I’m in a state of waiting. Each day as the heat builds and the grey clouds roll in on top of one another I wait for the summer afternoon rains to fall. Endless reading of the news and various social media streams waiting in the countdown for the state election. And as my belly grows and tightens and the days tick by and my due date looms, I wait for the baby to come.
It’s not a bad thing, this waiting. The days are spent with my daughter, swimming and reading and listening to her speak such earnest gibberish. Doing yoga and taking walks. The evenings are spent chatting with S, cooking dinner, writing, reading. And so, like this, we keep on waiting.
And while waiting, I eat. Mostly salads, given the fact that the days are hot and humid, rarely dropping below 30°c. Though we eat tofu fairly regularly at home, I noticed recently that it has not yet featured on this blog. Likely because I’m not actually the most imaginative cooker of tofu. This particular gem, though, is one of my new favourite ways to eat tofu. It is adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook, that fantastically old-school vegetarian cookbook first published in the ’70s.
This Tofu Salad is really easy to make and involves no actual cooking. The adjustments I’ve made to the original are in the way of adding a few more vegetables and changing up the sauce somewhat, but otherwise this recipe remains true to the original – packed full of protein, with the crunchy vegetables offset by the softer tofu and tangy sauce. I usually serve this salad straight up, but it is also delicious atop a bed of soba noodles, if you fancy. Whatever you do though, be sure to let the tofu and sauce sit together awhile to marinate (even overnight), making it all the more tastier.
Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook, Mollie Katzen
375gms firm tofu
1 small red capsicum
2 cups loosely-packed coriander
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3 tbsps sesame oil
3 tbsps rice wine vinegar
3 tbsps tamari
2 – 3 cm fresh ginger
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
Unsalted toasted peanuts
In the bottom of a large bowl finely grate the ginger and then add all the rest of the sauce ingredients, using a fork or small whisk to thoroughly combine. Using your fingers, crumble the tofu directly into the sauce (the easiest way to do this is by gently rubbing the tofu between your thumb and fingers – you’ll find that it will crumble quite easily until it resembles scrambled eggs). Mix the tofu through the sauce until it is well coated, cover with a tea towel, and leave to marinate for at least an hour.
In the meantime, finely chop the carrot, capsicum snowpeas and coriander. Dry toast the sesame seeds in a pan over a medium heat until they begin to brown, then remove from heat and set aside.
When you are ready to eat, combine the veges, coriander and sesame seeds with the tofu and mix to combine. Serve sprinkled with toasted peanuts and lemon wedges on the side.
Serves: 2 – 4
Notes: this salad keeps particularly well for two or three days, and is often even better the second day. Also, feel free to add extra veges, or use whatever you have on hand. Some suggestions – purple cabbage, mung beans sprouts, corn kernels.