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Recipe | Thai Tofu and Noodle Salad

Thai Tofu and Noodle Salad

Thai Tofu and Noodle Salad
Last weekend I went to the mall in attempt to find some jeans that are not skinny jeans and I realized that OH MY GOSH it’s pretty much summer. (Side note: can they please start making jeans that are not skinny jeans again? Because some of us have chunky calves. Thanks.) The air was thick and humid and it was hot out. Not hot hot, because it gets way hotter here, but hot enough that I knew that all the alternating warm-and-cold days of spring were over and now it’s just going to get hotter and hotter until it finally starts to cool down again in the fall.

So now that it’s feeling like summer, I think it’s time to start putting some summer recipes on the blog. I decided last summer that cold noodle salads were my most favorite summertime food. Then I remembered: oh, corn. Corn is my favorite summertime food. Duh. But cold noodle salads are a close second! The veggies make them feel light, but the noodles make them more substantive than a regular salad. And they’re cold, which is always welcome on a hot day.

Thai Tofu and Noodle Salad IngredientsThis is one of those fun salads where you can put out all the ingredients and let everyone fill their bowls to their liking. You can either make the tofu right before serving, so it will be warm, or make it ahead of time, refrigerate it, and put it into the salad cold. With a half teaspoon of red pepper flakes, the dressing is spicy, making it the perfect pairing for cool cucumbers, noodles, and ribbons of carrot.


Thai Tofu and Noodle Salad

Thai Tofu and Noodle Salad Recipe

A spicy summer noodle salad adapted from Martha Stewart’s Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


Spicy Asian Dressing

  • 4 green onion whites,Β thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes


  • 1 (15 ounce) package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed for 30 minutes (you can use a tofu press) and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Spicy Asian Dressing
  • 3 1/2 oz. vermicelli rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 carrots, sliced into ribbons with vegetable peeler
  • 1 medium English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
  • bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, fresh mint leaves, and sliced green onions for garnish


Spicy Asian Dressing

  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.


  1. Place tofu and half of dressing in resealable bag or bowl. Toss to coat and marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tofu and cook about 4 minutes, or until browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Divide noodles, tofu, carrots, and basil into four bowls. Top with remaining ingredients, as desired. Ladle dressing into bowls and serve.

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  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    May 16, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Noodle salads are my favorite!! Annnd of course they are perfect for those awful skinny jeans shopping trips!

  • Reply
    Alissa N
    May 16, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I just looked at the 15 day forecast yesterday, and realized the high is not supposed to be below 65 in the next 15 days, and I did a happy dance!! I love the warm weather, and cold noodles and corn!! Soo this looks awesome, and I love the idea of being able to individualize each bowl. Yum!

    • Reply
      May 16, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      I know, I go outside to water the plants in the afternoon and I don’t want to go back in–the warm weather feels SO GOOD. I am going to enjoy the heck out of it because pretty soon we’ll be moving from warm to unbearably hot. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    May 16, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Oh yum, and I like your idea of everyone sorta customizing it just so!

  • Reply
    Joy // For the Love of Leaves
    May 16, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Oh man, I hear ya on the jeans thing. I went to the mall the other day to try and find jeans with absolutely no success. Then on Saturday our local thrift store has 50% off everything and I found 2 pairs of jeans for 6 bucks. They’re sort of mom jeans, but ya know? For 3 bucks each I’ll rock’em! Haha yeah I’m cheap like that.
    Anywho, this dish looks like the perfect dinner on a hot summer night. I have to start incorporating more Asian style dishes- they’re so good!

    • Reply
      May 16, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      Someday mom jeans will be cool again and you will be ahead of the curve. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    May 16, 2013 at 10:47 am

    That looks amazing! I am definitely going to be making this!

  • Reply
    May 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I love when you post recipes and I already have 95% of the ingredients! I’ll be picking up some rice noodles and having this for dinner tonight!

    As for the non-skinny jeans, have you tried the Gap or Banana Republic? Pricey, but they do last a while.

    • Reply
      May 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      Yes! Gap jeans are my favorite, followed by Banana Republic. But I hate that the non-skinny jeans are always hidden away in some corner of the store now. It makes me feel so old and uncool.

  • Reply
    EA-The Spicy RD
    May 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    My kids love anything DIY, and I have been craving Thai this week, so looks like a win, win for the whole family! P.S. Mr. Spicy will eat pretty much anything as long as he doesn’t have to cook it himself πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      May 16, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      I hope it’s a hit! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    May 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Can you sub the brown sugar for agave or maple syrup?

