Deep Fried Tofu, Coarse Shrimp Sambal and Cucumber Salad

Cook time 45 minutes
Servings 4


2 tbsp peanut oil
350g block firm tofu, pat dried
2 Lebanese cucumbers, halved and then quartered lengthways
115g bean sprouts
½ cup coriander leaves
½ long red chilli, seeded and thinly sliced
2cm piece lemongrass, white part only, finely sliced

50g dried shrimp
10g dried chillies, seeds removed
½ ripe tomato, roughly diced
1 clove garlic
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 red Asian shallots
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp peanut oil
vegetable oil, for drizzling

1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
juice of ½ lime
1 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp sesame oil

Deep Fried Tofu, Coarse Shrimp Sambal and Cucumber Salad


To make the sambal, soak the shrimp and chillies separately in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain and thoroughly rinse. Place the shrimp in a stick blender and pulse until you have a coarse sandy texture. Adding a little water if needed. Remove and place in bowl until needed.

Blend the chili and tomato with a stick blender until you have a paste. Remove and set aside. Add the garlic, ginger, shallots, sugar and fish sauce to the blender and process until you have a paste.

To finish the sambal, heat 2 tbs. of peanut oil in a large wok over high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and shallot paste and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the chili paste and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Next add the shrimp and stir-fry for another 2 minutes until well combined. Remove from the heat, cool slightly, then transfer to a small jar and cover with vegetable oil. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Heat another 2 tbs. of peanut oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Gently place the tofu into the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towel, cut into 4 slaices and sprinkle with sea salt.

To serve, place the cucumber and bean sprouts in a large bowl, add just enough dressing to coat and gently toss. Divide among plates and sprinkle with coriander, chili and lemongrass. Serve with tofu and a dollop of shrimp sambal.

Developed by Hayden Quinn as seen in Hayden Cook Summer Ebook