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Asian-Style Tofu, Rice and Broccoli Salad

Bright Asian seasonings such as ginger, lime, chili sauce and fresh herbs help delicate tofu and rice shine in this satisfying vegetarian supper. Peanuts add richness and crunch. Sautéed shiitake mushrooms would be a delicious addition.

Ingredients:

  • Coarse kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 1/3 cups (9 1/2 oz./295 g) brown basmati or jasmine rice
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) peeled and thinly sliced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce or Asian fish sauce
  • 1 Tbs. chili sauce, such as sriracha or sambal oelek
  • 2 tsp. Asian sesame oil  
  • 14 to 16 oz. (440 to 500 g) firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut
      into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) baby broccoli, broccoli rabe or broccoli
  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) minced fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) minced fresh basil
  • Dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped, for garnish

Directions:

In a saucepan, bring 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

Meanwhile, in the work bowl of a food processor, combine the ginger, lime juice, soy sauce, 2 Tbs. water, chili sauce and sesame oil. Process until the ginger is finely minced. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, stir in the tofu and let marinate while preparing the remaining ingredients.

If using baby broccoli or broccoli rabe, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces. If using broccoli, peel the stalks by inserting the edge of a small sharp knife under the edge of the peel and pulling toward the florets. Cut the florets off the stems and cut the stems into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces. In a steamer over boiling water, steam the vegetables until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes for baby broccoli or broccoli rabe, or about 6 minutes for broccoli florets and stems. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl of cold water, let stand briefly to cool and then drain well.

Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces and add to the rice. Stir in the tofu mixture, cilantro, mint and basil. Garnish with peanuts and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Quick tips: If you like, cook the rice the night before, let it cool to room temperature and refrigerate. You can also marinate the tofu in the seasonings overnight. Once mixed, the salad keeps well and could be enjoyed again on a subsequent night. Baby broccoli has a gentler flavor than regular broccoli, but either works well. Broccoli rabe will lend a slightly more assertive flavor. Cooked shrimp or leftover chicken would also be fine substitutes for the tofu.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast, by Kristine Kidd (Williams-Sonoma, 2011).