So I was jazzed with the idea of making non-soy tofu, but wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it. So I turned to Southeast-Asian food expert and cookbook author extraordinaire Naomi Duguid (her gorgeous cookbook has pretty much become my Burmese cooking Bible over the past couple weeks). I chose her tofu salad recipe because it reminded me a bit of Hawaiian tofu poke, one of the only dishes that can get me excited about tofu.
It’s not a complicated recipe… cubes of chickpea tofu are tossed with a hefty amount of cilantro, toasted sesame seeds and a garlic and shallot oil dressing, but it was devoured within minutes… just about the same amount of time it took to throw together. So, so good.
Duguid’s original recipe called for soy sauce, but I don’t think I’ve ever found a recipe where I preferred soy sauce to fish sauce; I just love the depth and funkiness that fish sauce adds in stir-fries and dressings. But if you’re vegetarian or vegan, definitely feel free to stick to soy sauce, Bragg’s liquid aminos or even coconut aminos to make this special diet-friendly.
And unlike a lot of other Southeast Asian salads, this one doesn’t pack any heat. Burmese dishes tend to be somewhat mild, but plenty of chile pepper chutneys and sauces are set on the table for folks to selectively add heat when desired. So if you’re a fan of Sriracha, keep it handy. Otherwise I should have a Burmese chile pepper sauce posted in the not-too-distant future that worked great as a spicy condiment for this salad.
Burmese Tofu Salad with Sesame and Cilantro
If you'd like to make this salad vegan or vegetarian, feel free to substitute soy sauce, Bragg's, or coconut aminos for the fish sauce.
Yield: 4 servings
Combine the cubed tofu, sesame seeds and cilantro in a large bowl and toss to combine.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, fish sauce, rice vinegar, shallot oil and salt and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the tofu mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately or let marinate for 15-20 minutes for the flavors to meld, if you prefer.
Adapted from Burma: Rivers of Flavor by Naomi DuGuid