Silken tofu ceviche

This vibrant explosion of sweet, tart and spicy features citrus-cured silken tofu, ripe mango, salty samphire, salad vegetables and fresh herbs. A super healthy vegan ceviche recipe, packed full of nutritious fruit and vegetables, with layer upon layer of incredible zingy flavour.

First published in 2016
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Silken tofu gets its delicate texture from the way the soy milk is treated – it isn’t drained or pressed during production, retaining more water and resulting in a custardy texture that crumbles easily when handled. For this tofu ceviche recipe I chose to use the firm silken variety as it offered better shape while still remaining beautifully tender.

The protein-rich tofu is cured in citrus juice, in the same way fish and seafood are treated in traditional ceviche. Similarly with the raw onion and garlic used in the marinade, the acids ‘cook’ the alliums leaving their fresh flavour while taming their wild edge. The tofu can be left in the marinade (refrigerated) for up to forty-eight hours, developing in flavour the longer it sits, though any longer and those acids will start to break the tofu down.

As this recipe is traditionally made with fish, I felt that it would be nice to add a little of the sea back in with the addition of samphire. This unusual (though widely available) vegetable grows on rocks and cliffs by the sea and tastes very much of the salt water that feeds its growth. In this ceviche, its characteristic saltiness also helps balance the sweet, sour, spicy and herbal flavours of the other ingredients.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Citrus-cured tofu

Ceviche salad

To serve

Method

1
To make the tofu marinade, juice the limes and grapefruit into a medium bowl, sieving the mixture (if desired) to remove pulp. Crush the garlic and add to the juice. Very finely dice the onion and add to the juice with the honey and salt, stirring to dissolve
2
Gently break the tofu into small-medium chunks – don't crumble the tofu too finely at this point as it will break down further when mixed with the other ingredients. Add the tofu to the marinade and stir gently to combine
3
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes – the flavour will improve the longer the tofu sits, up to about 48 hours
4
When you are ready to assemble the salad, split open the mango as best you can, scoop out the flesh and dice into roughly 1cm cubes. Cut the cucumber into quarters along the width, then in slices along the length, then into 1cm cubes. Finely slice the radishes (I used a mandoline)
5
Roughly chop the samphire, mint leaves (discard stems) and coriander leaves (the coriander stems are packed with flavour – finely chop these). Finely chop the chilli. Add everything to a large bowl – if you are unsure about how much chilli to use, add this later after all the other ingredients have been mixed, tasting as you go
6
Drain the tofu, reserving the marinade, and add to the bowl. Carefully mix everything together, dressing the mixture with 4–8 tablespoons of the marinade to taste
7
Garnish with the mustard cress and serve immediately, with chunks of buttery avocado piled alongside and romaine lettuce leaves for scooping
First published in 2016
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Specialising in vegetarian food, Nancy has cooked her way around Europe and now writes full time for publications and her blog, Delicious from Scratch.

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