Guest chef

Áine Carlin

Former film actress Áine is a vegan food and fashion blogger. Her cookbook, Keep It Vegan, offers over 100 straightforward and delicious recipes for all occasions.

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‘Quick pickled’ rice noodle salad with soy-glazed griddled tofu

  • Serves 4
  • Prep 25 mins
  • Total time 30 mins, plus pickling and pressing
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‘Quick pickled’ rice noodle salad with soy-glazed griddled tofu
‘Quick pickled’ rice noodle salad with soy-glazed griddled tofu

step by step

  • 1Drain and rinse the tofu then put it in a shallow dish. Press the tofu down by placing another dish on top of it, along with a few unopened food tins. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to press out any excess water and to give the tofu a firmer texture.
  • 2For the noodle salad, shave the cucumber into ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Finely slice the radishes. Put the cucumber and radish in a shallow bowl.
  • "Tofu is bland!" I hear you cry. And yes, it's true. Until you give it a little tender loving care, it's really not the most riveting of tastes. However, once marinated, you will render it, well, quite frankly, bloomin' lovely. Firm tofu benefits from being pressed, as it will not only absorb the marinade better but also undergoes a transformation once griddled. This recipe uses a super-firm tofu that actually tastes even better the next day – perfect for slicing and adding to sandwiches.
  • 3Whisk together the yuzu sauce, vinegar, agave and salt and pour over the cucumber and radish. Leave to 'pickle' for 10-15 minutes.
  • 4Whisk together the tamari, sesame oil, agave and lemon juice for the tofu marinade.
  • 5Drain any excess liquid from the tofu and pat dry before cutting it in half horizontally. Slice each half diagonally into a wedge. Put back in the bowl, pour over the marinade and turn the tofu to coat it thoroughly. Set aside for at least 5 minutes to marinate, turning after a few minutes.
  • 6Put the rice noodles in a deep bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for at least 5 minutes, separating the strands with chopsticks. Drain and rinse thoroughly under cold water.
  • 7Return the noodles to the bowl and pour over the yuzu dressing that has been pickling the veg. Gently coat the noodles in the dressing before adding the cucumber and radish. Finely chop the spring onions and chives. Add the spring onions to the noodles with most of the chives and black sesame seeds – reserving some for garnish.
  • 8Finally, heat a griddle pan (a medium heat is best). Lift the tofu from its marinade and sear for 1-2 minutes on each side.
  • 9Serve the tofu alongside the noodles. Finish with some nori strips and a final scattering of chopped chives and black sesame seeds.
  • Recipe photograph by Karen Thomas

Get ahead

Marinate the tofu for 2-3 hours before cooking.

You will need

For the tofu

  • 1 x 396g pack firm tofu (we used Original Cauldron)
  • 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 11⁄2 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

For the noodle salad

  • 1⁄2 large cucumber
  • 8-10 radishes, trimmed
  • 11⁄2 tbsp yuzu seasoning sauce
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 11⁄2 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt or fine sea salt
  • 4 x 60g rice noodle nests
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • 1⁄2 x 25g pack chives
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 nori sheets, cut into strips with scissors

+ Nutritional Information