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Thai Tofu Salad With Peanut Sauce

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5 from 8 votes
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Are you missing the pleasures of traveling to try new tasty, plant-based cuisine? We are, too! This Thai Tofu Salad recipe from the cookbook Vegan YUM is the just the right remedy for relieving your adventuresome appetite.

With each tantalizing bite, you’ll be transported to Thailand with its five, fine flavors of sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and spicy. This dish is utterly delicious because it has the best combination of cold, crisp vegetables and warm, savory tofu. In short, we think you’ll fall in love with this super flavorful salad and make it part of your weekly recipe rotation.

Healthy & Heavenly

Salads are way up there when it comes to eating healthy and filling your body with nutrients. If you think that salads are equivalent to just leaves of lettuce lying on a plate, you couldn’t be more mistaken. Having at least two different types of brilliant green veggies and then more colorful, crunchy additions create an attractive and appetizing dish that is filled with tons of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

  • Spinach – High in carotenoids, vitamins C & K, folic acid, iron, calcium, and B-vitamins.
  • Red Cabbage – Full of fiber, vitamin K and small amounts of calcium, iron, and zinc.
  • Carrots – Bursting with beta carotene, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants.
  • Snap Peas – Provides a powerful punch of vitamin C, protein, vitamins A & K, as well as folate.
  • Red/Orange Bell Pepper – Large levels of vitamin C & A, as well as potassium, folate, and iron.
  • Avocado – Heaps of healthy (monounsaturated) fat, fiber, B-vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C.
  • Tofu – Impressive amounts of protein, iron, calcium and all nine essential amino acids.
  • Nuts – More monounsaturated fat (the good kind!), vitamin E, protein, and magnesium.

So, you can see that this Thai Tofu salad is just packed with all the plant-based power you’ll ever need in a day. Yes!

How to Serve Up Your Thai Tofu Salad

The best thing about salads is that they’re so versatile. You can pretty much throw any fresh veggies together and call it done. This recipe is incredible just as it is but, if you want to mix it up, here are a few fun, failsafe options to incorporate:

  • Vary Your Veggies – This is a no-brainer. You all know that you don’t have to use the exact veggies in this sassy salad recipe if they repel you. Swap spring greens for baby spinach, tomatoes for bell pepper, string beans for snap peas, or even broccoli for cabbage. Make it the way you like it!
  • No to Nut Butter – If your belly and nibbly nuts don’t mix, then nix the peanut butter and add in a creamy seed blend instead. Tahini would be terrific in the this recipe. Sunflower butter would work wonders, as well.
  • Terrified of Tofu? – No need to run under the bed to hide from the terrors of tofu, aka The Sauron of Soy. You can easily replace the baked tofu with cheerful roasted chickpeas, quirky quinoa, or sassy seitan.
  • Ramp It Up With Rice – To make this Asian-inspired recipe fill more bowls than just your own, let silky rice noodles or super sticky rice come to the rescue. Mix up a double portion of savory sauce to pour over both the rice dish and your Thai Tofu Salad. Makes several extra servings and is much more satisfying.

Vegan Thai Peanut Salad With Tofu Resized

Equipment You’ll Need

Thai Chopped Salad With Peanut-Baked Tofu

Author: Megan Sadd
5 from 8 votes
Jazz up an everyday salad with fresh herbs, baked tofu, and lovely nut butter sauce. For an even heartier meal, serve over a bed of rice noodles and add extra sauce. Absolutely divine!
Fresh Thai Peanut Chopped Salad Vegan Cookbook Plated as a Buddha Bowl
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces 283 grams of firm tofu

Salad

  • 16 ounces 453 grams of baby spinach leaves
  • 6 ounces 170 grams of snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 cup 110 grams of shredded carrots
  • 1 cup 70 grams of shredded purple cabbage
  • 3 stalks of green onion, finely diced
  • 1 large red or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large ripe avocado, diced
  • cup 6 grams of cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup 80 grams chopped peanuts or cashews (optional, for added crunch)

