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. Create an exceptionally crisp and flavorful crust by cooking tofu with two items from Asian grocery stores -- chili sauce and panko, a type of flaky breadcrumb with a light, coarse texture. There are many types of Asian chile sauce. A good all-purpose one is Sriracha, similar in flavor to a spicy ketchup. Per serving: 471 calories; 19 g protein; 34 g fat; 29 g carbs; 7 g fiber.
- 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.
SourceBody+Soul, June 2006