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2 bowls of thai salad with peanut dressing and tofu.

Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Diet: Vegan


This Thai-inspired salad with peanut dressing features seared tofu, which turns it into a complete meal. Ready in 40 minutes!



For the Tofu and Salad

  • One 14-ounce block extra firm tofu
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • About 2 tablespoons avocado, organic canola, or refined coconut oil
  • 1 head of crunchy mild lettuce of your choice
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled in strips and thinly sliced
  • A generous handful of cilantro or basil, torn

For the Peanut Dressing

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons Thai red curry paste, to taste (optional, see note below)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup, date syrup, or honey
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed, grated, or finely minced
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Start the tofu: Drain tofu and place it on a plate, then top with another plate or cutting board and weigh it down with something heavy (like a couple of cans), to squeeze out as much water as possible. Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes, periodically draining off the excess water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 3/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder and smoked paprika, with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Toss to combine; set aside.
  3. Next, make the dressing: In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2 tablespoons lemon/lime juice, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 to 4 teaspoons curry paste (depending on how spicy you want it), 1 teaspoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, and 1 crushed garlic clove. Stir with a fork until smooth. Then add 1/4 cup water and stir until creamy. Cover and set aside.
  4. Slice the tofu into 8 slabs; cut each slab on a diagonal, creating 16 triangles total. Arrange the triangles in an even layer on the cutting board and sprinkle one side with half of the paprika spice blend.
  5. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom. Arrange the tofu in the skillet in a single layer seasoned side down. Sprinkle the top side with the remaining spice blend. Fry until the underside is golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Gently flip the triangles and cook the other side for about 6 more minutes. (Resist the urge to move/flip tofu more than necessary).
  6. Meanwhile, place the onion in a bowl of cold water and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
  7. To assemble, divide the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, and drained onions among 4 bowls. Top with tofu and drizzle with dressing.


Sold in most supermarkets these days, this chili condiment adds heat, fragrance, and umami. If you don’t have any, you can skip it in this recipe and just add a splash of hot sauce if you want.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 364
  • Fat: 24.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21.8 g
  • Fiber: 4.4 g
  • Protein: 21.6 g

Keywords: thai, salad, peanut sauce, tofu, vegan

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