deep-fried tofu with brown rice salsa

June 24, 2012

Nobu Matsuhisa is a superstar Japanese chef. He just came out with Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook which is really Nobu’s Vegan Cookbook since he doesn’t tend to use any dairy. I found this recipe for deep-fried tofu and brown rice salsa to which I added deep-fried asparagus because it’s yummy and easy and asparagus is still in season … soon to end. So sad. After deep-frying the tofu, I just threw the asparagus in the same oil for a minute, max. Once asparagus is out of season I probably won’t use it but one could easily substitute it with any other tasty plant matter for added colour, texture, and taste. Not only is this delicious and healthy but showy too, so it would be perfect for a simple summer backyard dinner party.

1 pound firm tofu

Flour for dredging

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup brown rice, cooked

1/2 small red onion, finely diced

1/2 small cucumber, finely diced

1/2 tomato, finely diced

1 tsp minced cilantro

1/2 tsp minced jalapeño pepper

1/2 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp sea salt

pepper to taste

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

To prepare the tofu, wrap it in a few layers of paper towel, place it on a cookie sheet, and then weight it down with a heavy pot. Let sit, allowing it to drain for about an hour.

Meanwhile, mix together rice, red onion, cucumber, and tomato. Add cilantro and jalapeño. Mix the ingredients for the dressing together – soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss with the rice salsa and mix well. Set aside.

Once the tofu has drained, cut it in thick slices and dredge in the flour. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet until it’s very hot. Add the dredged tofu and fry until it turns a golden brown colour. Flip and do the same on the other side. Once the tofu is crispy and brown, place it on some paper towel.

If you are using the asaragus, toss it in the hot oil for a minute maximum until it sizzles but stays a nice bright green. To serve, place the asparagus on top of the tofu, and then add a generous serving of the brown rice salsa.

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4 Responses to “deep-fried tofu with brown rice salsa”

  1. emmycooks Says:

    Showy is right–that’s gorgeous! I never would have thought to use brown rice in a salsa but I imagine that the texture combination here is great.

    Do you like the cookbook overall? Are the recipes complicated? I’m often wary of buying books from restaurant chefs because I like things I can make fairly quickly.

    Speaking of which, since I love your website and style of cooking so much, do you have any favorite cookbooks that you would recommend? I always like asking my favorite cooks who THEIR favorite cooks are. 🙂


    • The brown rice is really nice in the salsa. I also thought it sounded a bit odd but it’s a great component of this dish. The cookbook is good – I’m not sure I’d run out to buy it. If you are like me – quick, easy, no fuss no muss – it might not be the best cookbook for you. By far my favourite cookbook these days is Plenty by Ottolenghi (I can’t tell you how many I’ve purchased as presents as well!). And I have my favourite standbys like Chez Panisse Vegetables and Moosewood Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes. How can you not love them?

  2. HeatherF Says:

    Tofu and brown rice salsa – Yummy! Always looking for new Tofu recipes. I am going to make this this week. Must check out Plenty by Otto Lenghi. My new cookbook, River Cottage Veg (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall), is keeping me immersed in veg creations.


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