I have made a version of this salad pretty much once a week since the beginning of the summer, but neglected to post it until now because it usually disappears too quickly. It’s the perfect summer dish, to me — light, full of texture, and minimal cooking time. It also uses my favorite ingredients of the summer — namely, lime juice, fish sauce and a little hot pepper. I was always wary of fish sauce until a couple of years ago, afraid of the pungent smell and implications behind the name. But luckily, I got over that and now I use it in dressings, marinades and sauces all the time — it adds the perfect salty, unctuous flavor to almost anything. The original recipe uses panko-coated pan-fried shrimp instead of tofu, which is also delicious.
Rice Noodle Salad with Fried Tofu (adapted from Food & Wine, serves 4)