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Deep Fried Tofu, Coarse Shrimp Sambal and Cucumber Salad

Recipe by: Hayden Quinn
Time: 45 minutes. Serves: 4


  • 2 tbs. 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 chili, seeded and thinly sliced

  • 2cm piece lemongrass, white part only, finely sliced

  • Sambal

  • 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 tbs. peanut oil

  • vegetable oil, for drizzling

  • Dressing

  • 1 tbs. fish sauce

  • 1 tbs. rice vinegar

  • juice of ½ lime

  • 1 tsp. caster sugar

  • ½ tsp. sesame oil


  • 1.

    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.

  • 2.

    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.

  • 3.

    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.

  • 4.

    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

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