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I love tofu now, but that wasn’t always the case.It was not until a visit to Disney, where most of the vegan meal options were tofu, that I became a fan fast! They served perfectly seasoned and tasty tofu options at many of the Animal Kingdom restaurant spots and I walked away on the tofu train. If you have always stuck your nose up at tofu, this Chinese Tofu Salad is the perfect reason to reacquaint yourself with this soy protein.
Wait That’s Vegan?! New Cookbook
This is a great cookbook for the veg curious, those transitioning to a vegan diet and even carnivores participating in a meatless meal! The focus of this new Wait That’s Vegan?! cookbook is remaking non vegan favorites into clever and easy plant based substitutes. This Chinese Tofu Salad recipe is inspired from the non plant based Chinese Chicken Salad.
The book is divided by topic into your main meals: breakfast and brunch, salads and sandwiches, main dishes, desserts and basics. You will love the familiar classics that have been veganized such as:
- Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes
- Meatless Meatballs
- Crispy Tempeh Bacon BLT’s
- The Beet Burger
- Classic New York Cheesecake
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is a great cookbook with familiar recipe names which the whole family will love!
How to Make Chinese Tofu Salad
It’s no secret around here I love a huge salad bowl and this recipe with its crunchy textures and fresh ingredients fits that motif perfectly!
For the main ingredients in this recipe you will need:
- Firm Tofu
- Tamari (or gluten free soy sauce)
- Mandarin Oranges
You can get creative and add other vegetables as well! We added water chestnuts and snap peas. Also, we had to use fresh power greens instead of cabbage as this was during quarantine times and the store was sold out of cabbage! (side note: anyone else surprised by things the store is out of that seem a bit odd?!)
This recipe calls for extra firm tofu, but we have found that in recipes calling for tofu as the main protein like Vegan Chili Fries and Gluten Free Yellow Curry Fried Rice our taste buds prefer firm tofu. Use the tofu that you like best, but I do not recommend soft tofu. The marinade in this recipe for your tofu is top notch. Do not skip this part when making this Chinese Tofu Salad! If you remember and have the time, marinate the tofu in the marinade all day for best flavor! It was an oddly warm Michigan spring day when we made this, so we used our air fryer vs. baking in the oven so we did not warm up the house any more than it already was! To do that and still get that crispy tofu, we tossed the tofu with cornstarch.
As mentioned, we did not have cabbage on hand due to an odd grocery shortage, so get creative and use whatever greens you have on hand. We also added to our bowl some jasmine rice and cauliflower rice for some extra carb loading!
The sesame vinaigrette dressing in the recipe may seem daunting at first due to the amount of ingredients in it, but I assure you it is items you may already have on hand. In the busy prep of dinnertime, I actually forgot to add the mirin, so don’t worry if you do that too. We thought the sesame vinaigrette salad dressing turned out great! Although we do try to stay oil free around our house, I would not skip the sesame oil, it adds a depth of nutty flavor that would be missed.
This recipe is SO good and I will be making it over and over for dinner! If you make this recipe, I would love to know, tag @badtothebowl on social media.
Chinese Tofu Salad | Wait That’s Vegan Cookbook ReviewCourse: Power Bowl, Salad BowlCuisine: asianDifficulty: easy
Chinese Tofu Salad has loads of great flavor with crispy tofu and crunchy veggies.
1 tbsp (15 ml) sunflower oil
1 tbsp (15 ml) tamari
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground ginger
Pinch of salt and a dash of pepper
7.5 oz (213 g) extra firm tofu, pressed for 10 minutes and cut into strips
- Toasted Almonds
½ cup (72 g) blanched almonds
1 clove garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
3 tbsp (45 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp (15 ml) Mandarin orange juice, from a can of Mandarin oranges
¼ cup (60 ml) sesame oil
1 tbsp (15 ml) tamari
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp dark maple syrup
2 cups (140 g) shredded Napa cabbage
1 cup (70 g) shredded purple cabbage
1 cup (110 g) shredded carrot
4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 Kirby cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 (10-oz [283 g]) can Mandarin oranges
- To make the tofu, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C, or gas mark 4). Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Add the oil, tamari, garlic powder and ginger to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together and season with a little salt and pepper. Add the tofu to the bowl and toss to coat the tofu well. Arrange the tofu in a single layer on the sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes.
- At the halfway mark for the tofu, toast the almonds. Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper. Arrange the almonds in a single layer. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the almonds have turned a few shades darker. Cool and coarsely chop.
- In the meantime, to make the vinaigrette, add the garlic and ginger to a glass jar with a lid or to a dressing bottle. Cover with the vinegar and Mandarin orange juice, and let sit for 15 minutes to macerate. Add the oil, tamari, mirin and maple syrup. Cover the container and shake well to combine. The dressing will separate, so shake well before using.
- To assemble the salad, add the cabbages, carrot, scallions and cucumbers to a big salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and toss to combine. Top with mandarin oranges, baked tofu and toasted almonds. Serve immediately.
- I used firm tofu.
I used regular maple syrup.
I did not have cabbage so I used power greens!
I added water chestnuts and steamed snap peas.