Asian-Style Fennel-Tofu Salad (vegan)

Seeing as I am in the process of trying not to drown in my own sweat at home (honestly, airco should come standard with an apartment here), I’ve been avoiding using the stovetop or oven. So, I have been making lots of salads for dinner. This salad is fresh, healthy and there’s no sweat involved. What more do you want? There’s also no special equipment needed for this recipe and it’s very cheap to make so there’s no excuse not to try it 😉 I like my salads to have a tangy kick to it, so go easy on the dressing if you don’t like this. Fennel really is the star of this dish but if you aren’t fond of raw fennel, there is another recipe I’ve been wanting to put online that features it but used in a way you won’t even recognise it! Stay tuned…

Ingredients (makes 3 smallish portions):

Dressing

  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, about 3 cm long, grated
  • 1 medium sized garlic clove, grated
  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce (I like Kikkoman the best)
  • 4 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar (or any type of white vinegar but you might have to increase the amount because rice wine is quite strong)
  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil (any mild tasting vegetable oil will do)
  • Chilli flakes and salt to taste

Salad

  • A 200 gram package of firm tofu, cut in small cubes
  • 1 medium fennel, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 portions of soba noodles, about 150 grams (you can sub this with other thin noodles like glass noodles or even spaghettini!)

Method:

  • First make the dressing so you can marinate the tofu in it. Whisk together the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sunflower oil, chilli flakes and salt. Pour it over the tofu and make sure it is properly mixed. Let the tofu absorb the flavours while you prepare the noodles and other veggies.
  • Boil the soba noodles according to the package. When ready, drain and rinse the noodles under cold running water. This is important, it acts to cool down the noodles and to make sure they don’t turn into a sticky, gummy mess.
  • Mix the fennel, carrot, bell pepper, noodles, tofu and dressing together in a salad bowl.

Storage and tip of the day:

Because this salad has bell pepper in it, it will only stay fresh for about 1-3 days in the fridge.

Dressings really make salads pop. I used to think it was too difficult to do myself and bought them in the store. Needless to say, homemade is so much better and actually really easy to do. Just whisk an acidic ingredient (usually some type of vinegar or lemon/lime juice), oil, salt/pepper and aromatics (I like raw grated garlic, ginger, soy sauce, mustard etc.) together and you have your own dressing!

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