Noodle Salad with Tofu
Tamarind Ginger Dressing
To prepare salad: Halve tofu crosswise. Fold a clean kitchen towel in half and place it on a cutting board. Set the tofu on the towel. Put another folded towel and a weight (such as a heavy skillet) on the tofu; let drain for 15 minutes.Advertisement
Meanwhile, place potatoes in a large saucepan and fill with water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a colander. Return the water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions, stirring often, until just tender. Drain well and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil; toss to coat.
Cut the pressed tofu into 3/4-inch cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the tofu in a single layer. Cook, without stirring, until starting to brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes more. Transfer to the bowl with the noodles.
Soak scallions in cold water in a small bowl for 5 minutes. Drain and add to the noodles along with the potatoes, cabbage, cilantro and crushed red pepper; mix well with your hands.
To prepare dressing: Soak tamarind in hot water for 5 minutes, using a spoon to break up the pulp. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pushing on the solids and scraping the bottom of the strainer to extract as much tamarind as possible. Whisk oil, garlic, ginger, lime juice, salt, sugar and turmeric into the tamarind water. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Top with shallots and sprinkle with chickpea flour.
Tips: To prepare Fried Shallots & Fried Shallot Oil: Place a fine-mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl. Heat 1/2 cup canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup halved and sliced shallots, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the shallots and oil through the strainer. Transfer the shallots to a paper-towel-lined plate. Reserve the oil, if desired. Store fried shallots airtight at room temperature for up to a week; refrigerate the oil for up to 2 months.
To prepare Toasted Chickpea Flour: Toast 1/4 cup chickpea flour in a dry medium skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Store airtight in a cool dark place for up to 2 months. (Made from ground dried chickpeas, chickpea flour is used in Burmese salads. Look for it at supermarkets in the natural-foods or gluten-free section. Store airtight in the freezer.)
Sometimes called "wet tamarind," seedless tamarind paste is found with other Asian pantry ingredients at well-stocked supermarkets. Avoid tamarind pods or tamarind concentrate, which has a different flavor and texture. Refrigerate for up to 1 year.
3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 medium-fat protein, 2 1/2 fat