This salad is so scrumptious, with its tantalising combination of aromatic fennel, cucumber ribbons, fresh herbs, soft rice noodles and crispy salt and pepper tofu, all topped off with a tangy Asian dressing and the crunch of toasted coconut flakes and cashew nuts.
Although there are quite a few ingredients here, it takes no time at all to whip together, is completely gluten free, and there's barely any cooking involved. I recommend using a mandolin to slice the fennel and cucumber as thinly as possible, if you have one – otherwise you can use a peeler or sharp knife.
Feel free to change the salad ingredients as you wish, or to whatever you happen to have in your cupboard. You might also want to swap the cashews for peanuts or almonds, or omit them altogether if you have a nut allergy.
But honestly? I love this balance of ingredients exactly as it is. It really is an absolute winner, and I have a feeling it will be made on repeat in my kitchen for some time to come.
For the salad
200g dried rice noodles
1 bulb fennel, sliced as thinly as possible
½ cucumber, sliced into ribbons
4 spring onions, finely sliced
100g green beans
½ large red chilli, sliced
Small bunch of dill, roughly chopped
Small handful fresh mint leaves
Juice of ½ lime
1 tsp sesame oil
For the dressing
½ cup sweet chilli sauce
½ cup tamari sauce
2 tbsps sesame oil
Juice of 3 limes
For the salt and pepper tofu
280g block of extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 heaped tbsp cornflour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
100ml light oil, such as groundnut
75g toasted cashew nuts
¼ cup toasted coconut flakes
1 red chilli, sliced
1 lime, quartered
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