Golden-Brown Tofu with Green Papaya-Noodle Salad
Adapted from Burmese style hand-tossed noodle salad recipe, this dish has sour, salty, spicy and nutty flavors. Crispy garlic chips make it even more interesting. This refreshing salad can be made vegan by replacing fish sauce with soy sauce, honey with agave nectar and using egg-less noodles.
- 1 medium green papaya (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled; quartered; seeded
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 16-oz block extra firm tofu, pressed free of excess water; cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons rice flour
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled; 1/8-inch sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 4 ounces freshly-squeezed lime juice
- 1 ounce honey
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- Fish sauce to taste
- 1 pound cooked soba, buckwheat or lomein noodles
- 2 medium shallots, sliced
- 2/3 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, finely crushed
- 8 sprigs cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers, toasted (optional)
- Using coarse side of a box grater, shread papaya. Reserve for later.
- Warm oil in a fry pan over low-medium heat about 6 minutes.
- In a bowl, combine the tofu with rice flour; toss gently to coat the tofu well. Or, place both ingredients in a zip-lock bag or covered container and shake well.
- Drop 1 slice of garlic to test if the oil is hot enough to slowly fry it. Add remaining garlic; fry until crispy but not burnt. Remove from heat; add turmeric. Place turmeric infused garlic chips on paper towel.
- Return fry pan to stove; turn up heat to medium-high. Fry flour-coated tofu cubes for about 5 minutes until golden brown on the outside and chewy on the inside. Place fried tofu next to garlic chips on paper towel.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together lime juice, honey, sriracha and fish sauce, and taste. The dressing should have a nice balance of sour, sweet, spicy and salty and be strong enough to flavor all the components of the dish. Combine oil, if any, left in the fry pan after frying tofu.
- Add remaining ingredients and ones reserved during previous steps to the bowl, mix well. Sprinkle toasted crushed red peppers, if desried; serve immediately.
Serving Size: 4
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Preparation Time: 40 minutes