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Fresh Thai Peanut Chopped Salad Vegan Cookbook Plated as a Buddha Bowl

Thai Chopped Salad With Peanut-Baked Tofu

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!
Course Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine asian
Keyword asian, easy, fresh, gluten free, greens, salad, thai, tofu, vegan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Megan Sadd


  • 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
  • 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
  • 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


  • 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.