Vegan Asian Sesame Tofu Kale Salad

This Vegan Asian Sesame Tofu Kale Salad is the queen of meatless monday salads!  Crispy sesame glazed tofu (made in the air fryer or oven) sits atop a bed of lemon massaged kale with mandarin orange slices, sugar snap peas, pickled onions and carrots, slivered almonds, green onions and fresh avocado slices. 

Asian Sesame Tofu and Kale Salad

Comin’ atcha this morning with another #meatlessmonday idea! And, bonus, this one is vegan! This Vegan Asian Sesame Tofu Kale Salad is packed with veggies, protein and a whole lot of flavor! It’s a new addition to our meatless meals rotation! I love how tofu is so versatile in taking on any flavor, it’s also packed with protein, making it a great meat substitute.

This salad is best when served cold, so it makes a great make-ahead meal as well! It would be a great salad to meal prep and eat during the week for lunch. You can prep the kale, make the tofu, dressing and chop the vegetables, then store everything separately in the refrigerator. When you are ready, throw it all together!

Sesame Tofu

WHAT KIND OF TOFU SHOULD I USE?

 

Extra Firm, brick style tofu works best for this recipe. Soft, silky tofu will crumble and fall apart. Even with extra firm tofu it is important that you press the tofu before air frying or baking it. Tofu is usually packaged in water to keep it fresh. When you press tofu, you release any excess water that it is holding onto. If you try to crisp tofu without pressing it, it will come out mushy. For ease, you can use a tofu press (I use this one) or you can DIY a press by wrapping the tofu in paper towels and pressing it under something heavy (like a cookbook with a few canned goods on top) for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours (you may need to change the paper towels, depending on how much water the tofu is releasing).

 

Should I bake or Air Fry the tofu?

 

If you have an air fryer that will work best, it’s faster than baking and the tofu comes out a little crispier and more evenly cooked. If you do not have an air fryer you should not skip this recipe! You can make delicious, crispy tofu in the oven (see recipe for instructions)!

 

Sesame Glaze

 

The best part about crispy tofu is that it’s easy to glaze! Tofu doesn’t have a ton of flavor on it’s own, so it easily takes on the flavor of whatever it is glazed or marinated in. For this crispy sesame tofu, we are using an easy sesame glaze made with tahini, soy sauce and sesame oil!

 

Mandarin Oranges

Salad Toppings:

 

This salad has an asian flavor vibe with the crispy sesame tofu and the sesame honey vinaigrette. I chose toppings that mesh well with these flavors, but you can sub in or out whatever you like!

 

Toppings I Used:

 

mandarin orange slices

sugar snap peas

pickled onions and carrots

green onions

slivered almonds

avocado

 

Other Topping Ideas:

 

edamame

crispy wonton strips

cucumbers

red bell pepper

cilantro

 

Asian Sesame Tofu and Kale Salad

Sweet Sesame Vinaigrette

 

The salad dressing is a sweet sesame vinaigrette. We actually use half of the sesame glaze that we used on the tofu to make the dressing. We add agave and white wine vinaigrette to the sesame glaze to make a sweet and tangy, rich sesame dressing that ties the salad together perfectly!

 

Asian Sesame Tofu and Kale Salad

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Vegan Asian Sesame Tofu Kale Salad


  • Author: Laura Nockett
  • Yield: 3-4 large bowls salad 1x

Description

This Vegan Asian Sesame Tofu Kale Salad is the queen of meatless monday salads!  Crispy sesame glazed tofu (made in the air fryer or oven) sits atop a bed of lemon massaged kale with mandarin orange slices, sugar snap peas, pickled onions and carrots, slivered almonds, green onions and fresh avocado slices. 


Scale

Ingredients

Tofu

1 16oz block extra firm tofu

2 tbsp olive oil

salt

1/2 cup tahini

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp hot water

1 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tsp agave

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Salad

8 cups kale, chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil

Crispy Sesame Tofu

1 15oz can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained

1/2 cup pickled carrots*

1/4 cup pickled onions*

1/2 cup sugar snap peas, halved

3 green onions, white stems removed, chopped small

2 tbsp slivered almonds

1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced


Instructions

Tofu – Air Fryer

Press the tofu to release any excess water

Slice tofu into 1 -inch cubes

In a medium sized bowl, toss the tofu cubes in olive oil and season with salt

Preheat air fryer for 5 minutes at 400°F

Spray the crisper basket with non-stick spray

Place tofu in the basket, fry for 15 minutes, tossing the tofu every 5 minutes so it crisps evenly

Tofu – Oven

Preheat oven to 400°F

Press the tofu to release any excess water

Slice tofu into 1 -inch cubes

In a medium sized bowl, toss the tofu cubes in olive oil and season with salt

Grease a medium sized baking sheet

Spread tofu evenly onto the baking sheet – make sure the pieces are not touching

Bake for 30-35 minutes, flipping the tofu once halfway through

Crispy Sesame Tofu

Place the cooked tofu in a medium sized bowl

In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, soy sauce and sesame oil, thin out the sauce with the hot water

Pour half of the sauce over the tofu, toss to coat evenly

Spread tofu onto a cooling rack (put something like parchment paper or paper towels under the rack to catch excess drip) sprinkle tofu with sesame seeds, allow to cool

Add the agave and rice wine vinegar to the remaining sesame sauce, whisk vigorously, set aside (this will be the salad dressing)

Kale Salad

In a large salad bowl, using clean hands, massage the kale with lemon juice and olive oil for 1-2 minutes until the kale reduces by half and it has softened

Top the kale with the crispy sesame tofu, mandarin oranges, pickled carrots and onions, sugar snap peas, green onions, slivered almonds and avocado

Drizzle the sweet sesame dressing over the salad

Toss and serve**

Notes

*To make pickled carrots and red onions – Peel and thinly slice 1 carrot and 1 red onion, put the slices in a 16oz glass jar, fill the jar with half white or rice wine vinegar and half water. Add 1 tbsp white sugar and 1 tsp salt, cap the jar and give it a shake. Put in the refrigerator to allow vegetables to pickle for at least 4 hours. IF you do not have pickled vegetables made, omit or substitute with raw, thinly sliced carrots and red onion.

**If you are making the salad ahead, make the tofu and dressing, prep the kale and chop the vegetables. Store everything separately in the refrigerator and toss together when you are ready (slice the avocado right before serving)

  • Category: salad

Keywords: #asiantofusalad, #kaletofusalad, #sesametofu, #saladideas, #meatlessmeals, #meatlessmonday

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If you make this Vegan Asian Sesame Tofu Kale Salad let me know how you like it! Leave a star rating and comment here! If you snap a photo, I’d love to see it – share it over on Instagram and tag me @sprinklesandseasalt!

Looking for more tofu recipes? Check these out!

Ninja Foodi Mushroom Tofu Ramen

Air Fryer Tofu Banh Mi

Red Curry Peanut Rice Noodles with Tofu

Orange Cashew Sesame Tofu Zoodle Bowls

Green Curry Tofu

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