From Bon Appetit January 2006. Wonderful tofu taking on the flavors of whatever ingredients you add to it-a blank canvas waiting to be painted...
- 1⁄4 cup grated fresh ginger
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (read NOTE*)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 1⁄2 cup English cucumber, peeled
- 1⁄4 cup scallion
- 1⁄4 cup firm tomato, diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (use Thai or Vietnamese basil if available)
- 1 lb firm tofu, drained, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (tofu can be weighed down under heavy pans to release the water content)
- 6 large butter lettuce leaves (or 12 medium sized)
- NOTE*: Nam pla or nuoc nam (fish sauce) is available in Asian markets. I would strongly suggest to begin by using only 1 TEASPOON of the fish sauce in this recipe and then adjust seasoning accordingly. For vegetarian version, omit the fish sauce.)
- DRESSING: Puree the first 5 ingredients in a blender. Allow the mixture to stand at least 5 minutes or up to 1 hour. Stir in chili sauce.
- Strain the dressing into a small bowl, pressing down the solids with a spatula to release the liquids. Discard solids.
- TOFU: Toss together the first 7 ingredients. Next add the tofu and salad dressing, tossing to coat well.
- For each serving, arrange 1 or 2 lettuce leaves on a plate. Divide the tofu mixture onto the lettuce leaves.