Vietnamese-style chopped salad

I was inspired to create this salad after driving home last weekend from the grocery store with a bag full of cilantro and mint to fix some summer rolls. It's an intoxicating mix that reminds me of many of my favorite dishes. My mom used to make us carrot flowers for our nuoc cham, so I threw those in for nostalgic effect.

Salad serves 2, generously
10 oz. extra firm tofu
canola oil

10-12 leaves of lettuce (I used red leaf.)
1 carrot
about 2" of cucumber
about 2" of daikon radish
25 fresh mint leaves
20 stems of cilantro
12 Thai basil leaves
2 green onions
1 small mango (just ripe, not too soft)
1/4 c. dry-roasted peanuts, crushed

Slice the tofu into bite-sized pieces and fry over med-high heat until crispy. Drain on a paper towel.

Chop the lettuce into a large bowl. Slice or shred the carrot, depending on your preference. If you want to make flowers: peel and rinse your carrot. Slice 5 thin V-shaped grooves along the length of the carrot, then slice the carrot thinly. Julliene the cucumber and radish, coarsely chop the herbs, and throw everything into the bowl. Chop the mango and set aside.

You can add or substitute other vegetables you have on hand, but the herbs are key.

juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbs.)
2 tbs. coconut milk
1 tbs. agave nectar
2 tsp. hoisin sauce
2 tsp. peanut butter
1 tsp. soy sauce
sriracha to taste

Mix all ingredients well. Pour over vegetables and toss until all the leaves are covered. Add the mango and tofu, and briefly toss again gently. Serve with peanuts sprinkled on top.

Bonus summer rolls:

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