Crispy, Spicy Tofu and Peanut Slaw
A perfect example of how the simple flavor of chilies transform an everyday vegetable like cabbage into a truly special dish.
- 3 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage (see note below)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 16-ounce carton firm or extra-firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 3 scallions, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon minced small, skinny chilly peppers, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
- In a large colander, combine the cabbage and 1 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes in the sink to leach out excess water. Rinse well with cold running water and drain.
- Wrap the block of tofu well with a clean dishtowel and press firmly with your hands until you feel the towel become damp. Unwrap the tofu and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.
- In a large, well-seasoned skillet (preferably not nonstick) heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and salt it liberally. Fry the tofu undisturbed until it forms a dark golden crust on the bottom, then use a spatula to turn it and brown it well on at least one more side. Drain well on paper towels. Transfer the tofu to a large bowl and add the cabbage, bean sprouts, and scallions.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the chilies, ginger, garlic, sugar and vinegar.
- Pour the dressing over the tofu mixture and toss to coat well. Just before serving, season the slaw with salt and garnish it with the peanuts.