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This deep fried Silken tofu dish is served with mudcrab spiced with the classic thai nam jin sauce, fried peanuts and rambutans.
To fry the tofu, heat a generous amount of vegetable oil in a deep fryer or deep saucepan to 180 C.
Carefully crust the tofu in the Sichuan salt and pepper flour and place the tofu in the hot oil.
Cook until golden brown then remove and drain well on a piece of kitchen paper.
Set it aside in a warm place.
Put the nam jim dressing in a medium mixing bowl and add the peanuts, eschallots, sprouts, lychees, Thai basil and crab meat.
Mix all ingredients together gently.
To assemble the salad, place a ring mould(6-8cm diameter) in the centre of your plate and fill the mould with the salad.
Remove the mould.
This is only an option, you can, of course, simply pile the salad carefully into the centre of the plate.
Place the piece of fried tofu on top of the salad and top with any excess dressing.
Finish by adding the julienne of red chilli and kaffir lime leaf.
In a mortar & pestle, pound the garlic & coriander root.
Add the red and green chillies and pound further (not too much or it will be too hot).
Add the tomatoes and pound until just pulped.
Add the scuds, eschallots, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice, stir until mixed and the sugar has dissolved.
Check that the flavours are balanced....hot, salty, sour and sweet!
Sichuan salt and pepper flour:
Place equal amounts of sea salt and Sichuan peppercorns in a fry pan or wok and toast, over a medium heat, until fragrant and as the salt is just starting to change colour.
To then make the flour, mix 1 part salt and pepper with 4 parts pf plain flour.
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