Tofu Salad

March 2, 2014mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Updated Post: 08/05/2020

What is Tofu?

Tofu is prepared from coagulated soy milk.  The coagulated white solid mass is pressed much like any cheese or paneer to remove excess water. Depending on the process, tofu can be firm, soft or silken.  It is believed that Tofu originates from China. It was accidentally discovered about 2000 years ago by a Chinese cook. He mixed a batch of fresh soy milk with nigari. Nigari is what is left when salt is removed from seaweeds. Nigari is used to coagulate soy milk as it helps to solidify the tofu and keep it firm.

Also known as bean curd, some believe that tofu is not good for health while there are some who swear by it as a rich source of protein. If you enjoy tofu, its best to go for soy which is not genetically modified. 

What is Soy, Soy Bean or Soya Beans?

Soy bean is a legume which is very popular in the East of Asia. Many products are made from soy beans like tofu, tempeh, natto, fermented soy paste, miso, soy sauce, etc. There is a lot of controversy about soy beans and soy products being unhealthy as it messes up with the hormone balance in our bodies. However, its an individual choice as I believe that it cannot be harmful as soy beans and soy bean products have been and still are a major part of the SE Asian Cuisine. Soy beans and soy bean products are what all vegetarians and especially vegans turn to for their source of protein.

Is it Bean Card or Bean Curd

Have you noticed how in so many Chinese and Indo – Chinese restaurants bean curd is spelt as bean cards? 🙂 🙂 The first time I read that at a Chinese Restaurant here in Mombasa, I was wondering what it was as it was under the Vegetarian Menu. The manager kindly explained in his broken English what it was. That was my first introduction to tofu some 40 years ago!

How is Tofu made?

Soy beans are soaked overnight in water. The water is drained out. The beans are then ground with fresh water to get soy milk. This liquid is heated up and strained. The strained liquid is heated again and the coagulant is added. This mixture is drained using a cheesecloth. The solid remains in the cloth. Its shaped and pressed. Its not a very easy process to make tofu at home. 

How can one use Tofu?

 Tofu on its own tends to be tasteless. However, it is possible to make it more flavorful and use it in a variety of dishes from dips to desserts. 

12 vegetarian tofu dishes @Mayuri's jikoni

As a Dip:

Archana makes a creamy  Silken Tofu Ranch Dressing which you can use as a dip or as a salad dressing.


Make a Starter:

 Sasmita loves to add tofu along with vegetables to the Tofu Dumplings Stir Fry that her family enjoys.

Tofu Dumpling Stir Fry 4

Tofu and Salads:

Tofu can easily be added to a salad to make it into a light meal. I find that stir fried, braised, or pan seared tofu with spices or herbs tastes so much better in a salad. Scroll down for a delish salad recipe.

Tofu Salad 3

Add Tofu to your Soup:

Make a hearty soup with vegetables and tofu. Perfect as a wholesome meal. Check out the vegetarian version of the famous Tom Yum Soup.


How about a Side Dish?

Sasmita pairs fresh French Beans and Tofu very well to make a Vegan Kasoi Bwtwi.

Kosoi Bwtwi (Tripura cuisine) 1

Tofu in Main Dishes:

  • Do you follow a vegan diet and miss your paneer butter masala? Uma loves to replace paneer with tofu to make this rich and creamy Tofu Butter Masala. Just make sure you use a vegan butter.
  • Namrata loves to enjoy Teriyaki Tofu on its own as a healthy meal. Tofu can be quite filling. Check out THE PASSION PANTRY for some healthy and fun recipes.
  • Poonam serves Tofu Bell Pepper Stir Fry with rice. This combination also makes a filling and healthy meal.
  • Want to try out a vegetarian Korean dish? Preethi makes a delicious Spicy Braised Tofu /Dubu Jorim, which her family loves.
  • A Tofu Wrap is filling, add loads of veggies and marinated tofu in a wrap.

tofu main

Tofu and Dessert

You will be surprised that there is a huge variety of desserts made using tofu.

  • Seema adds tofu and wholewheat flour to make Eggless Tofu Brownies which make a great dessert option served with ice cream.
  • Priya adds tofu to make Eggless Banana Muffins. Did you know that tofu is a good replacement for eggs? For every egg use 1/4 cup of silken tofu.

tofu dessert

Enjoy Tofu for Breakfast

Though Usha loves to enjoy Scrambled Tofu with Tomatoes and Scallions for dinner or lunch, I’d love to enjoy it for breakfast in place of scrambled eggs.


