This delicious recipe idea that blends east and west is brought to you by Litehouse Foods.
When it comes to food, quality matters most, and I'm sure many of you agree! I find that very often you can learn something about a company from the design and packaging of their product before you even get to taste it. When I first saw Litehouse's Sweet Onion dressing, part of its new Green Garden line, I was impressed! First of all, it's packed in a nice glass bottle (rare nowadays), which is green and more sustainable for the environment. Secondly, it's certified organic, non-GMO project verified, and gluten-free. I also noticed that the oil they use is organic extra virgin olive oil, while most other dressings are typically made with soy bean, canola, or some other cheaper oil. Right away, that wins my heart!
So now that I've told you a little about the product, what about the taste? To be honest, I thought the name "Sweet Onion" was a bit understated; I expected it to be just sweet and oniony, but after taking a little taste, I was like, Wow!, what's in this delicious mix!? It had a little bit of the sweetness from the onion, and then came the tanginess, and last but not least, the smokiness, all of which excited me about making this recipe. Since this dressing is vegan, I thought that tofu would make a perfect marriage for a vegan meal -- besides, we all know tofu loves a flavourful partner!
As far as texture goes, there are many ways to make tofu crispy. Here, I wrapped the tofu pieces in rice paper, which gives them a thin layer of crispiness (you can see my video below to get the hang of the technique). It's lightly pan fried, not greasy, and even gluten-free! I also combined some elements from East and West -- something I love to do. The curry, chilli peppers, and Thai basil, along with the dressing, create layers of interesting flavours, and they give the tastebuds a little kick afterwards, without being overdone.
You can simply pair this dish with some vegetables and rice, but the elegant and colourful presentation give you the option of serving it alone as an hors d'œuvre or as an appetizer. I also wanted to show a different way of using salad dressing as a sauce. Don't be afraid to add other sauces or flavours to the dressing, or to use it on a main course, like I did here. I hope this recipe encourages you to create your own dish with this unique tasting dressing!
- 1 pkg firm tofu
- 10 sheets 15cm (6") rice paper
- ¾ tsp curry powder
- ⅛ tsp chili pepper flakes
- 1 big handful of Thai basil leaves
- 1 tsp garlic, chopped
- 115 g (4 oz) mini sweet peppers, seeded and thinly sliced into rounds
- grape seed oil
- ½ tsp plus more sea salt
- Litehouse Sweet Onion Dressing
- Slice the tofu into 10 pieces widthwise, then cut each in half. You should have twenty 5 x 3.75 x 1.25 cm (2" x 1.5" x 0.5") pieces of tofu.
- Soak the rice paper in a bowl of room temperature water for about 3 minutes until soft. *Do 2 sheets at a time. If soaked too long, it'll break more easily.
- Season the tofu pieces with curry powder, ½ tsp sea salt, and chili pepper flakes on both the top and bottom.
- Lay one piece of rice paper on a clean cutting board. Cut it in half.
- In the center of each half, lay down a piece of Thai basil leaf, then place a piece of tofu over the leaf. Fold in the top and bottom first, then both sides to wrap the tofu. Set it aside on a wax paper-lined plate. Repeat this step and keep soaking the rice paper until you wrap all the tofu pieces.
- In a large cast iron or non-stick skillet, heat some oil, then place the tofu pieces top side down. Pan fry them over medium-low heat for about 4 minutes on both sides until crispy and slightly golden. Repeat this until all the tofu pieces are cooked. *Do not overcrowd the pan or the tofu pieces will stick together.
- A few minutes before finishing pan frying the tofu, heat some oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add garlic and sauté for 15 seconds, then add the mini peppers and cook for 1-2 minutes. Season with some sea salt.
- To assemble the dish, arrange the tofu pieces on a platter, place some mini peppers on top, drizzle with some Litehouse Sweet Onion dressing, and garnish with basil leaves. Serve immediately while the tofu is hot and crispy! Bon appétit!
All images copyright My Chouchoux.
Yvonne from My Chouchoux draws on her Taiwanese background and her experiences as a chef in both New York and currently in Quebec at Ma Station Cafe, to create beautiful and delicious recipes in that marry east and west. Her blog is in both English and Chinese and you can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
For another great Litehouse recipe idea, be sure to check out this beautiful Pomegranate Hibiscus Salmon Salad.