From Kitchen Seasons, Ross Dobson, Hardie Grant Books, 2007.
To make this salad I took a block of firm tofu and placed it into a bowl. I poured on some light soy sauce that had ¼ teaspoon five-spice powder stirred into it. I left the tofu in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to marinate.
After the tofu had marinated for an hour I prepared the vegetables. I took a handful of sugar snap peas, a few snow peas, and a bundle of asparagus. The snap peas I topped and tailed, the snow peas and the asparagus I cut in half. These were all dropped into a pot of boiling salted water for a minute then drained and plunged into cold water.
I now placed two tablespoons sugar and a little less than 100ml rice vinegar into a saucepan and brought them to the boil. They were left to simmer for 5 minutes then let cool.
I took ½ a daikon and cut it into batons. These were placed in a bowl with the blanched vegetables and the cooled liquid poured over. This lot was left for about half an hour.
The tofu was now drained, cut into slices, dipped in flour and fried in a little oil until crisp. It was now cut into batons for the salad. Some slices were kept whole to go alongside the salad.
Two spring onions were sliced finely. Some coriander leaves were picked. Three tablespoons light soy sauce was mixed with a few drops of sesame oil.
Now the salad could be put together. The vegetables were drained and placed in a bowl with the spring onions and coriander. The tofu batons were added and the soy sauce mix poured over. The salad was gently tossed.
This was a refreshingly different salad. The vegetables had some crunch left in them while being sweet/sour from the pickling. The tofu was soft and creamy. Well worth the time spent on it.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