Tofu Salad

While my experiment in the kitchen with Tofu is really limited as I don’t get it readily in Mombasa, I try out dishes whenever I get some. One of the dishes that I really love to make is Tofu Salad. Usually, I marinate the tofu in soy sauce and spices. A quick stir fry with whatever vegetables are available and hey presto! You get a super healthy and filling meal. Enjoy the salad as a light meal or as a side dish. During my stay in Bali with my son, I used tofu often whenever I cooked. 

Ingredients required for Tofu Salad:

  • Tofu –  firm or medium texture is best
  • Vegetables of your choice – I have used carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, onion, bell pepper as those were at hand. You can easily use other vegetables like zuchini, broccoli, mushrooms, baby corn, celery, etc.
  • Fresh Garlic – minced
  • Fresh Ginger – minced
  • Onion – use either purple, white, yellow or spring onion. 
  • Soy Sauce – use either light or dark. I used the dark one.
  • Salt – be careful how you much you add as soy sauce is salty
  • Fresh Coarsely Ground Pepper – freshly ground pepper adds a lovely flavour
  • Sesame oil – I love the nutty earthy taste of sesame oil. If you don’t have any, add any oil of your choice
  • Honey or Brown Sugar – I used honey 
  • Vinegar – Ideally Rice Vinegar is best for this dish but you can use any like apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar 
  • Sesame Seeds – optional, I sprinkled some as I love to use them

Dietary Tips:

  • Vegan
  • It is not gluten free as most soy sauce contain wheat. However do check the supermarkets for a gluten free version
  • Healthy

Tofu Salad 2

Tofu Salad 1

Tofu Salad 4

Tofu Salad 5


Enjoy protein rich tofu as a salad along with other vegetables. Filling and healthy, Tofu Salad served warm or cold makes a perfect light meal.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 2 servings


Salad Ingredients:

  • 200 g tofu
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets bite size
  • 1 medium cucumber sliced
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ bell pepper any colour
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Marination Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper powder coarsely ground
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar or any other good vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey or brown sugar

For Topping:

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional) toasted in a pan
  • 1 tbsp chopped spring onion (optional)
  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes or chopped green chilli


Prepare the Salad Ingredients:

  • Cube the tofu into bite size pieces.
  • Peel and slice the carrot. The slices should not be too thick or too think.
  • Peel and cut the onion into chunks.
  • Cut the bell pepper into chunks.

Prepare the Marination Sauce:

  • Mix all the ingredients for the marination together in a big bowl except for the cucumber.


  • Add all the vegetables and tofu into the bowl which has the marination sauce.
  • Mix well.
  • Cover the bowl with a lid or cling film and let it marinate for 30 minutes.

Prepare the Tofu Salad:

  • Heat a pan with 1 tbsp vegetable oil of your choice over high heat.
  • Add the marinated ingredients.
  • Stir it gently for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the cucumber slices and mix well.
  • Transfer the Tofu Salad into a serving plate.
  • Sprinkle the topping of your choice and serve.


  • Serve this salad with any vegetables of your choice.
  • Don't over cook the vegetables. They should be crispy and crunchy.

Pin for Later:

tofu salad

A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962


  • Swathi Iyer

    March 4, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Delicious and healthy salad, love it.

  • Lisa Turner

    March 18, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing with NCR.

  • themadscientistskitchen

    May 9, 2020 at 12:16 am

    That is a delicious salad Mayuri. The collection is amazing. Thanks for adding mine to it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 10, 2020 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks Archana and you’re welcome.

  • shobhakeshwani

    May 9, 2020 at 12:44 am

    Tofu salad looks really nice. The toasted sesame seeds must have added to the flavours. Though I am not a great fan of tofu I will try having it this way. Itl is healthy too.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 10, 2020 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks Shobha, when its flavored with spices and sauces I like it. Do try it as its a healthy protein to include in our diets.

  • poonampagar

    May 9, 2020 at 3:04 am

    What an awesome collection of delicious tofu recipes di ! Would love trying atleast a couple of them.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 10, 2020 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks Poonam, and yes I too would love to try out them out.

  • Mireille Roc (@ChefMireille)

    May 9, 2020 at 6:30 am

    Tofu is such a versatile ingredients and can morph itself from salad to dessert. Your salad is a great way to incorporate it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 10, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      Thank you so much Mireille.. love to enjoy tofu in salads or stir fries.

