Thursday, August 27, 2009

Yin and Yang Salad with Peanut-Sesame Dressing Recipe

Stolen from who stole it from somewhere else so I don’t feel that bad…

Salad Part

2 bags shredded napa cabbage
3/4 bag shredded red cabbage
1/2 bag shredded carrots
5 - 8 radishes, shredded
4 or 5 green onions (white and green parts), julienned or chopped
1 cup Peanut-Sesame Dressing (recipe follows)
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes chilled ginger tofu (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

(I GUESS you could shred all that cabbage yourself, but the supermarket has perfectly good and fresh stuff already done for a decent price. Save yourself the trouble and buy it. You have to do a ton of other stuff for this salad, so this will be a gift.) Toss the cabbages and carrots in a large bowl. Pile shredded radish in the middle and sprinkle green onions around the edge of the radish pile.

Peanut-Sesame Dressing Part

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

If you’d like a spicier dressing, just add more crushed red pepper flakes. This thickens up once it’s refrigerated, so you can either add a little water to thin it or leave it thick to use as a sauce on grains and other cooked dishes. You might want to I.V. it straight to your capillaries or something because this dressing is pure, taste bud insanity. You should bathe your newborn baby in it ‘cause this shit is delicious.

To make just blend the peanut butter, vinegar, maple syrup, water, tamari, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add the cilantro and blend just until it’s finely chopped. The dressing will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated but really- it won’t last that long.

Gingered Tofu Part

2 (12-ounce) containers water-packed extra-flrm tofu
2/3 cup tamari
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
I tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
I tablespoon canola oil

Drain the tofu and cut into 1-inch wide strips, and pat dry with paper towels. Cover a large baking sheet with more dry paper towels. Place the tofu in a single layer over the towels on the baking sheet and let drain for 2 hours, changing the paper towels after 1 hour.

Whisk the tamari, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a bowl to blend. Put tofu in a shallow container and cover with marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 day. I suggest as long as possible because the tofu drinks this marinade and makes this salad incredible. Halfway through your marinade time turn the strips over so both sides get a chance to take a bath. A wonderful, finger-licking bath.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Oil a heavy, rimmed baking sheet with the canola oil. Drain the tofu and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on each side until golden brown and heated through. Serve warm or cold, or at room temperature. The tofu will keep for 1 day, covered and refrigerated.

After All That Work Is Done:

Bring salad, tofu, sesame seeds and dressing to table and have people dig the heck in. Pile on the tofu, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, dress and serve. Fuck yeah. Really – this salad might change your religion.

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