Thursday, February 28, 2013

Grilled tofu, Asparagus, Pineapple and Corn Salad with Vietnamese dressing

I love love Vietnamese food. I was lucky enough to go Vietnam during my bachelors degree as a part of a multidisciplinary project. I made some great friends there and also was introduced to this beautiful cuisine which was not as popular back in 2009. I loved the use of fresh herbs and the ritual of wrapping the spring rolls in lettuce and mint and then dipping in the sauce. It was so fresh and tasty, unlike anything I had tasted at the time. This little salad reminds me of my time there and the beautiful people I met in Vietnam.

This  salad is inspired by one of the dishes on Red Lantern's menu. (Restaurant in Surry Hills, Sydney) I absolutely love the dressing, its zingy and full of flavour and delicious. I have put a lot of different vegies in this salad as I like to have it as a main meal. But if you think there are too many ingredients you can simplify it and use the vegies that are easily available to you. The tofu makes it more substantial and enough to be eaten as a meal by itself. Its great for those wanting something healthy to have for lunches and dinners.


Serves 4

1 carrot sliced1 cucumber sliced
11/2 cup Pineapple cut into cubes
2-3 bunch Asparagus
1/2 cup corn kernel
100 g Snow Peas
5-6 small pink radishes - cut into thin rounds
250 g Firm silken Tofu (you can use medium firm or firm tofu as well, I personally prefer Silken tofu) cut into 6cmx4cm rectangles
2 cups Rocket leaves
2 cucumbers sliced 
1/2 cup Mint leaves
1/4 cup coriander leaves 


The vinaigrette should be salty, sweet, sour and hot. I am making this to my taste buds which like a good amount of heat and sourness. so if you need alter the quantities a little to your taste.

2 tbsp Peanut oil
1/4 cup coriander leaves
4 long Red Chillies (use only 2 if using small chillis as they are hotter) finely chopped
2 tbsp light Soya Sauce
1 tsp Dark Soya Sauce
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves grated Garlic
2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
2 Limes - juiced and zested
11/2 tbsp brown sugar dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water

2 tbsp Chopped Coriander leaves
2 tbsp Chopped mint leaves
1/4 cup Crushed roasted peanuts


In a bowl add the oil, mix in the other liquids - soya sauce, vinegar, lime juice, give it a good stir. Add the dissolved brown sugar and give it a good mix. Now add the grated ginger, garlic, finely chopped chilli and half the coriander. Give it a good mix and set aside. 

Steam the asparagus, corn and snow peas gently making sure they are still a little crunchy (I usually do it in the microwave) 

On a slightly oiled grill pan cook the tofu pieces till they are nice and golden on both sides. Now you can start assembling the salad. Add the rocket, (remaining)coriander and mint leaves to a big bowl followed by the cucumer, carrot, radish, corn, snow peas, asparagus and pineapple. Add 3 tbsp of the vinaigrette and give it a good mix. To serve place the salad in 4 bowls, top with a few pieces of tofu add another tbsp of the vinaigrette on top and scatter some crushed peanuts, mint and coriander leaves to garnish. 


  1. Love this recipe! gonna try it asap!
    tell me what tofu did you use? and do we need to cook the tofu? and if u can... tell me where in india can i buy all these fresh ingredients? :P

  2. Glad to hear you like the dish :) Tofu I think should be available in nuts and spices or modern mart or Spencers. I am only guessing as I haven't actually bought it in India. The vegies - if snow peas and asparagus is unavailable you can use green beans. I think the other ingredients should be easily available. You can substitute the rocket leaves for lettuce. Let me know how you go :)

  3. Oh and feel free to use white vinegar instead of red wine vinegar too :)