Tofu-Asparagus Salad

I'm not a huge fan of sushi restaurants. Sure they'll often have atleast a couple vegetarian options, but they're often uninspired and leave you feeling as though you'd like a real meal after that nice light snack you just had. But recently Jon and I went to a new sushi place in Ballard (MoshiMoshi) that I loved! Mostly because of their asparagus tofu salad, with silken tofu, blanched asparagus, avocado, and an addictive sesame vinaigrette. For dinner, I paired it with some edamame and a veggie roll, but it makes a great light lunch all it's own.

And so I've done my best to recreate it at home. I left out the avocado and replaced it with cucumber, but feel free to improvise with other light vegetables - blanched young peas might also work well.

Tofu-Asparagus Salad
Serves 1

6-8 medium asparagus stalks, trimmed
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
3" length of english cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 handful of young lettuce, or butter lettuce
1/4 avocado, diced (optional)
1/3 block of firm silken tofu

2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp mirin
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp tahini
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1/8 tsp chili paste

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Blanch the asparagus until bright green and just tender. Remove and immediately rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Combine soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, oil, and tahini in a small bowl, and whisk until well blended, add chili paste and garlic. Assemble salad, starting with lettuce leaves as a base and piling vegetables seperately on top. Spoon dressing over and top with sesame seeds and scallions.

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