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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.


  • 1 square silken tofu 5cm x 7cm

  • 80 g mud crab meat

  • 2 tablespoons sichuan salt and pepper flour see note

  • 3 tablespoons nam jim see seperate recipe

  • 0.5 tablespoon roasted or fried peanut roughly crushed

  • 0.5 tablespoon sliced eschallot fried til golden

  • 1 tablespoon bean sprout picked

  • 3 lychees or rambutans peeled, de-stoned and halved

  • 4 leaves thai basil

  • 0.25 large dried red chilli julienne

  • 0.5 kaffir lime leaves julienne

  • vegetable oil for frying

  • Nam Jin

  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped

  • 2 coriander roots washed thoroughly and roughly chopped

  • 1 long red chilli de-seeded and roughly chopped

  • 2 wild green scud chilli's finely sliced

  • 1 small red eschalot finely sliced

  • 3 ripe cherry tomatoes or 1 small vine-ripened tomato, roughly chopped

  • 0.25 cup caster sugar or plum sugar

  • 0.25 cup fish sauce boy brand or squid brand

  • 1 large lime juicec


  • 1.

    To fry the tofu, heat a generous amount of vegetable oil in a deep fryer or deep saucepan to 180 C.

  • 2.

    Carefully crust the tofu in the Sichuan salt and pepper flour and place the tofu in the hot oil.

  • 3.

    Cook until golden brown then remove and drain well on a piece of kitchen paper.

  • 4.

    Set it aside in a warm place.

  • 5.

    Put the nam jim dressing in a medium mixing bowl and add the peanuts, eschallots, sprouts, lychees, Thai basil and crab meat.

  • 6.

    Mix all ingredients together gently.

  • 7.

    To assemble the salad, place a ring mould(6-8cm diameter) in the centre of your plate and fill the mould with the salad.

  • 8.

    Remove the mould.

  • 9.

    This is only an option, you can, of course, simply pile the salad carefully into the centre of the plate.

  • 10.

    Place the piece of fried tofu on top of the salad and top with any excess dressing.

  • 11.

    Finish by adding the julienne of red chilli and kaffir lime leaf.

  • Nam Jin:

  • 1.

    In a mortar & pestle, pound the garlic & coriander root.

  • 2.

    Add the red and green chillies and pound further (not too much or it will be too hot).

  • 3.

    Add the tomatoes and pound until just pulped.

  • 4.

    Add the scuds, eschallots, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice, stir until mixed and the sugar has dissolved.

  • 5.

    Check that the flavours are, salty, sour and sweet!

  • Sichuan salt and pepper flour:

  • 1.

    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.

  • 2.

    To then make the flour, mix 1 part salt and pepper with 4 parts pf plain flour.

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