Asian Tofu Salad Recipe - Healthy and Delicious

Asian Tofu Salad

Asian Tofu Salad Recipe - Healthy and Delicious
Region / culture: Asia | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Servings: 4


Asian Tofu Salad
Asian Tofu Salad

Asian Tofu Salad is a vibrant, nutritious, and delicious dish that combines the rich textures of tofu with the fresh crunch of mixed salad greens, carrots, and cucumbers. Dressed in a savory blend of canola oil, rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger, this salad is a testament to the flavorsome and healthful eating options that Asian cuisine offers. Perfect for a light lunch, dinner, or as a side dish, this recipe is not only easy to prepare but also customizable to cater to various dietary preferences.


The concept of tofu salad is deeply rooted in Asian culinary traditions, where tofu has been a staple ingredient for centuries. Originating from China, tofu made its way across Asia, adapting to the flavors and ingredients of local cuisines. This particular recipe is a modern interpretation, combining elements from different Asian cultures to create a dish that is both contemporary and deeply traditional. It reflects the growing global appreciation for tofu as a versatile and healthful food.


How to prepare

  1. In a bowl, whisk together canola oil, vinegar, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and salt.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, place tofu and 2 tbsp of the dressing.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown, for a total of 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, add 1 tbsp of the dressing to the pan, and stir to coat.
  5. Toss greens, carrots, and cucumber with the remaining dressing.
  6. Serve immediately, topped with the warm tofu.


  • 1. For a gluten-free version, use tamari or a gluten-free soy sauce.
  • 2. Add other vegetables like bell peppers, radishes, or avocado for more variety and nutrition.
  • 3. For a spicy kick, include a drizzle of chili oil or a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes in the dressing.


  1. Make ahead tip: The dressing (Step 1) will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Whisk just before using.
  2. ChupaNote: tossed in a julienned red bell pepper and a thinly sliced red onion as well as a handful of sugar snap beans. Doubled all of the ingredients of the dressing and we used most of it over rice!!!!

Cooking Tips & Tricks

1. Pressing the tofu before cooking it is crucial to achieve a firmer texture and better absorption of the dressing.

2. For an extra flavor boost, marinate the tofu in a portion of the dressing for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

3. Use a non-stick skillet to prevent the tofu from sticking and to ensure even browning.

4. Adding the dressing to the tofu while it's still warm in the skillet helps it absorb the flavors more effectively.

5. Be gentle when tossing the salad to keep the greens and vegetables crisp.

Serving Suggestions

This salad is best served fresh and can be enjoyed on its own as a light meal. For a more substantial meal, it can be paired with a side of steamed rice or quinoa. Garnishing with fresh herbs like cilantro or mint and a sprinkle of sesame seeds can add an extra layer of flavor and texture.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is pan-frying the tofu to achieve a golden, crispy exterior while keeping it tender inside. Whisking the dressing ingredients thoroughly ensures a well-emulsified and flavorful dressing that coats the salad evenly.

Ingredient Substitutions

1. Maple syrup or agave nectar can be used in place of honey for a vegan version.

2. Peanut oil or olive oil can substitute for canola oil for a different flavor profile.

3. Tamari or coconut aminos can replace soy sauce for a gluten-free or soy-free option.

Make Ahead Tips

The dressing can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. The tofu can also be cooked ahead of time and reheated gently before serving. However, the salad greens and vegetables should be prepared fresh to maintain their crispness.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the salad in a large, shallow bowl to showcase the colorful mix of vegetables and tofu. Drizzle the dressing artistically and garnish with sesame seeds and fresh herbs for an appealing presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

This salad pairs well with a light, crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling. For a non-alcoholic option, a chilled green tea or a sparkling water with a squeeze of lime complements the flavors of the salad.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover salad and tofu separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to two days. The tofu can be reheated gently in a skillet or microwave, but the salad is best enjoyed fresh.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Asian Tofu Salad contains approximately 200-250 calories, making it a light yet satisfying meal option. The low calorie count is due to the lean protein from tofu and the low-calorie density of the vegetables.


This Asian Tofu Salad is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary sources being the vegetables and the honey in the dressing. A serving of this salad contains approximately 10-15 grams of carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those monitoring their carbohydrate intake.


The fats in this salad come from healthful sources, including canola oil and sesame oil. These oils provide a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. A serving contains about 10-12 grams of fat, most of which are unsaturated fats.


Tofu is an excellent source of plant-based protein, making this salad a great option for vegetarians and vegans. A serving of this salad provides approximately 15-20 grams of protein, contributing significantly to daily protein requirements.

Vitamins and minerals

This salad is rich in vitamins A and C, thanks to the mixed salad greens, carrots, and cucumbers. It also provides a good amount of calcium and iron from the tofu, along with other minerals like magnesium and potassium.


The primary allergens in this recipe are soy (from tofu and soy sauce) and sesame (from sesame oil). Individuals with allergies to these ingredients should exercise caution or seek alternative ingredients.


Overall, Asian Tofu Salad is a nutritionally balanced dish that provides a good mix of proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals while being low in carbohydrates and calories. It's an excellent choice for those seeking a healthful, flavorful meal.


Asian Tofu Salad is a delightful blend of textures and flavors, offering a nutritious and satisfying meal that's easy to prepare. With its versatile ingredients and customizable options, it caters to a wide range of dietary preferences and occasions. Whether you're seeking a light lunch, a healthy dinner, or a vibrant side dish, this salad is sure to impress with its delicious taste and nutritional benefits.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of anticipation I felt when I first discovered this recipe for Asian Tofu Salad. It was a warm summer day, and I was attending a potluck picnic with some friends from my cooking club. As we all gathered around the picnic table, each of us unveiling the dish we had brought to share, one of my friends presented this vibrant and flavorful salad.

I took one bite and was immediately hooked. The combination of crispy tofu, crunchy vegetables, and tangy dressing was a symphony of flavors in my mouth. I knew right then and there that I needed to learn how to make this dish for myself.

I asked my friend where she had learned the recipe, and she told me that she had picked it up during a trip to Thailand many years ago. She had taken a cooking class while she was there and had been making this salad ever since. I begged her to share the recipe with me, and she graciously agreed.

That night, I went home and set to work recreating the salad in my own kitchen. I marinated the tofu in a blend of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, then fried it until it was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. I chopped up a colorful array of bell peppers, cucumbers, and carrots, tossing them together with the tofu and a zesty vinaigrette made with rice vinegar, sesame oil, and a touch of honey.

As I took my first bite of the finished salad, I was transported back to that warm summer day at the picnic. The flavors were just as bright and delicious as I remembered, and I knew that this recipe would become a staple in my cooking repertoire.

Over the years, I have made this Asian Tofu Salad countless times, tweaking the recipe here and there to suit my tastes. I have shared it with friends and family, bringing it to potlucks, picnics, and dinner parties. It has become a beloved dish in my household, a reminder of that fateful day when I first tasted its magic.

I often think about the journey that this recipe has taken me on, from that picnic table to my own kitchen. It is a testament to the power of food to connect us to different cultures and experiences, to bring people together and create lasting memories.

I am grateful to my friend for introducing me to this recipe, and to the people of Thailand for sharing their culinary traditions with the world. And I am grateful to this salad for bringing a little taste of adventure and excitement into my life every time I make it.

So if you ever find yourself in need of a dish that is both delicious and nutritious, look no further than this Asian Tofu Salad. It is a recipe that has stood the test of time and will surely bring joy to anyone who tries it. Bon appétit!


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