Tofu in sambal with cashews and ginger pickle


Welcome to the first in our series of staff favourite recipes! Introducing Steve, one of the newest members of the team, who does delivery driving 2 days a week in Nether Edge, Greystones and Crookes. Steve also runs Unbeatable Energy – doing African Drumming workshops for schools, businesses and communities. He’s chosen an Ottolenghi recipe from The Guardian that showcases some of the Regather ‘extras’: organic ginger, garlic, chilli, lime. “I cooked this last month and it was absolutely amazing!”


  • For the tofu:
  • 1 x 280-300g pack extra-firm tofu
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced (1 tbsp)
  • 100g roasted salted cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • 300ml sunflower oil
  • For the ginger pickle:
  • 20g fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 lime, juiced (1 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • For the sambal:
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 300g shallots, peeled, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
  • 30g fresh red chillies, finely chopped
  • 3 fresh lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 star anise
  • 5 tbsp (20g) fresh coriander, leaves picked, stalks chopped
  • 2g dried chillies, finely chopped
  • 1½ tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1½ tbsp maple syrup
  • 150ml water


  1. Pat dry the tofu with kitchen towel. Cut the block into four widthways then cut each quarter into three lengthways, so you end up with 12 tall cubes. Cut each cube in half, then put on a tray.
  2. In a bowl, mix the garlic, soy sauce and lime juice. Pour the mix over the tofu, stir to coat the cubes ensuring covered all over. Marinate for at least 30 mins, basting twice.
  3. Heat oven to 170C (150C fan)/ gas 3. Mix the cashews in a small bowl with the tsp of oil and ¼ tsp salt. Arrange on a tray lined with greaseproof paper, bake for 12 mins until a deep brown colour but not burnt. Set aside to cool.
  4. Mix all the ginger pickle ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  5. Put the olive oil for the sambal in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, fresh red chillies, lime leaves, star anise and chopped coriander stalks. Cook for 20 mins, stirring frequently, until golden and crisp.
  6. Meanwhile, put the sunflower oil in a small saucepan on medium-high heat. Leaving the excess marinade in the tray, fry the tofu in 2 or 3 batches for about 2 mins, until golden with slightly dark edges. Return the fried tofu to its marinade, toss to coat, set aside.
  7. Stir the dried chillies, caraway, turmeric, tomato paste, maple syrup and tsp of salt into the sambal pan. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 mins. Add the water, stir well, cook for another minute. Lift the tofu out of marinade (which can now be discarded), add to the mix and stir gently to coat.
  8. Stir the reserved coriander leaves into the ginger pickle. Spoon the tofu onto a medium-sized platter. Scatter some of the pickle and cashews on top – serve the rest in two bowls on the side.