Sauce

  • ½ cup 125 grams of creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons 45 ml of soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 tablespoons 45 ml of rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons 20 ml of lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons 20 ml of maple syrup
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • teaspoons 3 grams of minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons 4 grams of red pepper flakes, more if needed
  • ½ cup 120 grams of water
  • tablespoons 22 ml of sesame oil, optional
  • 2 tablespoons 30 ml of soy sauce or tamari, divided
  • tablespoons 12 grams of cornstarch or tapioca flour
  •  

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the tofu into 1-inch (2.5-cm) thick slabs. Arrange the tofu in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel. Press the tofu by covering it with another towel and placing something very heavy (ideally a cast-iron pan) on top for 10 minutes.
  • Make the peanut dressing. Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, syrup, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, water, and sesame oil (if using) in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Taste and add more red pepper flakes to make it spicier, if desired.
  • Dice the tofu into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. In a shallow bowl, drizzle the tofu with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of soy sauce. Toss it gently with your hands, then drizzle the remaining tablespoon (15 ml) of soy sauce over it. Sprinkle the tofu with starch and gently toss until well coated. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) of peanut dressing to the tofu and gently toss to coat.
  • Place the tofu in a single layer on the baking sheet, with space in between each piece. Bake for 5 minutes, then carefully turn and bake for another 5 minutes, until browned and crisp.
  • Arrange the spinach, snap peas, carrot, cabbage, onion, bell pepper, avocado, and cilantro. Top with tofu and nuts. Serve the peanut dressing on the side. Toss with the salad just before eating.

Notes

For an even heartier meal, serve the salad over a bed of rice noodles and double the sauce. You’ll have leftover sauce, which I consider a bonus.
Course Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine asian
Keyword asian, easy, fresh, gluten free, greens, salad, thai, tofu, vegan

Simple Storage for Your Thai Tofu Salad

This salad tastes best when made fresh. Sadly, the tofu loses some of its flavor and texture after refrigerating. If you’re looking to prepare this Thai tofu salad ahead of time, consider cutting up your veggies and storing them separately until the day you wish to make your dish. Bake the tofu about ten minutes before you want to serve. Not recommended for freezing.

About the Author

Megan Sadd is the chef, photographer, and creator of Carrots & Flowers, an inspired vegan blog that is one of the top plant-based cooking resources on Facebook. She went from behind the camera as a producer of some of cable television’s most popular shows to the front lines of the vegan cooking world.

Megan launched Carrots & Flowers in 2015 to help new vegans make a smoother transition to plant-based eating. Her fun, quick, and easy video tutorials had fans begging for more. Megan’s work has been featured in magazines such as Thrive, Vegan Life, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Best of Vegan, and others.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and three cats enjoying life to its fullest and dreaming of vegan cheese.

More Asian-Inspired Tofu Recipes To Try:

This Thai Chopped Salad With Peanut-Baked Tofu recipe was reprinted with permission from the Vegan YUM: The Secrets to Mastering Plant-Based Cooking cookbook by Megan Sadd (Page Street Press, December 15, 2020). Photography by Megan Sadd. Article written by Gina House and edited by Amanda Meth. Please note that this article contains affiliate links to help support our work at World of Vegan!

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Recipe Rating




8 comments
  1. Gina House says:

    5 stars
    Wow! The colors just totally pop and I love the combination of crunch, savory and smooth with the peanut butter sauce. Yummy.

  2. 5 stars
    Its just so colorful & beautiful! love it!

  3. 5 stars
    This tofu is heavenly!! The entire dish is so fresh and perfect for summer.

  4. Beatriz Buono-Core says:

    5 stars
    This salad looks amazing! All my favorites in one dish, yum!

  5. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    I love all the color in this recipe! So delicious!

  6. 5 stars
    You had me a Peanut sauce! This is a healthy and amazingly delicious tofu salad. Perfect for summer!

  7. 5 stars
    So tasty! Peanut sauce and tofu go together like two peas in a pod 😉