Asian Tofu Salad with Sesame Soy Dressing

You may have noticed that there are exactly 6 (SIX) salad recipes on this website and, ahem, 34 dessert recipes. The reason? Well, you see, I basically judge my worthiness as a human being based the number of Pins my recipes get on Pinterest. Salads (shockingly) just don’t achieve nearly the results of fluffy vegan pancakes or one ingredient ice cream. Basically what I am trying to say is, this is all your fault. I’m merely a dutiful public servant who develops culinary creations that the people demand. If only you guys would Pin, like, retweet, and +1 these delicious salads as much as desserts, this imbalance could easily be corrected. Or, I can just continue making desserts. 🙂

Now, a quick rant about salads: I don’t even care that they are healthy, salads are some of the most versatile, flexible, quick, affordable, and delicious meals you can create. It’s such a shame that the word “salad” often conjures images of wilted iceberg lettuce topped with a glob of bottled ranch dressing. Salads can be so much more than that, people.

Take this one, for example. It’s simply shredded green cabbage with perfectly-seasoned baked tofu (trust me, the tofu is the best part) tossed with a light and fragrant sesame dressing. As a side dish or even a light main course, you really couldn’t do better. The flavors are great together, the tofu is amazing, and it’s a perfectly balanced bowl of nutrition.


Makes 1 gigantic salad


  • 16 oz extra-firm tofu
  • 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 head of green cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 green onions
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Black pepper, for garnish

preheat the oven to 350º F

Step One

Cut 16 oz of extra-firm tofu into cubes (I cheated and bought mine already cubed) and use a few paper towels to press them down and squeeze out the excess water. Then, add the cubes to a large mixing bowl and drizzle in 1 1/2 tablespoons of each soy sauce and maple syrup, and gently toss to coat.

Transfer the tofu cubes to a baking sheet and bake for about 30-35 minutes, removing from the oven every 10 minutes to toss with a spatula so that all sides develop a perfectly golden brown exterior. This tofu develops such a flavorful crust and the perfect texture; it really is the best part of the dish.


Step Two

Meanwhile, chop one head of green cabbage into thin slices (or buy pre-shredded cabbage) and add to a big salad bowl. Then, grate two carrots and slice 4 green onions. Throw them into the bowl as well.

Step Three

We can make an amazingly simple and delicious dressing for this salad by combining about 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Whisk this together and set aside (we’ll dress the salad in the next step).

Step Four

When the tofu is finished, remove it from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes. Then, add it into the salad as well and toss with the dressing until everything is evenly coated. For best results, stick the salad in the refrigerator for an hour or two until the tofu has chilled and all the ingredients have marinated in this delicious dressing.

To serve, divide into serving bowls and sprinkle on some sesame seeds and a few grinds of fresh black pepper.




Leave a Reply
  1. Hey Andrew, this salad looks yummy and I have already pinned it to my “Recipes for Health” board. I love cabbage salads and I love tofu, so what’s not to love? Thanks.

  2. My favorite part about salads is always the dressing. Dressings can make or break any dish. This one sounds fabulous, though. I’m a sucker for Asian dressings. My favorite vegan restaurant makes a wasabi dressing that I could probably drink from the blender. It doesn’t even taste like wasabi. But it does taste like heaven. Btw, is it necessary to press extra-firm tofu? That’s the only kind I buy, and I never bother pressing it because it already feels so firm and ready to go. Obviously I drain it and pat it dry. Your recipe seems to recommend doing what I do (just a quick press) but almost every other tofu recipe I see calls for pressing it between two plates and waiting until Christmas for the all the “excess” water to drain.

    • Definitely! Any good salad needs a super-flavorful dressing that compliments the other flavors. Ooh, a heaven-flavored wasabi dressing?! I’m so stealing that idea. Are you talking about RFD? For some reason, I have never been there, IDK what’s wrong with me.

      Okay, so tofu is very porous and those pores absorb a lot of water. One reason to press out the extra water is to give it a firmer, drier texture. The other is that, with those pores no longer filled with water, they should (theoretically) absorb some of the marinade/dressing, but I’m not a huge believer in this theory. I think it’s good to press out the excess water to improve the texture, but that $250 professional tofu press you just bought? It’s not going to do much for you.

  3. Hi Andrew!

    Is this good the next day or does the tofu get soggy? I’d love to make this for my lunch at work for a few days.

    • Hi Suzanne, that’s a great question. I actually found that the salad is BETTER the next day. The cabbage is strong enough to not get all soggy and the tofu absorbs even more of the dressing.

  4. Hi Andrew! This recipe look absolutely delicious! I think I’m biased towards any Asian recipe

  5. I forgot the tofu in the oven for hours (don’t ask how) and the tofu now taste like left over roast chicken, I have not eaten chicken in years so I could be wrong but it did bring back memories. This salad is my favourite, all your recipes are my favourite!

    • Haha, I’m not going to ask… but that sounds delicious! I’ll have to try accidentally leaving my tofu in the oven for hours next time 🙂

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