This Crispy Tofu Salad with Peanut Dressing, features perfectly fried tofu, quinoa, red cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots. Tossed in a creamy, savory peanut dressing, this healthy and satisfying dish is perfect for a quick and delicious meal.

Crispy Tofu Salad with Peanut Dressing

This recipe is inspired by this power grain bowl I ate almost every weekend at the food hall when I was in university. It was like a boujee salad bar with so many options. They had all sorts of grains, vegetables, proteins and dressings to choose from and the peanut dressing was one of my favourites. I’m a huge texture person when it comes to my food, I love having a variety so I’d add 10 different things and douse it in the peanut sauce. This recipe consists of my favourite ingredients with my version of that peanut dressing.

I’ve made this recipe so many times for friends and family and they always ask for the recipe, and I’ve always just shared it through a long text message but I figured it deserves a place on my food blog.


This salad is naturally vegan and gluten free! It’s also incredibly versatile and you can substitute all the salad ingredients with whatever you have on hand. Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Crispy tofu: To make crispy tofu, all you need is a block of medium firm, firm or extra firm tofu and some potato starch.
  • Quinoa: A healthy grain for carbs and adds a bit if nuttiness and body to the salad.
  • Veggies: You can use any vegetables, really but as the base I recommend cabbage (red, green or napa!), carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes.
  • Herbs: I highly recommend adding cilantro and scallions for more flavour!
  • Nuts: Any nuts or seeds you like for extra crunch, thats different from the crispy tofu.
  • Peanut Dressing: made with peanut butter, kewpie mayo, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, sugar, sesame oil, ginger and garlic.

How to Make Crispy Tofu Quinoa Salad

This salad is incredibly low effort and easy to make. Plus, it’s great for meal prep!

  1. Cook quinoa: Cook the quinoa and fluff it up with a fork. Set aside to cool.
  2. Prepare vegetables: Slice, dice and julienne all the vegetables. The variety of different cutting methods makes for more texture.
  3. Blend dressing ingredients: Blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. You can also hand whisk the ingredients but there will be bits of garlic and ginger.
  4. Fry tofu: Cube the tofu, season, toss in potato starch and fry at 350 F / 180 C for 2-3 minutes, flipping half way.
  5. Assemble: Toss everything together, garnish with nuts and herbs.


  • Grains: Instead of quinoa, you can use other grains like wild rice, couscous or wheat berries
  • Proteins: Instead of tofu, you can swap it out for some cooked beans, baked tempeh, shredded chicken or shrimp.
  • Vegetables: Use any vegetables you have on hand! The dressing goes well with any vegetables. You can even use roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, cauliflower or pumpkin.

How to Store

I recommend storing the vegetables, quinoa, tofu and dressing in separate containers and assembling on the day of serving. The prepared vegetables, quinoa and tofu will keep for 3-4 days. Quinoa can also be frozen! The dressing will last one week.

Enjoy!! If you make this Crispy Tofu Salad with Peanut Dressing recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rating and if you decide to share it on socials, tag me on instagram @Okonomikitchen. I’d love to hear from you!

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Crispy Tofu Salad with Peanut Salad Dressing

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  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Units Scale

Peanut Dressing

  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (90 g) smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (90 g) kewpie mayo
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) rice vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 g) sesame oil
  • 2 tsp (10 g) ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, or more to taste
  • water or oil to thin, to your liking


  • 1 cup (180 g) Quinoa
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • 1 pint (224 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups (250 g) red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cucumber (130 g), diced
  • 1 bell pepper (115 g), diced or sliced
  • 1 medium carrot (80 g), shredded
  • 2 scallions (20 g) thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (20 g) cilantro leaves , finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (45 g) almonds or cashews, chopped

Crispy tofu

  • 1 14 oz pack of medium firm, firm or extra firm tofu
  • Potato starch or corn starch
  • Salt and pepper, to taste



  1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water for 1-2 minutes using a fine mesh strainer to remove any bitterness.
  2. Combine the rinsed quinoa, water or broth, and a pinch of salt (optional) in a saucepan, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan with a lid, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until the quinoa absorbs all the liquid and becomes tender. Then, fluff it with a fork before serving.


  1. Blend all the ingredients together. Taste and adjust to your liking


  1. Prepare all the vegetables and toss in a large bowl.

Crispy tofu

  1. If using medium firm or firm tofu, I recommend freezing overnight and thawing. If you prepare ahead of time, you can double freeze and thaw it for a more meat-y texture.
  2. Drain the tofu and squeeze out excess liquid with a tofu press for for 10-30 minutes. Pat fry.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss in potato starch. I add a layer of tofu to a bowl, dust with potato starch and toss it. Make sure all the sides are coated.
  5. Heat oil to 180 C. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until they look like they’ve flaked up and are crispy.


  1. Toss all the vegetables and quinoa together, add crispy tofu and drizzle with dressing.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Thai-inspired

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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