Vietnamese Mint Salad with Noodles

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This is a fantastic, light but tasty, Vietnamese-style salad – original recipe can be found here.

1 package of tofu (frozen, thawed, pressed)
1/4 c fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
pinch of salt
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp peanut oil
pinch of chili powder
a couple good dashes of garlic powder (or 2-3 minced cloves)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/3 c warm water

Cut your tofu into bite-sized pieces and place into a bowl. Whisk the rest of the dressing ingredients together till well-combined. Measure 6 tbsp of the dressing in with tofu, and add another couple dashes of soy sauce. Keep the remainder of the dressing aside. Let your tofu marinate while you prep everything else.

1 package of vermicelli noodles

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add the noodles and cook for 5-6 mins. Drain and rinse immediately with cold water. Set aside in a large bowl.

1 telegraph/english cucumber
1 medium red onion
2-3 c greens (I used some fancy lettuce and watercress)
1/4 fresh mint, chiffonaded

Slice the cuc and onion into thin half-moons and shred the greens. Along with the mint, add the veggies to the bowl with the noodles. Pour over the dressing and toss well with your hands. Refrigerate.

1/4 toasted cashews, chopped fine
3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped fine

Mix together and set aside.

Now heat a pan on medium and fry your tofu pieces for several minutes on each side, till nice and golden. Add the leftover marinade to your salad bowl. To serve: dump a generous amount of the noodle salad into a bowl, top with the cashew/mint mixture and drop some pieces of warm tofu on top.

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