Crunchy Mandarin Tofu Salad

Crunchy Mandarin Tofu Salad

If you’re looking for a vegan take on a classic Asian chicken salad, try this crunchy mandarin tofu salad. Inspired by the classic mandarin chicken salads you’ll see on a variety of menus, from PF Chang’s to your local diner, this vegan mandarin salad recipe provides a healthier take, with a boatload of crunch, flavor, and nutrition, all packed into one powerful salad bowl.

Featuring crisp vegetables, like cabbage, carrots, sprouts, and green onions, with crispy pan-fried tofu, green ramen noodles, and a delicious Soy Sesame Dressing, this recipe is a meal-in-one. And it’s light in sodium, added fats, and sugars, too. This delicious salad recipe is perfect for a light healthy lunch (it makes 6 entrée-sized salads, which makes this recipe for Crunchy Mandarin Tofu Salad perfect for meal prep, too). You can also serve it as a side for potlucks, parties, and picnics. If you use gluten-free soy sauce, this recipe is also gluten-free.

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Crunchy Mandarin Tofu Salad


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  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Total Time: 33 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This delicious, nutritious Chinese-style Crunchy Mandarin Tofu Salad is a vegan take on a classic Asian chicken salad. You’ll love this delicious, healthy mandarin salad for meal prep, lunches, picnics, parties and more!


Ingredients

Crispy Tofu:

  • 1 (16-ounce package) extra-firm tofu, pressed (learn how to press tofu here)
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 

Soy Sesame Dressing:

Salad:

  • 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce 
  • 2 cups finely sliced or coarsely shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups sprouts (i.e., alfalfa, mung, sunflower)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 mandarin oranges, peeled, segmented (or 15-ounce can mandarin oranges, no sugar added, drained)
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 package (about 3 ounces) green ramen noodles* (i.e., GreeNoodles, or Lotus Foods), without spice packet 
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped almonds

Instructions

  1. To make crispy tofu: Press tofu (learn how here) in order to press out extra liquid. Slice into cubes. Place cornstarch, salt (optional), and black pepper in a shallow dish. Roll tofu cubes in the cornstarch mixture to coat well. 
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add coated tofu cubes and brown, stirring frequently with tongs to evenly cook, on all sides until light golden in color (about 8 minutes total cooking time). Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. To make Sesame Soy Dressing: Whisk together sesame oil, rice vinegar, agave syrup, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and red chili pepper flakes in a small dish until well combined. Set aside. 
  4. Assemble salad by placing romaine lettuce, red cabbage, sprouts, carrots, mandarin oranges, green onions, and cilantro in a large salad or serving bowl. 
  5. Crush the dried green ramen noodles by making a small slit in the package, and crushing the package with your hands or with a rolling pin, until the noodles are broken into small pieces (about 1 inch). Add to the salad bowl. Add the cooled tofu and almonds. 
  6. Drizzle with the Sesame Soy Dressing. 
  7. Gently toss together the salad ingredients with tongs to distribute well.
  8. Serve immediately, or store leftovers up to 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge. 
  9. Makes 6 large entrée-sized servings (about 2 ½ cups each).
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American, Asian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 313
  • Sugar: 16 g
  • Sodium: 628 mg
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 12 g

For other interesting plant-based salad recipes, check out the following:

Spicy Cauliflower Salad with Cilantro
Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with Peanuts and Papaya
Thai Salad with Carrots and Mint
Blood Orange Salad with Kale and Hazelnuts
Vegan Kale Caesar Salad
Beautiful Flower Salad with Rose Vinaigrette

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