Recipe: Tammi’s Gói Bắp Cải Dậu Phụ
Summary: Vietnamese Cabbage, Tofu and Herb Salad
- 5 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 3 ounces extra-firm tofu (one of those seasoned and baked tofus can work as well), 1/4″ dice
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 small head green cabbage, cored, thinly shredded and refrigerated
- 2 big, packed handfuls mixed Vietnamese herbs – rau ram, mint, cilantro, etc. – see above
- 2 tablespoons lime juice or rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce – use a gluten free variety if needed
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup peanuts, toasted and lightly crushed
- 1. Bring a small pot with enough oil to completely cover the shallots up to a low frying temperature, about 260 F / 126 C. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally until deeply golden brown. This will take a very long time – around 45 minutes. Keep the temperature very low. You can speed the process up a little by using more oil in a larger pot. For a long time it will seem like nothing much is happening, then they will start to slowly brown. Keep the temperature low, and pay more attention for the last few minutes.
- 2. When the shallots are done, drain them but reserve the delicious oil. Spread the shallots out on paper towels. As they cool, they will become shatteringly crispy.
- 3. Pan-fry the tofu in a small amount of oil until nicely browned. Transfer to paper towels and season.
- 4. In a small bowl, stir together the lime juice, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the reserved shallot oil. Don’t worry about getting it emulsified.
- 5. Put the cabbage in a mixing bowl. Add half of the shallots, the tofu, and all of the herbs, tearing them and lightly bruising the leaves to release flavor. Add the dressing a little at a time, tossing as you go, until the cabbage is well dressed but not drenched. Taste and adjust seasoning – it may need more salt.
- 6. To serve, transfer the salad to platter. Garnish with the remaining fried shallots and peanuts.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan
Number of servings (yield): 3
Culinary tradition: Vietnamese