This Spiralised Salad with Sichuan Spiced Tofu is a rainbow on a plate. Full of delicious flavours and textures, it makes a perfect summer lunch!
I’ve been going pretty wild for my spiraliser recently. You know those times when you rediscover something at the back of your kitchen cupboard and start using it again for absolutely everything? That’s me and my spiraliser right now.
No vegetable has been safe from my spiralising ways: sweet potatoes, courgettes, carrots, butternut squashes, beetroot, you name it!
This spiralised salad is a trio of courgette, butternut squash and beetroot. The crunchy vegetables make the perfect base for a salad and are all perfectly safe to eat raw (in case you were wondering!). Add firm, chewy tofu and fresh, ripe cherry tomatoes to the mix, and it’s a real winner.
To make the Sichuan tofu for this spiralised salad, the first step is to press it and remove any excess liquid. This will result in much firmer tofu once it’s baked. This can be done either by wrapping the tofu block in paper towels and placing a heavy board on top, or by using a tofu press.
To marinade the tofu and make it as flavourful as possible, I decided to create my own spice mix. After realising how easy it is to grind spices in a high-powered blender , I had to give it a try in my Vitamix. It’s as simple as popping in the spices and blending. The fresher flavour and ability to create your own personal mixes make it entirely worth it too.
Naturally, you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to or don’t have a suitable blender; to go for a shop-bought option, I’d recommend that you use a Chinese five spice mix.
To create the Sichuan spice mix, you will need to grind together:
- 1 tsp Sichuan pepper corns
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
You can also make a larger quantity, with the same ingredient ratio, and store in an airtight jar.
- For the tofu:
- 400g firm tofu, well pressed to remove excess liquid
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten-free version)
- Homemade spice mix made with 1 tsp Sichuan pepper corns, 1 tsp cloves, ½ cinnamon stick - or 3 tsp Chinese five spice
- For the salad:
- 1 butternut squash "trunk", peeled
- 2 medium courgettes, top and tailed
- 2 large beetroots, peeled
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 12 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
- 4 tbsp soy yoghurt and 2 tbsp flaked almonds, to serve (optional)
- Fresh mint, to garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200C (gas mark 6 or 425F).
- In an oven-proof dish, mix the tofu, spice mix, sesame oil and soy sauce together until the tofu is fully coated. Place in the oven and bake for around twenty minutes, turning occasionally, or until the edges have crisped up.
- Meanwhile, use a spiraliser to create "noodles" with the butternut squash, courgette and beetroots.
- Place the vegetable noodles in a large bowl, add the sesame oil and lemon juice, and mix to coat well. Alternatively, coat the beetroot in the dressing separately, to prevent the beetroot staining the other vegetables, then add this to the bowl. Add in the tomatoes and set to one side.
- Once the tofu is cooked, divide the salad into portions and top with the tofu, flaked almonds, soy yoghurt and garnish with the fresh mint. Serve with hot or cold tofu.
Looking for more salad inspiration?