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Bean Curd and Cooked Vegetable Salad

ingredients

serves 6
2 tbsp groundnut (peanut) oil
2 red chillies, de-seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
110 g (4 oz) peanut butter
1 cup (8 fl oz.) thick coconut milk
2 tbsp tamari sauce
1/2 tsp Laos powder, or pinch each ground ginger and black pepper
2 curry leaves, optional
1 tsp lemon juice
For coconut milk use creamed coconut block and water or milk
350 g (12 oz) bean curd, (tofu)
Oil for deep-drying
350 g (12 oz) potatoes
8 oz (225 g) french bean (green bean)s
8 oz (225 g) Chinese cabbage
8 oz (225 g) carrots l/2 cucumber

method

Dressing
1. fry the chillies and garlic for about 2 minutes in a little hot oil.

2. Reduce to a fine paste in an electric blender or food processor.

3. Add the peanut butter, coconut milk and tamari sauce and blend well.

4. Put the mixture into a saucepan, add the Laos powder and curry leaves and bring to the boil.

5. Allow to simmer gently until the sauce thickens a little. It should not be too thick and can be reduced by adding some water.

6. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Allow to cool.

Salad
1. divide the bean curd into about 1 cm (1/2 in) cubes and deep fry in hot oil, 350°F (180°C), until golden brown.

2. Dry off excess oil from the curd by placing on an absorbent sheet of kitchen paper and allow to cool.

3. Boil the potatoes in their skins until just cooked.

4. Skin and cut into cubes, allow to cool.

5. Top and tail the beans. Slice into pieces about 2.5cm (l in) long. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and plunge into cold water.

6. When cold, drain. Finely shred the cabbage, blanch and cool as for beans for about 1 minute. Slice the carrots, blanch and cool for about 3 mjnutes.

7. Place the bean curd in the centre of a large serving dish. Carefully arrange the other vegetables in an attractive pattern around the curd.

8. Pour a little of the dressing over the salad and serve the remainder separately.

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