Simple Tofu Salad
If you keep toasted sesame seeds around, as I do, this takes just seconds to rustle up. (I toast the seeds in a glass pie plate in the microwave, checking and stirring every two minutes until they’re toasty and golden. Sesame seeds “pop” so I cover the pie plate with a plate.)
- Package of firm tofu, plain or spiced
- Spring onions, finely sliced
- Sprinkle of sugar
- Even less of salt
- Spoonful of dark sesame oil
- Chili oil (with residue) to taste
- Cut the tofu into small cubes or slivers.
- Mix the sliced spring onions (saving a few slices for a garnish) with the sugar, salt, dark sesame oil, and chili oil (with residue). (This is another dish that does not call for soy sauce!)
- Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and garnish with a few more slices of spring onion.
You can substitute tofu “bamboo,” first soaking it in hot water until soft, or tofu “skins” cut into ribbon-like pieces—a very common addition to Chinese summer salads. And you can season the sauce more highly, if you like, with garlic, cilantro, or ground roasted Sichuan peppercorns. Once you get to know these flavorsome ingredients, you can make a wide variety of summer dishes with the vegetables available in your region.