I know it’s inappropriate to applaud yourself….but oh my, the grilled tofu was absolutely awesome!! It was slightly crispy, wonderfully caramelised and a perfect balance of sweet, salty and sour that Vietnamese food is known for. I could just eat a whole plate of that! The salad is incredibly healthy with a freshness that only herbs can bring to it. This is truly a guilt free meal!
- 500 g / 1 lbs firm tofu , sliced into 1/4"/0.5cm slices
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tbsp lime juice (about 1 fresh lime)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 stalk lemongrass , white part only, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1⁄4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
- 1 red birdseye chilli , finely chopped (or adjust quantity to your taste)
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 200 g medium rice stick noodles
- 2 carrots , julienned
- 1 large cucumber julienned (with seeds removed)
- 3 cups shredded lettuce
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- Handful of mint leaves
- Handful of cilantro/coriander
- Sliced chili (for garnish - optional)
Combine tofu and marinade ingredients and set aside for 20 minutes or so to let the flavours develop.
Combine the Nuoc Cham ingredients and mix well to dissolve the sugar. Adjust to your taste (spiciness, lime, sweetness) and set aside.
Soak the rice stick noodles in hot water for 6 to 8 minutes (see note 2). The noodles are ready when they are "al dente" - still firm to touch. Rinse the noodles under cold water.
Cook the marinaded tofu over high heat on the stovetop, or it is also great done on a BBQ, until caramelised and slightly crispy on each side.
To serve - toss together the noodles with the vegetables, place into bowls and top with tofu, then drizzle with sauce.
1. I like to use rice stock noodles because they are thick which I think works well with this dish, but you can also make this with vermicelli noodles (which just need to be soaked in hot water).
2. You can use this soaking method for thin and medium thickness rice stick noodles, as well as vermicelli. But it won't work for the thick rice stick noodles which will need to be boiled. If in doubt, cook according to the packet instructions.