Warm Tofu Salad

16 ounces extra firm tofu
1/2 cup sweet onion chili Sauce (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons each, minced garlic, thai basil, and mint
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
zest and juice of 2 limes
1 japanese eggplant, cut in 1/2-inch sticks
1 yellow bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch sticks
1 bunch green onions, trimmed and cut in
half
3 cups shredded red cabbage
2 tablespoons each, rice vinegar and
honey
chili oil to taste
cilantro leaves
oil for brushing
Sweet Onion Chili Sauce
2 pounds yellow onions, cut into 1/4-inch
slices
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons crushed red chile flakes, or more, to taste
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1/2 cup orange juice

1. Place block of tofu on a pie plate or other shallow container. Stack another plate directly on top of tofu. Add weight to plate and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes, then pour off collected water . (Canned goods work well as a weight.)

2. In a large bowl, whisk together chili sauce, garlic, basil, mint, ginger and lime zest and juice. Halve tofu lengthwise and cut in 3/4-inch slices. Coat tofu sticks with mixture and set aside on a baking sheet for at least 1/2 hour. Add eggplant, peppers, and onions to remaining mixture in bowl, toss to coat, and let stand at least 1/2 hour.

3. Heat grill to very hot and lightly brush with oil. Scrape excess marinade back into bowl, quickly grill tofu, eggplant, and pepper strips until lightly marked.

4. On a large platter or on individual salad plates, arrange cabbage and top with hot tofu and vegetables. In a small saucepan, combine remaining marinade, vinegar, honey, and a few drops of chili oil, and bring to a simmer. Drizzle hot marinade over top of salad and garnish with cilantro.

Makes 6 servings.

Sweet Onion Chili Sauce Directions

1. Heat grill to medium hot and grill onions for about 5 minutes on each side, until well marked and softened. Chop finely and transfer to a medium saucepan. Stir in vinegar, honey, chile, flakes, and salt.

2. In a bowl, combine arrowroot and orange juice. Bring onion mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and stir juice into simmering onion mixture, stirring constantly until thickened, 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat, spoon into containers, cover, and set aside to cool. Store refrigerated.

Makes about 4 cups.



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