Thai Cabbage Salad with Crispy Tofu from Plant-Based & Flavor First by Joy Manning

Thai Cabbage Salad with Tofu

Many people underestimate the versatility of cabbage. This delicious cabbage salad recipe from Joy Manning has that Thai restaurant flavor but comes together faster than you can call for take-out. Save even more time by using coleslaw mix as the base for this cabbage salad instead of chopping your own.

I had been enjoying Joy Manning’s work for years. She is, after all, an award-winning food writer, recipe editor and developer and podcaster (and more) but we had not met until I moved to Philadelphia. We bonded over vegan tahini cookies that were served during our induction into the Philadelphia chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier. I’m afraid I was rude in keeping her from mingling that night as I was thoroughly enthralled. Joy is at once scholarly in her knowledge of food and trends and enthusiastic and friendly. Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to Joy who is today’s guest blogger. You will find a recipe from her new mini cookbook, Plant-Based & Flavor First. Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a copy. As this is an e-book, the giveaway is open to everyone, anywhere. I have been cooking my way through this beautiful and very affordable book of interesting and do-able, delicious recipes.

Thai Cabbage Salad Pin

Joy Manning

Joy Manning is a writer, editor, and recipe developer focused on great food and good health. She’s the co-host of the home cooking podcast, Local Mouthful, and the editor of Edible Philly magazine

Joy Manning

A former restaurant critic, James Beard restaurant judge, and senior editor at Tasting Table, Joy has eaten and assessed countless gourmet meals cooked by the most acclaimed chefs in America.

Her obsession with food has always been intertwined (and sometimes in conflict) with her interest in health. After one too many 17-course-chef-tasting-menus-with-wine-pairings during her time at Tasting Table, she accepted the role of nutrition editor at Prevention magazine, where she reported on the latest evidence-based nutrition science and health food trends.

Cover of Plant Based and Flavor First by Joy Manning

Plant-Based & Flavor First

After being diagnosed with high cholesterol in 2017, Joy shifted to a plant-based diet. She brought her numbers into the healthy range without medication by cooking homemade, restaurant-level food. Today, she strives to create plant-based dishes with five-star flavor and spread the word that you can take charge of your health and love of food at the same time flavor and spread the word that you can take charge of your health and love of food at the same time. She’s collected her 12 favorite recipes in a new mini cookbook Plant-Based & Flavor First

Joy’s writing has been nominated for the James Beard Journalism Award and the IACP award. Her work has been anthologized in the Best Food Writing book series. 

She’s also the author of Stuff Every Cook Should Know and Almost Meatless, as well as the recipe editor for Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking.

Joy lives and cooks in South Philadelphia with her husband, Dan. Follow along with her plant-based cooking adventures on Instagram @JoyManning and listen to the Local Mouthful Podcast, where she and her podcast partner, Marisa McClennan,  talk about living the food life in Philadelphia and beyond.  

Thai Restaurant-inspired Cabbage Salad with Crispy Tofu

Excerpted from Plant-Based & Flavor First with permission by Joy Manning

At a Thai restaurant, cabbage salads are often full of fish sauce. Here, I use kombu powder to give the dressing the slightest funky, oceanic flavor. You can skip it! If you see conehead (also known as sweetheart pointed) cabbage at the farmers market, grab it and make this. It’s a sweet tender variety that makes the best salads and slaws.

Thai Cabbage Salad with Tofu

Thai Restaurant-inspired Cabbage Salad with Crispy Tofu

Joy Manning
Excerpted from Plant-Based & Flavor First by Joy Manning
At a Thai restaurant, cabbage salads are often full of fish sauce. Here, I use kombu powder to give the dressing the slightest funky, oceanic flavor. You can skip it! If you see conehead (also known as sweetheart pointed) cabbage at the farmers market, grab it and make this. It’s a sweet tender variety that makes the best salads and slaws.
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Asian, Thai
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ jalapeno pepper minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon kombu powder optional
  • 10 ounces shredded cabbage you can use a bag of coleslaw mix
  • 8 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ block firm tofu 7 or 8 ounces, cut into 4 slabs and dried well
  • ½ cup loosely packed cilantro
  • ½ cup loosely packed mint
  • ¼ cup roasted salted peanuts chopped

Instructions
 

  • In the bottom of a large salad bowl, combine the soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, jalapeno, salt, and kombu powder. Whisk, and then add the cabbage and tomatoes and toss. Let the cabbage sit while you cook your tofu.
  • Season the tofu slabs with salt and pepper. Add the oil to a well-seasoned cast iron or carbon steel skillet over medium-high and heat until shimmering. Add the tofu slabs and cook without moving until light golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip, and continue cooking on the second side until light golden brown, another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Just before serving, add the herbs to the cabbage salad and toss. Divide between two serving plates, and top with the tofu and chopped peanuts. Pour any dressing left at the bottom of the bowl over the top.
Keyword peanuts, soy sauce, spicy, Thai, Tofu
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