Light Meals, Salads, Main

Crispy Tofu Salad With Tangy Peanut Dressing

I used to hate tofu – which I know is a strong word, but the first time I ate it, it was cooked all wrong. Perhaps it wasn't even cooked at all. Tasteless and rubbery, it was the weirdest thing I'd ever eaten, and I remember wondering why anyone in their right mind would eat it! The next time I tried it, it was very soft and slimy – so that was the end of my tofu-eating days for years to come.

Becoming fully plant-based was a huge turning point when it came to my relationship with tofu, as there was a gap in my diet for something that offered protein, texture and the ability to soak up flavours. I knew that if I was going to continue on my journey to create really tasty plant-based food, I'd have to become reacquainted with it. So reluctantly, I gave it another go...

And today, I can‘t get enough of the stuff! Crispy with salt and pepper, marinated in delicious spices, barbecued to golden perfection, cooked tandoori-style, blended to make quiches and tarts, scrambled... I know now that there are so many ways to enjoy this incredibly versatile food – so long as it's cooked correctly.

If you're as hesitant to embrace tofu as I was, I recommend doing as I did, and taking some time to educate yourself on what you're dealing with – the different types, and how best to prepare, marinate, and cook them. It might also be a good idea to look into the myths surrounding tofu and hormones, which are very easy to bust!

This particular way of cooking tofu is a go-to of mine now, and I use it for Asian salads, to fill summer rolls, and in bánh mì. It's simply marinated in ginger, garlic, tamari, and a little sesame oil, then fried or baked until deliciously crispy on the outside.

Here, I've served it on top of a super-fresh salad of blanched green vegetables, lots of fresh herbs, a little avocado, fresh red chilli and crushed toasted peanuts.

Finally, it's drizzled with the tangiest, most moreish peanut dressing you'll ever eat, which can be used with so many other recipes too – try using it as a dipping sauce, or stirring it through stir fried noodles and vegetables.



For the tofu

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 fat clove garlic, grated

3 tbsp tamari

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 x 280g extra firm tofu, diced into 1-inch cubes

2 tbsp light oil, such as groundnut

For the tangy peanut dressing

⅓ cup smooth peanut or almond butter

⅓ cup sweet chilli sauce (or use maple syrup mixed with fresh chilli)

⅓ cup tamari

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp grated ginger

Juice of 1-2 limes, depending on size

A good grinding of fresh black pepper

For the salad

4 cups of mixed veg, such as sugar snap peas, broccoli, mange tout, baby corn and broccoli

½ cucumber, peeled into ribbons

2-4 cups of mixed leaves

Large bunch of mixed herbs, such as mint, dill, fennel, coriander and chives

2 avocados, peeled, stoned and sliced

1 red chilli, thinly sliced

1 cup toasted peanuts, roughly crushed

To serve

2 tbsp black sesame seeds

2 limes, halved and optionally charred under the grill


  1. Add the ginger, garlic, tamari and sasame oil to a small bowl and whisk together. Add the tofu and toss gently to coat, then set aside.
  2. In another bowl, add all the ingredients for your tangy peanut dressing. If your limes are small or dry, you may need more than one. Whisk together vigorously until fully combined and smooth.
  3. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice, tamari or chilli sauce according to taste, if needed.
  4. Next, make your salad. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add your mixed vegetables. Cook for 1 minute, then immediately drain and rinse the veg under cold water.
  5. In a large bowl, gently toss together the vegetables, cucumber, mixed leaves and herbs, and set aside.
  6. Add 2 tbsp of oil heat to a non-stick frying pan placed over a medium-high heat. Add the tofu in batches and cook, turning every minute or so, until golden and crisp on all sides.
  7. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel while you cook the rest of the tofu.
  8. Divide the sliced avocado, chilli, crushed peanuts, and tofu between your plates, and drizzle over a little of the tangy peanut dressing, leaving some aside for people to add more as they eat.
  9. Just before serving, sprinkle each bowl with sesame seeds and add half a lime on the side, charred, if you like.

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