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!
10 ounces (283 grams) of firm tofu
- 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
- ⅓ cup (6 grams) of cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup (80 grams) chopped peanuts or cashews (optional, for added crunch)
- 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
- 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) of minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons (4 grams) of red pepper flakes, more if needed
- ½ cup (120 grams) of water
- 1½ tablespoons (22 ml) of sesame oil, optional
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of soy sauce or tamari, divided
- 1½ tablespoons (12 grams) of cornstarch or tapioca flour
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.
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.
Keywords: thai, vegan, gluten-free, tofu, asian, salad, fresh, greens, easy