This is a really easy salad to make, and it keeps well. Make it at night, eat it for lunch. Or prepare this tofu salad as part of a bigger Thai dinner. It also works on its own as a light entree for a busy weekday. It’s vegan, vegetarian, and depending on the soy sauce or tamari you use, it can be gluten free. But even if you’re a meat eater, this is so satisfying with so many intense flavors, you’ll be just as happy as a vegan with the tofu.
Recipe: (Vegan) Thai Tofu Salad
(serves 2 as entree or 4 as side dish)
- 2 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce (my favorite soy sauce is Nama Shoyu)
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (make sure the one you buy has no sugar added)
- 1-3 Thai bird chili, serrano, habanero, or jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced, test for heat before using all 3
- 1/2 cup shallots, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons organic black sesame oil
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (or grape seed oil)
- 1 pound organic (non-GMO) extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/4 inch thick slabs
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup medium diced seedless cucumber
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
- 4 green onions, stem to root, finely diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients, allow to sit.
- For the salad, heat the oil over a medium-high flame in a cast iron skillet. Cook the garlic for about 15 seconds, add the tofu (pat it dry before putting it in the skillet) in a single layer to the skillet, cook until golden, about 3-5 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side. Remove from the skillet, allow to cool. Slice it thinly into bite-sized pieces. Toss the tofu and all remaining ingredients with the dressing. Reserve some of the cilantro and mint to garnish each plate.
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About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. She is a writer and content creator, working in film, tv, and online. She wrote the popular lifestyle book "Ageless Diet," published in late 2015. And she is currently working on her next book. She also developed a sitcom pilot set in the restaurant business called "Employees Only TV" and is developing another web series comedy about Denver.