Holiday season is behind us and summer here in Australia summer is getting HOT! Hot weather means lighter meals and what would be better that a fresh noodle salad. This Vietnamese Tofu Noodle Salad is very much Vietnamese cuisine inspired with chili, fresh coriander and mint. By adding noodles, the dish is a little more filling than just plain salad. Add crispy tofu and serve with spicy ginger peanut sauce, and you get my all time favorite dish. Ever. Not joking!
If you want, you can leave tofu out and replace with more veggies. You can also use your favorite veggies. I had grated carrots and zucchini as a base of the salad. I also added some diced tomatoes and capsicum. I doubled the peanut sauce and used half of it as a tofu marinade. But you can also just pan fry/bake tofu and only use peanut sauce as a dressing. This peanut sauce is my all time favorite, so it’s definitely worth doubling the amount. Trust me!
300 g firm tofu
150 g packet of rice noodles (or noodles of your choice)
1 cup firmly packed fresh coriander
1/2 -1 cup firmly packed fresh mint
1 cup firmly packed baby spinach (optional for those extra greens)
1 large zucchini grated
2 carrots grated
2-3 fresh chilies sliced thin
3/4 cup crushed raw cashews
3 heaped tbsp natural peanut butter
1/4 cup soy or tamari sauce
2 tbsp chili sauce or chili powder to taste
3 gloves garlic
1 small red onion
5 cm piece of fresh ginger (or to taste )
water as needed
- Cook the noodles according to package instructions. I sometimes just soak the noodles in hot water to soften them, but leave more texture. This depends on the type of noodles you are using. Some of them end up remaining way too hard when only soaking them. Drain the noodles and set aside to cool down.
- Place all the peanut sauce ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Slowly add water until wanted consistency. Taste and adjust the spices.
- Cut firm tofu into small cubes and put them in small plastic bag. Pour half of the peanut sauce in the bag, close and give the tofu a little rub to spread the sauce evenly. Let marinate a little while.
- Heat the oven to 200’C and bake marinated tofu for 20 minutes, or until crispy and golden. Remove form the oven and let cool.
- Chop all the vegetables, herbs and chili. Toss them in a large bowl and squeeze in juice of 1/2 a lime.
- Mix in noodles, tofu and sprinkle on cashew nuts. Drizzle the remaining peanut sauce over your noodle salad and enjoy!