  • blessmyf🍎🍏dbypayal

    May 9, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    This post is not just about tofu salad but a complete encyclopedia about tofu itself. Elaborately and nearly explained, one has much to learn from here.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 10, 2020 at 4:24 pm

      Thank you so much Shailender.

  • Heidi Roberts

    May 11, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    I am never really sure what to use tofu for so now I have a recipe to file away.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 11, 2020 at 11:39 pm

      Thanks Heidi, so many ideas, I too didn’t have an idea till I did this post.

  • cookshideout

    May 12, 2020 at 3:27 am

    Wow, that is such a colorful and delicious looking salad with tofu and veggies. Love that marinade – must have added so much flavor to the dish.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 12, 2020 at 6:56 pm

      Thanks Pavani, you’re right, it is a flavorful salad and filling too.

  • Vanitha Bhat

    May 12, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Such a refreshing salad! Next to paneer, I love tofu! All the flavors are so tempting; a perfect summer treat!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 12, 2020 at 6:52 pm

      Thank you so much Vanitha.

  • Vandana

    May 12, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    Tofu is one of my favorite things to eat and I always keep it in my fridge. Loved this simple and healthy recipe. Will try it for sure.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 13, 2020 at 10:09 pm

      Thank you so much Vandana.

  • lata lala

    May 13, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Tofu salad with seasame seeds sprinkled on top looks delicious Mayuri. I have never tried tofu as we love our paneer.
    The elaborate post about tofu makes me rethink about it now.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 13, 2020 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks Lata. Ever since I first tasted it in a dish at a Chinese restaurant in Mombasa, I love it. Also where my son lives, its not easy to get paneer so he ends up using tofu instead.

  • Uma Raghupathi

    May 14, 2020 at 3:16 am

    We adore tofu! Lovely collection of tofu recipes, and thank you for including mine. I am pinning it! By the way my name is Uma 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 14, 2020 at 10:41 pm

      Opps sorry for the mix up. And thank you so much for sharing it.

  • Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    May 14, 2020 at 3:43 am

    I am so glad you put this together. This is a treasure trove of tofu recipes in a quick way to get one per day. thankyou for adding my recipe too to the collection.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 14, 2020 at 10:41 pm

      Thanks Seema and you’re welcome.

  • jayashreetrao

    May 14, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    Lovely collection of tofu dishes here. And coming to the salad, loved the addition of sesame to it, it gives a crunchy taste.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 14, 2020 at 10:32 pm

      Thanks Jayashree and yes sesame seeds does add a lovely flavour and crunch to the salad.

  • Sapana

    May 15, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    Tofu salad looks so inviting . I love how versatile tofu is, you can do so much with it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 15, 2020 at 8:05 pm

      That’s true Sapna.It is a versatile recipe.

  • Padma Veeranki

    May 16, 2020 at 12:31 am

    5 stars
    I lobe the versatility of tofu….Tofu salad looks delicious and refreshing!! Love the flavours in the marinade..Yummy share!!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 19, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      Thank you so much Padma.

  • Jolly

    May 16, 2020 at 1:09 am

    Tofu salad is my husband favorite dish. Addition is sesame is a good idea. I am sure it gives it a lovely crunchy flavor. Your version looks absolutely delicious.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 19, 2020 at 3:08 pm

      Thank you so much Jolly, and yes sesame seeds adds lovely crunch.

  • Sasmita

    May 16, 2020 at 7:31 am

    5 stars
    Such a lovely collection of tofu dishes here di ! Thank you for including mines to this collection 🙂
    Your tofu salad looks so simple and healthy recipe, loved the addition of sesame to it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 19, 2020 at 3:02 pm

      Thanks Sasmita, I love adding sesame seeds wherever I can.

  • Jagruti’s Cooking Odyssey

    May 16, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Since we started using tofu we have used it in various recipes, so versatile! Because tofu is so bland whatever flavours you give, it makes it so well. This salad sounds so tasty, low GI and Gluten-free, just perfect for my lunch.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 18, 2020 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks Jagruti and yes I agree as tofu is bland, it will take on any flavour that we give.

  • Lathiya

    May 23, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    5 stars
    I never tried Tofu but your this salad recipe makes me want to try. The tofu salad is amazing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 28, 2020 at 8:04 pm

      Thanks Lathiya…hope you try and enjoy it.

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