Cambodian Style Tofu Salad
This recipe calls for galangal; it is a knobby tuber similar to ginger, which can be used instead.
- 1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 fresh or frozen 1-inch piece galangal, or fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic coarsely, chopped
- 1 fresh jalapeno pepper diced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla)
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 3 medium carrots (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 7 scallions, white and light-green parts only, cut into 2-inch slivers
- 3 red Italian frying peppers (about 11 ounces), or 2 bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 head Boston lettuce (8 ounces), shredded
- 1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Place tofu between two layers of paper towel on a dish. Place a baking sheet over tofu, and set a heavy book on top of baking sheet to weight tofu so it releases excess water; let stand about 30 minutes.
Combine galangal or ginger, garlic, jalapeno, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, remove from heat, and set aside.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add salt and beans; cook until beans are just tender and bright green, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain beans, and transfer immediately to a large bowl of ice water. When chilled, drain again, and pat dry.
Distribute beans, carrots, scallions, red peppers, lettuce, and mint evenly among six plates.
Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu, and cook until golden brown and slightly crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Add ginger mixture, toss to coat tofu, and cook about 1 minute more. Spoon tofu and sauce over vegetables, sprinkle with peanuts, and serve.