I've had this salad stuck in my head for a while. It's sweet and spicy and crisp and fresh and it mimics my all-time favorite sandwich. I've proclaimed my love for the tofu banh mi pretty loudly on this blog. Nearly a year and a half ago, I wrote up the recipe for the sandwich. One of my first posts was just about how much I like these sandwiches, without a recipe or anything, just "Hey, you know what's a good sandwich? Tofu banh mi."
A banh mi is pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, jalepeno, cilantro, a wee bit of mayo or vegenaise, maybe some sriracha and some kind of protein* which in my case is always tofu. Sweet fried tofu.
The good rolls from the real Vietnamese bakeries are made with rice flour and are crisp on the outside and soft inside and perfect for balancing the complex flavors of this salad.
But something about it was calling for salad-ization. Rolls are great, but lettuce works. And a soft, crisp-edged roll might interfere with the magic act that is sweet tofu with pickled veg and spicy peppers and cilantro. That's a lot to work with and you want to taste it all. So it was time to make it into a salad.
Let's call this Same Dinner, Different Day, even though the other day was in April of 2011. Please don't hold on to leftover tofu that long.