Cambodian Style Tofu Salad


This vegetarian entree features South Asian spices and flavors.


  • 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)

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed

  • 3 medium carrots (about ½ 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

  • ¼ cup roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Distribute beans, carrots, scallions, red peppers, lettuce, and mint evenly among six plates.

  5. 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.

Cook's Notes

This recipe calls for galangal; it is a knobby tuber similar to ginger, which can be used instead.

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