Food

Summer Mango Black Rice Salad with Broiled Tofu

A vegan recipe perfect for peak summer — and peak mango season

A vegan recipe perfect for peak summer — and peak mango season

(Photography by Marcella DiLonardo)

Enjoy this salad during the peak of summer, when there is a plethora of mangos available in markets, coming in from all over the world. The earthiness of the black rice pairs beautifully with the candied succulence of the mango, vibrant red bell peppers and cucumbers add crunch, and expect a bit of sharpness from the red onions. A tangy vinaigrette binds the whole salad together. Crowned with crispy, broiled tofu, this salad is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your summer gathering. The best part is that you can prepare most of the components of this salad a day in advance, so you can sit back and relax with friends and family the day you are ready to plate it up.

Summer Mango Black Rice Salad with Broiled Tofu

You can make many elements of this salad ahead of time: 

*The vinaigrette can be prepared and refrigerated for up to one week in advance. 

**Everything for the base of the salad, from the mango itself, to the black rice, can be prepped and stored in separate containers in the refrigerator up to one day in advance. 

***The tofu can be drained and stored in the refrigerator a day in advance. Pat it dry and bring to room temperature before broiling it.

Ingredients

Vinaigrette*

  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp grainy mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more, to drizzle

Black Rice Base**

  • 1 cup black rice
  • 2 ripe mangos (Chaunsa, Alphonso or Julie, approximately 2 lbs)
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 English cucumbers, diced
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion

Tofu***

  • ¾ lb firm tofu
  • 4 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 1 hour
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil (grapeseed or sunflower)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (leaves and stalks)

Preparation

Vinaigrette

Combine the lime juice, mustard, garlic, honey and sea salt in a small jar; shake to combine. Add the olive oil, and shake until it emulsifies.

Black Rice Base

Cook the black rice according to directions. Place the cooked rice into a sieve, rinse under cold running water and drain well. Spread the rice onto a tray and allow it to cool. 

Meanwhile, remove and discard the skin from the mangos, and cut ¼-inch thick slices of flesh around the pit, lengthwise. Stack the slices and cut lengthwise, into ¼-inch matchsticks. 

Destem and deseed the pepper and slice into ¼-inch strips. 

Place all of these ingredients, with the addition of cucumbers and red onion, in a large bowl. Do not mix.

Tofu

Drain the tofu, then line a baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Place the tofu on top, and cover with another double layer of paper towels. Place a second baking sheet on top, and placing heavy cans of food on the second sheet, press down on tofu, to release excess liquid. Let stand for 30 minutes. Then pat the tofu dry with paper towels, and cut into 24 1-inch cubes (approximately). Thread the tofu cubes on to 4 wooden skewers. Place your oven rack 4-6 inches from broiler. Preheat the broiler and lightly oil a baking tray. Arrange tofu in a single layer on the baking tray, and brush the tops of tofu cubes with oil. Broil, turning once, brushing again with oil, until golden brown, and edges appear crisp, about 4-6 minutes per side. Allow the tofu to come to room temperature.

Assemble 

Place the rice in a large bowl, along with mango, red bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, and the vinaigrette. Toss together gently, being careful not to break the fragile mango matchsticks, and then transfer to a large serving platter. Place the broiled tofu skewers on top. Sprinkle sea salt onto the tofu skewers and drizzle with olive oil. Adorn with chopped coriander.

Yield: Makes 4 servings


Shayma Owaise Saadat is a Food Writer and Chef. She lives in Toronto with her husband and son. You can follow her culinary journey at www.ShaymaSaadat.com or on Instagram.

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