Crispy Tofu Salad
If you’ve always thought of salad as a sidekick, never a main action hero, we’d like to introduce you to our Crispy Tofu Salad. It’s packed with flavor and a dazzling array of textures, and it’s rich in umami — the palate-pleasing je ne sais quoi that makes dishes complex, satisfying and irresistible.
Let’s start with the mushrooms and tofu. In the oven, the oyster mushrooms get crispy and caramelized on the edges but remain chewy on the inside, packing a flavorful punch in each bite. The marinated tofu is slightly salty, mildly spicy and bursting with aromatic ginger and garlic. Together with the farro, the mushrooms and tofu make up the fortifying heart of this salad.
The edamame, green onion and tangerine vinaigrette are light and bright, and the pistachios add a pleasing crunch. The avocado is rich and creamy, which pairs well with the chewy farro and crispy tofu, and the arugula adds that fresh, bright crunch that makes a salad a salad.
Our Crispy Tofu Salad is perfect as a stand-alone lunch, or you can prep it on the weekend for the week ahead and toss one together each morning. Whatever you choose, get ready to be impressed by this healthy, hearty salad superstar.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
For the marinated tofu and mushrooms:
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup sesame oil
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup minced green onions (white part only)
4 teaspoons sambal oelek
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 garlic cloves, grated
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
1 14-ounce package firm tofu
7 ounces oyster mushrooms
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the vinaigrette:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
¼ teaspoon tangerine zest
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
For the salad:
3 cups arugula
½ cup green onions (green part only), thinly sliced on a bias
¾ cup cooked farro
1 cup shelled edamame
2 thinly sliced radishes
1 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios, for garnish
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Heat oven to 400 F.
- To make the marinated tofu and mushrooms: In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, green onions (white parts only), sambal oelek, sesame seed, garlic and ginger. Whisk until fully combined.
- Gently pat the tofu dry with a paper towel. Cut tofu into ½ – ¾” cubes.
- In a medium bowl, combine half the marinade with the tofu and let it sit for 30 minutes, turning the tofu occasionally. Set aside the rest of the marinade.
- When the tofu is done marinating, spread it across one side of a rimmed baking sheet and discard all excess marinade. Sift the cornstarch and baking powder over the tofu and lightly toss to combine.
- Halve the mushrooms lengthwise through their stems to create even size pieces. In a medium bowl, combine the mushrooms, 2 tablespoons of the marinade and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss until fully coated and spread on the other side of the baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Transfer the crispy mushrooms onto a plate. Flip the tofu and continue baking for 10 to 12 more minutes or until the tofu is well browned and crisp. Brush the hot tofu with the remaining marinade and let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, to make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until fully combined. Set aside.
- To assemble the salad: In a large serving bowl, combine the arugula, sliced green onions (green), farro, edamame, radish slices, avocado, mushrooms and tofu. Drizzle ⅓ of the vinaigrette over the salad and toss. Garnish with pistachios and cilantro. Serve immediately with the rest of the dressing.