Quirky old timey charm may have been what drew hipsterfolk to the potluck party (isn’t holding this party adorable of me?) but I think what made these events so ubiquitous was their straight-up practicality. The whole thing just makes sense. I was gonna cook. You were gonna cook. If we get together, we can eat BOTH things! And HANG OUT! That’s double the fun on so many levels.
But deciding what to bring to a potluck can be tricky business. You want to bring something nice but inexpensive. Something everyone will like and something for folks with special dietary requirements.
So check it out: A wheat-free, veggie and vegan friendly dish thats high-protein, satisfying and super delicious. In the teaching biz we call that UNIVERSAL DESIGN.
Sesame Ginger Vermicelli Salad
- 1 package brown rice (or regular) vermicelli noodles
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 1 shallot
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1-2 tbsp oil
- 2 ripe mangos
- small zucchini
- 1 red pepper
- 1 large carrot
- 8-10 spears of asparagus
- 3-4 roughly chopped scallions
- sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Dressing + Marinade:
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (or regular vinegar, but add some sweetener)
- 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce (kikkoman makes gluten-free soy sauce, if required)
- juice from 1 lime
- 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger (or a pinch of ginger powder if you’re in a…ahem…pinch)
- Begin by pressing tofu to remove excess liquid. (wrap in paper towel and placing something heavy on top for about 5-10 minutes) Dice into cubes and tranfer to a small ziplock bag adding in a 2-3 tbsp of the dressing/marinade mixture. Squeeze out as much air from the bag as possible. Allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
- Slice veggies and mangos into thin strips. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok, add shallot and remaining garlic. Separate tofu from its marinade by opening a corner of the bag and pouring the liquid into small cup. Reserve marinade and set aside. Add drained tofu to the skillet and fry until browned. Then veggies to the skillet and stir fry until the colour brightens and they are lightly cooked.
- Prepare vermicelli noodles according to package instructions. I used brown rice vermicelli, which I soaked for 5 minutes in lukewarm water and then rinsed. Roughly chop noodles to break them up and then add to skillet. Stir until well combined. Finish by adding the reserved liquid and allowing to reduce for 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer noodle mixture to a large bowl and toss with mango and remaining dressing.
- Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds and serve warm or cold!