Recipe by Chef Beorn Hockenhull
Vegans, Celebrate! Hear's a dish with more that just salad greens! At my restaurant, DrinkTaspaBar in Pomona, CA one or our most popular (yet simple) salads is a Tofu Tempura Salad featuring ponzu-marinated extra firm tofu, stawberries, Asian pears, shaved fennel, and toasted pepitos over spicy arugala and baby greens then drizzled with a white balsamic reduction. Tip: If you can't find Asian Pears, use Fuji Apples. Remove the core and julienne into a match stick slaw. To Make white balsamic reduction, take a sauce pan, add a tablespoon of EVOO and cook one tablespoon of minced onions, 1/8 teaspoon of minced garlic and cook until the onions are translucent. Add one quart of white balsamic vinegar. Allow to simmer (almost boiling) until reduced by half. Allow to cool. For cheese lovers: Add shaved Pecorino or aged Parmesan.
- 4 ounces extra fine tofu (drained, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
- 4 ounces soy sauce (preferably citrus soy sauce called Yuzu, check the Asian foods aisle)
- 2 ounces cornstarch (seasoned with a pinch of Cayenne Pepper and Salt)
- 1 cup oil (for frying)
- 2 ounces reduced white balsamic vinegar
- 6 ounces spinach (Arugala or Spring Mix is good too)
- 3 ounces strawberries
- 2 ounces Asian pears (check the Asian aisle at your local supermarket)
- 1 ounce fennel bulb (shaved or cut into small dice)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (toasted Mexican pumpkin seeds)
Directions See How It's Made
- Toss the tempura cubes into the seasoned cornstarch.
- Fry in a shallow pan until light golden. This will not take long. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Drizzle a mixing bowl with the white balsamic reduction.(You'll get more even mixing without over doing it).
- Add remaining ingredients except for the pepitos.
- Toss in the tofu.
- Separate salad between four plates.
- Garnish each plate with the pepitos.