This dish has inspiration from many different countries; a fusion of asian flavours with a crispy coated silken tofu, bamboo shoots and samphire - a European vegetable. The sauce is a great combination of salty, sweet, spicy, sour and slightly bitter - everything a good Asian dish should be!
I coated the tofu in a mix of cornflour, chinese five spice and a pinch of salt and then baked, for a crisp exterior and a silky smooth middle, for both a beautiful flavour and texture. The sauce is made from orange juice, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chili, sesame oil and sesame seeds, it pairs so well with the salty, crisp samphire and crunchy bamboo shoots - for a light meal serve up as is, or for something a bit more filling, with a side of rice.
Samphire is a salty tasting sea vegetable, containing protein, calcium, B vitamins, iron and fibre - it's found around UK costal regions in the spring/summer months and is one of those vegetables that people are slowly discovering. Tofu also contains protein, iron and calcium and magnesium. Calcium is one of those nutrients that is discussed a lot regarding a plant based diet, the misconception that you can only get calcium from dairy products is probably one you've heard from people around you and it's definitely not true! Whilst plant based nutrients have differing bio-availability to those from animal sources due to the other nutrients present in the food; dark leafy greens, blackstrap molasses, hemp, tahini, almonds, broccoli, some fruits and some beans are all plant based sources of calcium.
Asian Samphire Salad with Crispy Silken Tofu | Serves: 2 | Time: 40 mins
- Chopping board
- Baking tray
- Grease-proof paper
- Measuring cups
- Small bowl
- Medium bowl
- Non-stick frying pan
- 1 block silken tofu
- 4 heaped tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp chinese five spice
- pinch salt
- 100g samphire
- 120g bamboo shoots (drained)
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp orange juice
- 3 inch piece ginger grated
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2.5 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 medium red chili, finely chopped
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 spring onion
- 1/2 medium red chili
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
- Carefully remove the tofu from the packet (it's very fragile), then cut into 1 cm cubes. In the small bowl, mix together the cornflour, five spice and a pinch of salt, mix together and then individually coat the cubes in the cornflour mix, then place on the baking tray and repeat with the remaining tofu. Bake for 20 minutes on the first side, then turn the pieces over and bake for a further 10 minutes.
- To make the dressing mix together the orange juice, grated ginger, say sauce, rice wine vinegar, chili, garlic, sesame oil and sesame seeds in a bowl and then set aside 2-3 tbsp for serving.
- Pour the rest of the marinade into the frying pan and reduce on a medium-high heat for a few minutes, then add in the samphire and bamboo shoots, stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Finely chop the spring onion and the rest of the chili, then arrange the salad with the samphire, then the tofu, the spring onion, chili and sesame seeds to garnish and with a side of the dressing to dip the tofu into and enjoy!