing ingredients into a jar and shake it on up. Pour over your noodles and veg and give it a really good toss, then pop it into the fridge to chill while you prepare the tofu.
Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a non-stick frypan over medium-high heat, then fry the tofu for around 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.
To serve, pile up the noodles and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds, then top with a slice of crispy tofu and a final flourish of Nanami Togarashi* spice mix.
* If you can’t find this particular Japanese spice mix, just replace with dried chilli flakes or your favourite chilli sauce. Or you can leave it out — I promise it will still be delicious!