Lisa says, "I didn't come across Chinese chicken salad until I went to college in Los Angeles. I am glad I did because it has great texture - crunch from the two kinds of cabbage, lots of carrots, scallions and cucumbers - and great flavor. With well-seasoned tofu subbing for the chicken, and Mandarin oranges and toasted almonds adding texture and flavor, it's a salad that will fast become part of your regular rotation."
To make the tofu, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C, or gas mark 4). Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
Add the oil, tamari, garlic powder and ginger to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together and season with a little salt and pepper. Add the tofu to the bowl and toss to coat the tofu well. Arrange the tofu in a single layer on the sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes.
At the halfway mark for the tofu, toast the almonds. Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper. Arrange the almonds in a single layer. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the almonds have turned a few shades darker. Cool and coarsely chop.
In the meantime, to make the vinaigrette, add the garlic and ginger to a glass jar with a lid or to a dressing bottle. Cover with the vinegar and Mandarin orange juice, and let sit for 15 minutes to macerate. Add the oil, tamari, mirin and maple syrup. Cover the container and shake well to combine. The dressing will separate, so shake well before using.
To assemble the salad, add the cabbages, carrot, scallions and cucumbers to a big salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and toss to combine. Top with mandarin oranges, baked tofu and toasted almonds. Serve immediately.
~ Reprinted with permission from Lisa Dawn Angerame and Page Street Publishing.