Tangible Media


Serves 4-6 • Vegan • Gluten-free When you want to feast on something fresh and light but packed full of flavour, this is a perfect dish. Far from a traditional Thai larb, with no pork, or ground sticky rice, it is still reminiscent of this famous salad – and craving it inspired me to make this for the first time. And with quick-pickled cucumbers, shredded cabbage and dressed rice noodles, it’s such a wonderful and healthy meal. Pre-mixed ‘Chinese five spice’ is a cheat’s addition to the cauliflower, but you can make up your own with star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel and pepper (or as many of these spices as you have) if you don’t have a jar of the stu on the go. 3 tablespoons sesame seeds 3 teaspoons Chinese five spice 2 teaspoons smoky paprika 60ml olive oil 2 teaspoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari 500 grams cauliflower (about 1 large head), chopped into small 2cm chunks 40 grams roasted peanut halves Herby salad 2 teaspoons sesame oil 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar salt and pepper 3 small cucumbers or 1 large, sliced on the diagonal 200 grams thick ‘pad Thai’ rice noodles bunch of coriander, leaves picked bunch of mint, leaves picked ½ red onion, thinly sliced ¼ white cabbage, shredded Dressing 60ml vegan fish sauce juice of 2 small limes 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped ½ bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped (optional) Preheat the oven to 200°C fan-forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. In a small bowl, mix together the sesame seeds, spices, olive oil, sugar and soy sauce or tamari to form a thick paste. Spread the cauliflower across the prepared tray and dollop the marinade over the top. Use your hands to toss the cauliflower and coat it in the mixture. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, turning the cauliflower halfway through cooking, until starting to char and the pieces have shrunk to about one-third of their original size. Add the peanuts to the tray and toss well. Return to the oven for a final 5 minutes, to warm the nuts. Meanwhile, to make the herby salad, combine the sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the cucumber and toss to coat, then set aside to pickle until ready to serve. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and 80ml of water and set aside. Cook the noodles according to the packet directions, then drain under cool running water to prevent the noodles becoming gluggy. Toss the noodles with the herbs and onion, along with about half the dressing. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the warm cauliflower, cabbage and quick-pickled cucumber. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the top and serve. nd