Carrots, beets and red leaf lettuce give this salad a strikingly colorful appeal. Curry fried tofu adds substance and texture, while a Thai dressing adds flavorful sweet and spiciness. This Curry Fried Tofu Salad recipe, courtesy of self-taught cook and author Brian Patton, is excerpted from The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude (New World Library, 2012).
Curry Fried Tofu Salad Recipe
Food should appeal to all five senses. And this salad is a perfect example of something that stimulates sight, smell, texture, and taste, and if you listen really closely, it gives you great decorating tips.
Makes 2 entrees or 4 appetizers
One 14-ounce block extra-firm tofu, drained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour (or another flour, like garbanzo, rice, etc.)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1/2 head red leaf lettuce, roughly chopped or torn
1/2 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 medium beet, grated
1 medium carrot, grated
1 small Thai chili, minced (you can use less depending on how hot the peppers are)
1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon agave nectar
Slice the tofu crosswise into six 1/3-inch-thick rectangles. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Spread the curry powder, flour, and salt and pepper on a shallow plate, stir to combine, and dredge both sides of the tofu slices in the seasoning. When the olive oil is just barely starting to smoke, carefully place the slices in the frying pan. Let them fry on one side for 3 to 4 minutes, until browned. Then flip and brown on the other side for 3 to 4 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, cucumber, scallion, beet, and carrot, and toss with the dressing. Pile the salad on a plate and place the fried tofu on top in an artful fashion.
More Vegan Recipes and Tips from The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude:
• Portobello Mushroom Sandwich
• Sun-Dried Tomato and White Bean Spread
• 5 Ways to Eat Kale
• Q&A with Brian Patton
Excerpted with permission from The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude © 2012 by Brian Patton. Published with permission of New World Library.