Close your eyes, take in a forkful of this Asian-inspired salad, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’re feasting at an Asian street market. Seared over an open flame, tofu turns meaty and, dare we say, crave-worthy, while the crispy edges of bok choy are a special treat.
For gluten-free noodles, look for soba made with 100 percent buckwheat, or use wide brown rice noodles.
8 oz (225 g) dry soba noodles
2 – 12 oz (350 g) blocks extra-firm tofu
3 tsp (15 mL) sesame oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
12 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp (5 mL) fish sauce (optional)
2 tsp (10 mL) Sriracha chili sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) raw cane sugar
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 medium carrots, diagonally cut
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped cilantro
1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced mint
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted roasted peanuts
Cook soba noodles according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water. Drain.
Build a medium-hot fire in charcoal grill, or heat gas grill to medium-high and grease grill grates.
Line cutting board with a couple of sheets of paper towel. Top with tofu and a couple more sheets of towel. Place another cutting board or other flat object on top and press gently to extract excess liquid from tofu. Turn tofu blocks on their sides and slice in half lengthwise. Lightly brush tofu with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) oil and season with salt and black pepper, if using.
Grill tofu squares until golden and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from grill and, when cool enough to handle, slice tofu into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes.
Lightly brush bok choy with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) oil. Place on grill grates and heat until stalks are tender and leaves begin to darken and turn crispy.
In small bowl, whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, remaining 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil, fish sauce (if using), Sriracha, sugar, shallot, and garlic.
Divide soba noodles among 4 serving plates and top with carrot, tofu, bok choy, cilantro, mint, and peanuts. Drizzle dressing overtop.
A pressing matter
Pressing out excess water from tofu allows it to get a better sear on the grill. And that means a whole lot more flavour.
Each serving contains: 611 calories; 41 g protein; 27 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 55 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 6 g fibre); 638 mg sodium