A friend from Shanghai described this to me as a typical dish that comes as close the definition of salad in both the Eastern and Western interpretations of the word. Its name, literally translated, is the less-than-descriptive “cold mix.” This veganized version features matchstick-cut vegetables and a chewy baked tofu. Serve with a simple noodle or rice dish for a delightful meal.
- 3 tablespoons natural reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoons dark sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar (coconut sugar is good with this)
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 small turnip, peeled and cut into 2- to 3-inch matchsticks
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2- to 3-inch matchsticks
- ½ medium crisp cucumber, peeled and cut into 2- to 3-inch matchsticks
- 2 medium celery stalks, cut into 2- to 3-inch matchsticks
- 8-ounce. package baked tofu, preferably teriyaki flavor, cut into 2- to 3-inch matchsticks
- 2 scallions, green parts only, cut into 2- to 3-inch ribbons
- 2 to 3 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (see note)
- ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
- Dried hot red pepper flakes to taste
- Shredded romaine lettuce or tender kale for serving
- Toasted cashew pieces or sesame seeds for garnish, optional
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, stir together, and set aside.
- Combine the turnip, carrots, cucumber, celery, tofu, scallions, mushrooms, and cilantro in a mixing bowl and stir gently. Pour the dressing over them and stir gently again. Allow the mixture to stand for at least 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Just before serving, taste to see if you’d like to add more soy sauce, sugar, and/or vinegar. Sprinkle in some some red pepper flakes — enough to give the mixture gentle heat, but not to over power it.
- Line a serving platter with shredded lettuce or kale, which help to absorb the plentiful marinade. Top with the optional cashew pieces or sesame seeds, and serve.
Originally published in the Sept. 2014 issue of Vegetarian Times.
- Here are more Main-Dish Salads.