Shape makes a big difference to how things taste. The key with this salad is to cut the veges nice and thin with a sharp knife so they can release their juiciness, while still retaining a bit of texture. I like to crush the peanuts in a mortar and pestle so some bits are fine while others are nice and chunky. As shown here, this dish is vegetarian, but another great option is to replace the salt with fish sauce, making it more of a Thai version. I use the Squid brand fish sauce, it’s full of flavour without being too thick or stinky. You can find it at some supermarkets and Asian grocers.
To pickle the tofu
|½ block||Firm tofu (Main)|
|¼ cup||White vinegar, or cider vinegar|
|1 Tbsp||Runny honey|
|2 cm||Fresh ginger, finely grated|
|1 cup||Green cabbage, finely shredded|
|1||Carrot, cut into very fine strips or grated|
|1||Cucumber, 10cm piece, cut like french fries|
|1 cup||Mung bean sprouts|
|1||Long red chilli, finely sliced|
|3 small||Tomatoes, cut into chunks|
|3 sprigs||Mint, roughly chopped|
|1 cup||Fresh coriander, roughly chopped|
|1||Spring onion, finely sliced|
|125 g||Green beans|
|½ tsp||Black pepper|
|¼ cup||Salted and roasted peanuts, crushed|
- To pickle the tofu, cut it into small bite-sized pieces and place in a container. Put the vinegar, water, salt, honey and ginger in a small pot and bring to a simmer, then pour over the tofu. Ideally allow to marinate overnight but an hour will do. This will keep for a good few days in the fridge.
- Prepare all the vegetables, adding them to a mixing bowl as you go. To blanch the beans, place in a pot of salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes then drain and rinse well with cold water. Slice into bite-sized pieces.
- Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the salad then scatter the lime juice on top. Use your hand to toss and mix everything evenly together. Just before serving, add the crushed peanuts and pickled tofu, and mix to combine. You can add a bit of the marinating liquid as an extra dressing if you like a little more sweetness.