How Memories from Barcelona Lead Me to Miso Marinated Tofu Salad
I have been to Spain several times, but I must admit I was never that impressed with Spanish cuisine. Please don’t get me wrong; I am sure there are plenty of delicious meals there. And I did enjoy some specific dishes a lot. However, very often when we went to a restaurant, I felt that the food was good but… Either not consistent (one meal excellent and the other ones not so much or even not at all) or overall good but I could live without eating them again.
However, my latest visit to Barcelona made me revisit my opinion. We went to quite a few excellent restaurants where each and every dish was superb! Some of them were that good that even though our stay wasn’t long, we went there more than once.
As it often happens with me, when I like something in a restaurant, I try to recreate it in my kitchen. There were a few such dishes from our latest Spanish holiday, but I decided to start with miso-marinated tuna salad.
The first thing we noticed when the salad arrived at our table was that it looked beautiful due to the colourful ingredients (vegetables, fruit and flowers). It also tasted amazing! The miso marinade elevated the taste of tuna, and the sesame dressing brought all the components together. No wonder we had this salad three times during our stay!
But when we went home and I wanted to make it, I encountered a significant problem. The shops in my area didn’t supply tuna that I thought could be safely eaten raw. That’s why I had to quickly adjust my plans and make Miso Marinated Tofu Salad.
How to Press Tofu (and get a much better end result)?
The first time I made this Tofu Salad, I marinated it in a miso marinade overnight. Then, just before adding to the salad, I fried it quickly to change its texture. Overall, the salad tasted delicious, but I wasn’t entirely happy with the tofu. In my opinion, it didn’t taste of miso as much as I wanted it. It was also a bit too squidgy instead of being slightly crunchy.
To solve this problem, I decided to use pressed tofu. So, I squeezed the excess of liquid by putting a pot with water on top of a tofu block (please check the notes under the recipe for details on how to press tofu). After a few hours, the tofu was firmer. When I added it to the marinade, it acted almost like a sponge and absorbed a lot of the marinade. Additionally, the reduced amount of liquid allowed the tofu to get a bit of a crunchy skin after I fried it. And then all the pieces of the puzzle called perfect Miso Marinated Tofu Salad finally worked.
Miso Marinated Tofu Salad
Delicious vegan salad with aromatic tofu and a combination of vegetables and fruit.
Servings 3 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 60 minutes
Press the tofu (see the instructions below)
Whisk all the ingredients for the marinade, add the tofu cubes and stir to cover the pieces well. Marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes (but the longer, the better).
Warm the olive oil, add the marinated tofu pieces and fry them on a medium-high heat stirring often for 7-10 minutes till browned (but not burned); cool down a bit.
Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients.
Place all the salad ingredients in a big bowl, add the dressing and stir gently.
HOW TO PRESS TOFU:
- Fold up a few pieces of paper towel in quarters (they must be slightly bigger than the tofu block).
- Place a tofu block on one folded paper towel, cover it with another one and a chopping board.
- Put a pan or jug filled with approx 1l of water (or 2 cans with, e.g. beans) on top of the board.
- Leave it like that for at least 30 minutes.
- When the paper towels absorb moisture and get wet, replace them with dry ones.
- You can extend the time of pressing tofu to a few hours (keep it in the fridge then).
- You can use fabric kitchen towels instead of paper towels.
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