This salad, based on a recipe from Real Simple, is a take on "lalab" - a raw vegetable salad typically served with chili paste; this version incorporates a few other Indonesian staples such as curry, peanut sauce, and tofu in place of the chili. This fresh, colorful, flavorful, protein-packed salad makes for a filling, nutritious lunch - I hope you enjoy it!
YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads
- 1/3 c peanut butter
- 3 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
- 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp red curry paste
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 14 oz extra-firm tofu, drained
- cooking spray
- 4 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and quartered
- 1 large carrot, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh green beans, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cucumber, halved, seeded, and sliced
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts
- 1/2 head green cabbage, cored and shredded
- Make the peanut sauce: combine the peanut butter, water, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, curry paste, and salt in a pint-sized mason jar or other tall container. Puree and emulsify the sauce using a handheld stick blender.
- Make the tofu: combine the cornstarch, curry powder, and salt in a low bowl or on a plate. Cut the tofu into 4 equal pieces, and dredge each piece in the cornstarch mixture. Pan-fry, broil, or grill the tofu until browned. Cool, and slice into 1/2-inch pieces
- Pack the salads: divide the peanut sauce among 4 tall quart-sized containers. Layer the tofu, egg, carrot, green beans, bell pepper, cucumber, bean sprouts, and cabbage in the jars. Refrigerate until serving.
- Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Add 2 tsp curry paste to 1/2 cup of your favorite store-bought peanut sauce and substitute for the homemade peanut sauce. Use bagged, pre-shredded coleslaw mix instead of the cabbage and carrot.
SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian as-is. For a vegan salad, omit the egg. For a nut-free salad, substitute sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter. For a gluten-free salad, substitute gluten-free tamari for the soy sauce, and check to make sure your curry paste is labeled "gluten-free."
Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.