Vibrant Malay Salad

Serves 2

About this recipe

This recipe comes from my book ‘Eat to Beat Illness’ and has got to be one of the most flavourful dishes in the book.

Bursting with incredible colours inspired by Malaysian cuisine, it is a celebration of  how the healthiest way of eating can be vibrant and exciting. Don’t be put  off by the long list of ingredients: it’s actually very quick to make and you can find all the components in most supermarkets.

The large quantity of fresh herbs represents the concentrated sources of polyphenols known to fight inflammation; they’re a perfect balance for the heat and citrus in this delicious recipe.

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For the dressing

  • 1 Red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Peanut butter  (smooth or crunchy)
  • 5cm Piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 Garlic cloves, grated
  • 5cm Piece of lemongrass (tender base only), very finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Palm sugar (or honey/ maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp Fish sauce (or tamari  if vegan)
  • 2 tsp Soy sauce
  • 10ml Sesame oil

For the salad

  • 50g Baby tomatoes, diced
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 10g Thai basil leaves (or regular basil), roughly chopped
  • 10g Fresh mint leaves,  finely chopped
  • 10g Fresh coriander  leaves, finely chopped
  • 10cm Piece of rhubarb,  finely diced
  • 3 Spring onions, trimmed  and finely chopped
  • 100g Brown rice noodles
  • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 300g Smoked tofu 
  • 25g Sesame seeds

Mix the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl, or blitz them in a small food processor if you want the dressing to be smooth.

Toss the baby tomatoes, lime zest and juice into the bowl of dressing. Once combined, add the herbs, rhubarb and spring onions.

Put the rice noodles in a saucepan of boiling water (off the heat) and cover for 5 minutes (or cook according to the packet instructions), then drain, cool and toss through the salad.

Heat the sesame oil in a small frying pan over a low-medium heat, add the tofu and brown it on both sides until crisp on the outside and soft within. Remove from the pan and slice into 3cm cubes.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan for 30 seconds, scatter them over the salad with the fried tofu and serve.


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Dinner, Lunch, Salad, Side, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

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