This Vegan Thai Tofu and Noodle Salad recipe is fantastic! It's made with tofu, rice vermicelli noodles, cucumbers, carrots, and a spicy soy dressing.
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.
About the Recipe
This 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.
Spicy Asian Dressing
- 4 green onion whites thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup soy sauce or tamari
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 15 oz 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 ½ 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
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- bean sprouts chopped peanuts, fresh mint leaves, and sliced green onions for garnish
Spicy Asian Dressing
- Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Place tofu and half of dressing in resealable bag or bowl. Toss to coat and marinate for 30 minutes.
- 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.
- Divide noodles, tofu, carrots, and basil into four bowls. Top with remaining ingredients, as desired. Ladle dressing into bowls and serve.
Abby @ The Frosted Vegan says
Noodle salads are my favorite!! Annnd of course they are perfect for those awful skinny jeans shopping trips!
Alissa N says
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!
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. 🙂
Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says
Oh yum, and I like your idea of everyone sorta customizing it just so!
Joy // For the Love of Leaves says
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!
Someday mom jeans will be cool again and you will be ahead of the curve. 🙂
That looks amazing! I am definitely going to be making this!
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.
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.
EA-The Spicy RD says
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 🙂
I hope it's a hit! 😀
Can you sub the brown sugar for agave or maple syrup?
Yup! That would work fine. Agave is sweeter than sugar, so you may need a little bit less.
[email protected] says
First: I noticed right away how the photos in this post match the colors on the rest of the blog layout 🙂 Yellow! Green! Orange! So cheery 🙂
An hell yes to a nice fresh spring salad! Fresh basil & mint are such nice add-ins!
I didn't even notice that! But I totally gravitate towards those colors. 🙂
Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ says
What a great summer salad, complete and well balanced. Love the crunchy touch of peanuts!
Grace @ Earthy Feast says
Mmmm! I love all that fresh basil, a sure sign of summer!
Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir says
Love summer and love cold noodle salads. Bookmarking this!
Small Footprints says
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!
I hope you like it if you make it! 🙂
Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today says
Carrot looks so nice in it 🙂 The whole meal looks amazing.
Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board says
I love cold noodle salads anytime but especially in the summer - I feel refreshed just looking at this!
marissa @ the boot says
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!
Yeah, I don't think spaghetti would be quite the same in this dish. 🙂
[email protected]'s Recipes says
Have been eating lots of tofu lately...and I adore Thai kitchen. This is a perfect one for me.
Dana Zepeda says
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?
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.
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.
I'm glad I'm not the only skinny jean hater. They are the worst! And stores just push them so hard.
Heather K says
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! 🙂
Don't you love it when that happens? Oh darn, I guess you'll have to eat the whole thing yourself! 😉
Lisa @ Greek Vegetarian says
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!
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!
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!
I haven't used the dressing on anything else, but it would definitely be great with tempeh!
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!
I rarely get the thin noodles either, but now I'm really loving them. 🙂
Honey, What's Cooking says
this looks divine.. my husband would LOVE this. YOu have the best recipes Kiersten.
Aw, thank you. 🙂
Brenda Williams says
Wow these photos are beautiful...can't wait for the cookbook to be published to see all your photos together! YUMMY salad!
Thank you! 😀