    • Reply
      May 16, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      Yup! That would work fine. Agave is sweeter than sugar, so you may need a little bit less.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    May 16, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    First: I noticed right away how the photos in this post match the colors on the rest of the blog layout πŸ™‚ Yellow! Green! Orange! So cheery πŸ™‚

    An hell yes to a nice fresh spring salad! Fresh basil & mint are such nice add-ins!

    • Reply
      May 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      I didn’t even notice that! But I totally gravitate towards those colors. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ
    May 16, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    What a great summer salad, complete and well balanced. Love the crunchy touch of peanuts!

  • Reply
    Grace @ Earthy Feast
    May 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Mmmm! I love all that fresh basil, a sure sign of summer!

  • Reply
    Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir
    May 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Love summer and love cold noodle salads. Bookmarking this!

  • Reply
    Small Footprints
    May 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    I love that this salad doesn’t use a lot of oil. And the flavor combinations look yummy! I can’t wait for fresh produce to show up at our farmer’s market … I’ll definitely be making this salad. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Reply
      May 16, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      I hope you like it if you make it! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today
    May 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Carrot looks so nice in it πŸ™‚ The whole meal looks amazing.

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board
    May 16, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I love cold noodle salads anytime but especially in the summer – I feel refreshed just looking at this!

  • Reply
    marissa @ the boot
    May 17, 2013 at 2:22 am

    man oh man this is my favorite kind of summer dish! i’ll have to wait to make it when i’m stateside though, that’s the one downside of living in italy, very few asian ingredients. i hear you on the skinny jeans!

    • Reply
      May 20, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Yeah, I don’t think spaghetti would be quite the same in this dish. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    May 17, 2013 at 3:35 am

    Have been eating lots of tofu lately…and I adore Thai kitchen. This is a perfect one for me.

  • Reply
    Dana Zepeda
    May 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    This looks great but is there a recipe for the salad dressing? If not, what type do you recommend? Also, my son has a nut allergy. Anything else I could sub for the peanuts?

    • Reply
      May 20, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      The dressing recipe is in the post. You could simply omit the peanuts, but roasted chickpeas, lo-mein noodles, or even seeds will give a similar crunch.

  • Reply
    May 18, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Yum, I’m gonna make this! Love noodles, especially when topped with crunchy peanuts. And I hate skinny jeans, they don’t work for people with calves or hips.

    • Reply
      May 20, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      I’m glad I’m not the only skinny jean hater. They are the worst! And stores just push them so hard.

  • Reply
    Heather K
    May 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    This looks sooo good! This is a meal my 2 year old would shun though, and my husband isn’t big on tofu, so I think I will make it just for me to have for lunch next week! πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      May 20, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Don’t you love it when that happens? Oh darn, I guess you’ll have to eat the whole thing yourself! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Greek Vegetarian
    May 20, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Yes, world, stop selling skinny jeans! They are still ridiculously popular here in Australia, and WHY. I don’t know. They don’t look good on anyone in my opinion.

    So while we shiver away here in Melbourne with the approaching colder months, I might adapt this recipe to make a winter version with hokkien noodles and maybe some cooked veggies. I love a good Thai tofu dish to warm the soul!

    • Reply
      May 20, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      I keep hearing people say that skinny jeans look good on everyone and I want to know what crack they’re smoking because they look absolutely ridiculous on me. I have short legs too, which makes it even worse.

      I think this recipe would be delicious with butternut squash!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Beautiful looking recipe – just perfect for spring! Thanks for sharing.

    The dressing recipe looks really versatile, too! What else have you used this on? I imagine it would make a great marinade for tempeh… intrigued!

    SO glad to have found your site. Looking forward to reading more!

    • Reply
      May 20, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      I haven’t used the dressing on anything else, but it would definitely be great with tempeh!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I can always use more recipes for cold Asian noodle salads – one of my favourite meals for warm weather too! I like how this one changes things up from my usual method by using thinner vermicelli noodles, and it sounds so easy to put together once you’ve got the ingredients prepared. I love the photos in this post too!

    • Reply
      May 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      I rarely get the thin noodles either, but now I’m really loving them. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Honey, What's Cooking
    May 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    this looks divine.. my husband would LOVE this. YOu have the best recipes Kiersten.

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    May 20, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Wow these photos are beautiful…can’t wait for the cookbook to be published to see all your photos together! YUMMY salad!

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