I had a wonderful memory about a salad that my friend and I made when I was still living in Hawaii over two decades ago. We went to explore the island and made a stop at China town in downtown Honolulu for lunch. Hawaii, known as a melting pot, you get introduced to different foods including tofu. I didn’t like it at first, but when we made this Asian salad and tofu soup as well as learned of its nutritional value, I changed my mind. Tofu became one of my favorites. Like the Mediterranean salad, this too was also a favorite at parties I catered. It wasn’t just because of the watercress, tofu, and tuna, but also because of the dressing. When you take a bite, the raw garlic in the dressing and the watercress have that spiciness and bitterness taste to them that balances out when you bite into the tuna and tofu. The dressing brought all the flavors together. You can also use the dressing as a stir-fry sauce which I did with the dish I created.
- 1 tablespoon Sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic.
Mix all ingredients in a dressing shaker and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside
- 1 Chinese long eggplant, cut crosswise about half inch each
- a handful of fresh Thai basil leaves
- 1 mini red bell peppers, sliced lengthwise
- 6 oz. tofu, cubed in bite pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 of medium onions, sliced
- oil for frying
- First, prepare the sauce. It’s a must.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1/4 cup of oil. Fry the eggplant until brown or soft.
- Place cooked eggplant on a plate lined with paper towel so it will absorb any excess oil.
- In a different skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add garlic, onions, and bell peppers. Cook until translucent.
- Add the tofu. Stir-fry until tofu is heated through.
- Add the sauce and toss to incorporate. Cook until sauce is heated through.
Here’s a picture of the salad I was talking about. I had this about a week ago. The recipe is available below. You can use the stir-fry sauce ingredients I provided above to dress this salad.
Watercress Salad ingredients:
- A handful of watercress
- 1/2 cup tuna flakes in oil
- 1/4 of small red onions, sliced
- 6 oz. tofu; cubed
- 1-2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine. Enjoy!