A little over a week ago my 7-year-old son was away on a 2-day field trip with school: the perfect occasion to toss together a summery pasta salad with an Asian touch in which mango – a fruit much enjoyed by my daughter, but detested by my son (unless it’s in a smoothie) – is a key ingredient. Pasta, mango, tofu – what’s not to like?
Even though this is a very straightforward recipe, it does require some advance planning, as it contains marinated tofu. And the secret to successfully marinated tofu is – apart from a good marinade of course – time. Plenty of it. This tofu will be at its best when at least marinated overnight (I actually usually let it sit in the fridge for two days). I can promise you this tofu will be worth the wait, as it’s absolutely heavenly.
Thai tofu-mango pasta salad
Thai marinated tofu
- 400 g pressed (do not skip the pressing part) and cubed tofu
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 knob of ginger, grated
- 1/2 – 1/3 stalk of lemongrass, grated or finely chopped
- 3 TB agave syrup
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 TB lemon or lime juice
- 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
- 1/4 cup peanut oil (or other oil of your choice
- marinated tofu (see above)
- ca. 350 g pasta shapes of your choice
- 1 diced mango
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/4 cup grated coconut, toasted
- 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
- 2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
- a handful of cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 TB soy sauce
- 1 TB vegan ‘oyster’ and mushroom sauce (or if you cannot find this: 1 more TB of soy sauce)
- 1 TB sweet chili sauce
- 1 tsp sambal oelek (chili paste)
- 4 TB lime juice
- 2 TB agave syrup
- Mix all ingredients and pour into a container (with a lid), together with the pressed and cubed tofu.
- Let sit overnight. Shake the container every now and then, so that the marinade is evenly distributed.
- Heat some oil in a skillet and sauté the tofu cubes until nicely browned. When you want to add some extra crispness, sprinkle some arrowroot or cornstarch over the tofu cubes, toss around the cubes until the starch is evenly distributed, and fry. Set aside when done.
- Boil the pasta, drain, and set aside until somewhat cooled.
- Take a bowl and toss in the pasta, the tofu cubes and all remaining ingredients. Mix well, and enjoy your meal.