Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Crunchy Salt and Pepper Tofu

. January, 2017
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Crunchy Salt and Pepper Tofu

This is the perfect meat-free summer meal, packed with loads of delicious, fresh flavour.

Serves: 4


100 grams vermicelli noodles
2 large zucchini
2 medium carrots
1 large red capsicum
2 large handfuls fresh mint - cut into fine ribbons
1 large handful fresh coriander - roughly chopped
275 grams firm tofu (I use NZ brand Tonzu)
½ cup tapioca flour (you can also use potato flour or starch)
Coconut oil or ghee for frying
1 teaspoon sea salt
white pepper

1 clove garlic - crushed or finely diced
¼ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 tablespoon mild oil (I used light olive oil)
1 red chilli - seeds removed and finely diced

Tofu cooked until crunchy makes for a wonderful textural addition to this fresh summer dish.

Dressing should be added just prior to eating. You’ll need a julienne peeler to create a fine and even texture with the raw vegetables. These can be bought inexpensively at good kitchen stores and are a wonderful cooks tool.


Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles for 2 minutes until tender but still firm. Rinse under running cold water and drain well.

Use a julienne peeler to cut the carrot and zucchini into matchsticks. Remove the core of the capsicum and slice very thinly.

Combine all vegetables and herbs together in a large bowl and toss well until evenly mixed.

Cut the tofu into cubes. Combine the tapioca flour, sea salt and a generous shake of white pepper. Dust the tofu evenly in the flour.

Heat a ¼ inch of oil in a sauté pan over a medium to high heat. Cook the tofu in two batches, browning on all sides. Place a paper towel on a plate to lay out the cooked tofu.

Divide the noodles and vegetables between 4 bowls. Top each bowl with the hot tofu.

Drizzle the dressing over each salad and serve immediately.