Jessica Meddows is my lovely globe-hopping blogger friend. I never know where she is! I believe she's Australian by birth, but lives in Toronto, Canada. Jess is always on the move! Most recently, she's been on an extended visit to Thailand. When I asked her to write this post, she said that she was having trouble finding lentils in Thailand, so she substituted them with tofu. Check out her adventures and travel recommendations at North & South Nomads.
Satay and salad?
Yes, it sounds crazy, but bear with me – I promise something delicious awaits you.
This hot and cold combination salad is one of my favourite meals. It’s quick and easy to make, and oh so tasty.
And it’s inspired by one of the meals I order at one of my favourite restaurants, Fresh in Toronto. I ate a curry dish there and was amazed at how well the cold layer worked with the hot rice and curry layer. It’s something I now incorporate into this tofu salad, and into my Indian inspired dishes.
- 1 cup of soy sauce
- ½ cup of red wine or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp of sesame oil
- 1/3 cup of soy sauce
- 1 cup of peanut butter
- Ginger – chop the outer, woody layer off, cut into a workable chunks of about ½ an inch, and mince. If you don’t have a mincer, it can be a bit tricky to get it fine enough for your sauce, so don’t feel bad about using the pre-minced stuff from the supermarket
- Garlic – mince 2-3 medium sized cloves. As above with the ginger, don’t get the guilts about using store stuff!
- 1 tbsp of paprika
- A sprinkle of cayenne pepper
- ½ cup of lime juice
- 1 packet of buckwheat soba noodles. I buy a large box that contains individual meal sized bunches of noodles. If yours is not separated this way, use as much as you would for a spaghetti or noodle meal per person
- 1 block of firm tofu
- 1 large roma tomato
- 1 small cucumber, or half a large cucumber
- Chopped peanuts or coriander for garnish (or both!)
- Lemon or lime wedges to serve
- If you’ve been reading my recipes for a little while, you probably know the drill with tofu: squeeze your block between two paper towels, putting a book or pan on it to help with the squeezing. Get as much water out as you can so the marinade will better soak in.
- Cube your tofu and place into a tray or bowl for marinating. You want to make sure each cube gets covered.
- Mix your marinade ingredients together and cover. Put it in the fridge for an hour. Or if you really like some bite to your tofu, 6 hours or even overnight makes it really tangy. Just don’t leave it longer than 12 hours or trust me, it will get slimy and gross.
- Dice your tomato and cucumber.
- Boil a pan of water. Once it’s boiling, drop in your buckwheat noodles, and return it to medium heat. These are easy to overcook and can taste kind of starchy and blah if you’re not careful. 7 minutes seems to be the magic number to cook them for on my stovetop.
- While your buckwheat noodles are cooking, you can make your satay sauce.
- In a bowl mix whisk together your satay ingredients. If you use peanut butter that is made only with peanuts (It’s to make up for all the fries I eat, I’m no food saint I promise!), it can be a bit tricky whisking it together without everything sticking and driving you nuts. This is where the water can be handy to thin it out a little and get it moving. If you get it too thin, you can always add more peanut butter and/or soy sauce (taste it as you go to see what you need more of), when it’s cooking.
- Cook the satay sauce on a very low heat. Peanut butter burns so easily – I learnt this the hard way trying to cheat and doing it in our microwave when we were on a huge RV roadtrip! Depending on the thickness of your sauce, you may only need 2 minutes, but you could need up to 4-5. Keep an eye on this while you cook it.
- Drain your buckwheat soba noodles. Give them a quick blast of water to get any starchy residue off.
- Pick out as much tofu as you want from your marinated cubes. You can always save some to nibble on later, or use in other salads or sandwiches. Layer your tofu, your satay sauce on top of your tofu, and then a layer of your diced cucumber and tomato.
- Top with peanuts and coriander. Serve with lemon or lime wedges.
Prep time: 10 minutes (with marinating tofu - 1 hr 10 minutes); Serves 2 people.
Be sure to visit Jess' Web site at www.northandsouthnomads.com.