Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Makes: 4-6 servings
This salad features the mouthwatering combination of flavours and textures that make Thai food so addictive, with seared tofu, soba noodles, crunchy veggies, fresh mint and salty peanuts tossed in a creamy peanut sauce.
1-350 g block extra-firm tofu, halved crosswise
½ cup (125 mL) Newman’s Own Sesame Thai Dressing
2 tbsp (30 mL) peanut or vegetable oil
½ tsp (2 mL) coarse salt
⅔ cup (160 mL) Newman’s Own Sesame Thai Dressing
2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp (2 mL) red chili flakes, plus more to taste
½ tsp coarse salt
⅔ cup (160 mL) natural, unsalted peanut butter
½ lb (225 g) soba noodles
1 large carrot, peeled and grated or cut julienne-style on a mandoline
6” (15 cm) length of cucumber, grated or cut julienne-style on a mandoline
¼ cup (60 mL) firmly packed fresh mint leaves, chopped, plus more for topping
⅓ cup (80 mL) chopped, roasted, salted peanuts, plus more for topping
1. PLACE two paper towels on a large plate and position tofu on top, followed by another two paper towels. Weigh the tofu down with a couple of large cans or a heavy skillet and let stand 15 minutes - the tofu will release quite a bit of liquid. Cut the pressed tofu into strips lengthwise, and then crosswise to make about 1”-long (2.5 cm) pieces. Transfer to a shallow baking dish and add ½ cup Sesame Thai Dressing, tossing to coat. Marinate at room temperature 60 minutes, or refrigerate up to 8 hours.
2. Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles in a large pot of salted water for about 7 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain in a colander, running cold water over top until cool.
3. Whisk the Sesame Thai dressing with the soy sauce, garlic, chili flakes and salt, then whisk in the peanut butter. Set aside.
4. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering hot, add tofu to pan in a single layer, letting excess marinade drip off, and taking caution as oil may sputter. Turn the pieces when they release easily from the pan (if they stick, wait a bit longer - it means they’re not browned yet, and they may tear); continue until golden on all sides, reducing heat if pieces are getting too quickly. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with ½ tsp (2 mL) coarse salt.
5. Combine the noodles, tofu, carrot, cucumber, mint and peanuts in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss until evenly coated. Taste, and add more salt or chili flakes as desired. Serve immediately, topped with additional peanuts and mint to garnish.
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