Thai Red Curry Tofu Salad
with mango / pickled onions / peanuts
The balance of sweet, sour, savory, and spice can be found in both the ingredients and the dressing of this Thai-inspired salad that we last featured in 2019.
Smarts: Like many salad dressings used throughout Southeast Asia, this one is much thinner than dressings used in Western cooking. It's typical for the dressing to pool a bit in the bottom of the serving bowl - just toss everything together gently as you eat to get more of the flavor.
- Tofu, extra-firm - 16 oz , 1/2" / 1.3 cm cubes (vacuum-packed preferable)
- Bell peppers, red - 1 , thinly sliced
- Onions, medium and red - 1/2 , thinly sliced
- Vinegar, rice - 1/2 cup
- Water - 3/4 cup
- Sugar - 2 tsp
- Lettuce, romaine - 2 hearts , chopped
- Cilantro leaves - 1/4 cup , chopped
- Mangos - 1 , cubed
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Red curry paste - 2 tsp
- Cornstarch - 2 tsp
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 Tbsp
- Peanuts, roasted and unsalted - 1/2 cup
- Ginger, fresh (opt) - 1 tsp , grated
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Lime juice - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 2 tsp
- Oil, toasted sesame - 1 tsp
Pickle onions - Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and sliced onions. (The onions should be mostly covered with liquid, so add some more water if needed. You’ll drain it off before using onions in the salad.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make dressing - Grate ginger. Combine with soy sauce (portion for dressing), lime juice, brown sugar, and toasted sesame oil. Taste and adjust flavor to your liking. Add more lime juice if you’d like it tarter or sugar if you’d like it sweeter. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Drain vinegar off onions. The pickled onions will be sour, so if you’d like them to have a milder flavor, rinse them with cool water.
Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then tofu to heated oil. Sear on all sides until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
Whisk together curry paste, cornstarch, and soy sauce (portion for salad).
Pour curry paste mixture over tofu and bring to a simmer. Gently toss to coat tofu in sauce. Season tofu with some salt and pepper.
Toss lettuce with bell peppers, onions, cilantro, and mangos. Add half the dressing and toss to combine.
Top salads with tofu and peanuts. Add more dressing if you’d like. Enjoy!