I started out the day with plans to make Thai Noodle Salad with Sauteed Tofu with last weeks cabbage and cilantro, but nearing dinner I realized that I did not have the “right” size rice noodles in my pantry. Plus a whole recipe makes a lot of salad, like eating it all week for two people a lot of salad. This is how I found myself at 6:45 p.m. surrounded by my cookbooks looking up every cabbage recipe I could find. In the end I decided to go ahead and make an asian-style slaw with some pan-fried tofu marinated and throw on a pot of rice.
Put on some rice near the beginning and start marinating the tofu first.
Tofu Marinade from the Thai Noodle Salad recipe above
- 2 T. fresh lime juice
- 1 T. soy sauce
- 1 T. chili-garlic sauce
- 1 t. sugar
- 2 t. fresh grated ginger
- 1/2 t. crushed red pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
Mix it all together and taste (to adjust seasonings if necessary). I try to use a re-usable pyrex dish instead of a ziplock and place pressed, sliced tofu. Turn occasionally and make sure marinade is distributed evenly.
Then make the slaw. I used the dressing and basic slaw ingredients (though I had to leave some things out or substitute here and there) from the Vietnamese Coleslaw with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts recipe from From Bangkok to Bali in 30 minutes by Theresa Volpe Laursen and Byron Laursen. Their slaw used green cabbage instead of napa, included sesame seeds, fresh mint and vietnamese coriander in addition to the red onion, carrot and cilantro.
- medium head napa cabbage, shredded
- bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 medium red onion, sliced thinly into half-moons & soaked in ice water while you prep the other ingredients, then drained
- 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
- 3 T. fresh lime juice
- 2 T. plus 1 t. fish sauce, I use 1 T based on past experience with our particular brand and tastes
- 1 T. rice vinegar
- 1 T. sesame oil (not toasted), I use toasted since that is what I have
- 1 T. palm sugar or light brown sugar
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 2 t. minced small thai or serrano chillies, I use a squirt of srirachi (or dash of cayenne)
Whisk dressing together and toss with the slaw ingredients. Top with a small handful of unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts that have been finely chopped (or ground).
Once the slaw is tossed go ahead and cook the tofu. I left 3 of my 5 tofu slices in the marinade for a meal later this week (maybe the Thai Noodle Salad) and put a little oil in a non-stick skillet and pan-fried two of the tofu slices for our dinner tonight.
This was an excellent dinner, unfortunately due to my bad bowl-size judgement I did make more dishes than I should have while cooking tonight. Plus I have my tofu ready for the Thai Noodle Salad since I have a whole new head of napa cabbage.