One of my favorite dishes these days is a high-protein, low-salt dry tofu salad that uses little oil. It mixes the softness and firmness of dry tofu with the crunchiness of fresh, pan-fried peanuts.
Hints of garlic, cilantro and green onion can be tasted in the dish – as well as chili oil. We use oil from Guizhou province. This dish will likely catch the eye of vegetarians.
Years ago, my wife and I had the pleasure of eating this salad at a Chinese restaurant. Similar to cooks worldwide, she returned home and tried making it on her own.
We’ve served it to about a dozen or so relatives and friends. They all enjoyed it. So, I thought it was time to post her recipe online.
Yes, the debate rages among media folks about free content, micropayments, subscriptions and the like. And yes, there are cookbooks for sale.
But when it comes to recipes, I’ve always liked how relatives, friends and neighbors share.
Dry tofu might be new to some people - since the soft and firm tofu that comes in a tub of water is so prevalent at markets.
Give this dish a try. One nice aspect is that you can reduce or increase any ingredient. Sometimes, I punch it up by adding more chili oil. People who are cutting down on their salt can reduce the amount of soy sauce.
Another plus about this salad, given the recession, is that it will cost about $3 to $4 to make. That’s presuming you have the basic ingredients, such as soy sauce, at home.
It only takes about 20 minutes to make. You can probably feed at least three adults with the recipe included here.
After the jump, I’ve included a slideshow of the ingredients and steps. You’ll see I’m low on sesame oil.
My wife often uses a pinch of this or a pinch of that when she cooks. So feel free to experiment. See what suits your taste buds the best.
- Flavored dried tofu (9.9 ounces – Sunrise is one brand)
- Raw peanuts (half cup)
- Green onion, cilantro and two cloves of garlic
- Chili oil (1/2 teaspoon)
- Guiyang Nanming Laoganma is one brand of chili oil.
- If you want this type of oil, look for a red bottle.
- If you spot a small black-and-white photo, study it.
- If there’s a serious woman with short black hair, it’s the brand.
- Sugar (1/2 teaspoon)
- Soy sauce (1 teaspoon)
- Sesame oil (1 teaspoon)
- Lian How brand, meiwei blended soybean/sesame oil, is one type
- Dark Chinese vinegar (1 tablespoon - Chinkiang is one brand)
- Chicken bouillon powder (1/4 teaspoon)
- Ground black pepper (as desired)
- Coat a pan with about two tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil.
- Turn the stove to medium-low heat.
- Take the raw peanuts and fry in pan for about three minutes.
- Note: The peanuts can burn fast. Turn them as they fry.
- After the peanuts turn brown, put them on a dish; let them cool.
- You can add some salt to the peanuts, if you’d like.
- Cut all four tofu cubes into thin, two-inch long strips.
- Cut the green onions, cilantro and garlic.
- Add everything into a mixing bowl and stir.
- Serve in a nice bowl.