Spicy, Crisp Tofu on Mint-Avocado Salad
A study in contrasts, this dish has both crunchy and smooth textures, as well as hot and cool flavors.
- Total Time:
- Servings: 4
Photography: Sang An
Source: Body+Soul, June 2006
- 1 package regular tofu, firm or extra-firm, drained
- 1/3 cup spicy Asian chile sauce, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dressing
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt
- 1 cup panko
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 heads butterhead lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup fresh whole mint leaves
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced lengthwise
Cut the tofu in half horizontally (slicing parallel to work surface). Keep the tofu stacked; cut crosswise in half to make 4 rectangles. Cut each rectangle into 2 triangles. Press).
In a large bowl whisk together 1/2 teaspoon chili sauce, orange zest, orange juice, and olive oil. Season the mixture with salt to taste. Set aside.
Pour the remaining 1/3 cup chile sauce into a shallow bowl. Place the panko in a separate shallow bowl. Piece by piece, gently coat the tofu in the chile sauce and then the panko, patting it on each piece to coat.
In a large, nonstick skillet, heat half the canola oil over medium heat. Gently place half the tofu in skillet. Pan-fry the tofu, turning once, until outsides are crisp and brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat. Repeat the process with remaining oil and tofu.
Add lettuce and mint to bowl with dressing; toss to coat. Place equal mounds of salad in center of four plates; fan avocado slices on top. Arrange 2 tofu triangles next to the avocado and serve immediately.