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Tofu Banh Mi Salad

in Other, Salads

tofu banh mi salad 2Tofu, anyone?  No?  You don’t like tofu?  Tofu scares you?  Tofu intimidates you?  Well, it is about time that we change that, don’t you think?  With just a little bit of practice, you will come to find that tofu is actually super simple to prepare and it is also super delicious.  I love tofu baked by itself, in stir-fries, on sandwiches, and now in salads.    Tofu is high in protein, takes on the flavors of whatever you season it with, and is honestly one of my favorite additions to make the ordinary just a little bit (okay, a lot) better.  Many of you already know how great tofu is, but I’m sure a lot of you are still uncertain about it.  Don’t worry.  I used to be the exact same way.  In fact, knowing that I now crave tofu makes me laugh.  It is true what they say: your taste buds really can change and evolve!

I have made a Vietnamese-inspired Banh Mi Sandwich in the past, and have fallen in love with the Vegan Banh Mi sandwich at Gateway Market Cafe.  Basically, anything banh mi-related makes me happy.

tofu banh mi salad 4

We know that banh mis are great in sandwich form, but what about in a lighter form?  Say…in a salad form?  Yyyup, I went there.

tofu banh mi salad 10y

Tofu Banh Mi Salad

Servings: Makes 2 salads

Ingredients

1/2 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into strips

For tofu marinade:
1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 TB seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp sriracha sauce
2 TB barbecue sauce (divided in half)

For marinated vegetables:
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and shredded
2 TB seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp agave nectar or honey
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

For dressing:
1/4 cup of reserved tofu marinade
2 TB barbecue sauce

your favorite bagged salad or fresh greens
1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions

1. Press and cut tofu.  Combine Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, 1 1/2 TB seasoned rice vinegar, sriracha sauce, and 2 TB barbecue sauce in medium bowl to make marinade.  Whisk until mixed well.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade to use in the dressing.

2. Place tofu in shallow dish and cover with remaining marinade.  Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Remove tofu from refrigerator and place on foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake the tofu for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the tofu is crispy and golden brown.

4. While the tofu is baking, combine the carrots, cucumber, 2 TB seasoned rice vinegar, agave nectar/honey, and red pepper flakes.  Stir until the vegetables are coated well.  Refrigerate until it is time to compile the salad.

5. To make the dressing, combine the 1/4 cup of reserved tofu marinade and 2 TB of barbecue sauce.  Whisk well.  Add additional marinade or barbecue sauce to make the dressing to your desired thickness.

6. Build you salad in the following order: lettuce/greens, marinated vegetables, cilantro, baked tofu, and dressing.

tofu banh mi salad

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of the same old boring salad topped with conventional toppings and dressed with bottled salad dressing.  This is a salad that is far from conventional.

tofu banh mi salad 8Whether you have tried and loved banh mi sandwiches in the past, or if you are simply bored with the same monotonous salad, this is definitely a recipe to help perk up your taste buds.  Trust me, you will not be bored with this salad.  And please don’t be afraid of the tofu.  I think that I have many fellow bloggers/blog readers who can and will vouch for just how delicious it is.  When you season it well the results can be fantastic.  I am a major fan of Vietnamese-inspired flavors, so this salad was right up my alley.  Plus, when you put barbecue sauce and sriracha sauce into something…well,you can almost guarantee that I’ll love it.

tofu banh mi salad 9

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{ 43 comments… add one }
  • Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies December 5, 2013, 6:29 am
    First, these pictures turned out pretty great! That's one photogenic salad. Second, this is proof that tofu doesn't have to be bland and tasteless or some weird diet food. Anyone who has had bland tofu didn't have properly dressed and seasoned tofu :) Looks yummy.
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 9:59 pm
      SO true! When seasoned and cooked right, tofu is fantastic!
  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health December 5, 2013, 8:10 am
    i could never comment on your posts :(
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:00 pm
      Weird, but I'm glad you can now!
  • lisa December 5, 2013, 8:50 am
    That looks so good!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:01 pm
      Thanks so much, Lisa!
  • Stephanie @ My Freckled Life December 5, 2013, 9:54 am
    Yummm, this looks delicious!! I dont cook with tofu often (my husband wont come near the stuff), but I might have to try this one out for myself! Stephanie @ My Freckled Life recently posted...Gift Guide for a Gym LoverMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:01 pm
      You definitely should!! Maybe someday you can convince him how good it is ;).
  • Kelsey December 5, 2013, 9:56 am
    Oh my gosh! Yum! This looks incredible! Kelsey recently posted...What I'm Loving Wednesday, A December to Remember!My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:02 pm
      Thanks Kelsey! Please let me know if you give it a try :).
  • Leslee @ Her Happy Balance December 5, 2013, 9:57 am
    This looks SO good. Tofu doesn't scare me, but I just never think to buy it at the grocery store. I think I always forget that it can be good in things besides just a stir fry. Leslee @ Her Happy Balance recently posted...Hersheypark Christmas Candylane!My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:03 pm
      It sure is good in stir-fry, but you are right..it is good in a lot more than just that! I love using it to make "eggless salad" sandwiches. They are SO good!
  • Emily @ More Than Just Dessert December 5, 2013, 10:40 am
    That salad looks DELICIOUS! I love Bahn Mi! Emily @ More Than Just Dessert recently posted...How-To Roast Spaghetti SquashMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:05 pm
      Bahn Mi is seriously amazing! It is probably one of my favorites sandwiches, so incorporating it into this salad was a must!
  • Ashlee@HisnHers December 5, 2013, 11:11 am
    YUM! I've never had a Bahn Mi sandwich but I love tofu and this looks delicious!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:06 pm
      Thanks Ashlee!! You NEED to try a banh mi sandwich. I have a feeling you would really like it!
  • Ang @ Nutty for Life December 5, 2013, 11:48 am
    I am still trying to get the hang of tofu. It's so inexpensive for all the protein you get so I always want to try to incorporate it but I am definitely intimidated. I can never seem to get it crisp on the outside which is the way I like it. Ang @ Nutty for Life recently posted...Holiday 2013 Foodie Gift GuideMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:07 pm
      Usually just a simple marinade and baking it (flipping it halfway through) leaves it pretty crispy for me. Or, cooking it on the stove-top on medium-low to medium heat (flipping a few times) for about 20 minutes or so makes it crispy. I usually do either one of these first before adding it to anything (a stir-fry, etc.).
  • Nicole @ FruitnFitness December 5, 2013, 1:00 pm
    I like tofu! I haven't had this sandwich before but the flavors sound good. I like how this is a change up from a traditional salad yet most of the ingredients are pantry staples. Nicole @ FruitnFitness recently posted...Trying new things – Slow Cooker Chicken CacciatoriMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:08 pm
      Gotta love tofu! And you REALLY need to get your hands on a banh mi sandwich. They are AWESOME.
  • Anastasia December 5, 2013, 3:37 pm
    This looks really good! I'm a bit obsessed with BBQ sauce so I was sold the minute I saw it in the ingredients list. I've never had a banh mi sandwich but hear they're incredible. Anastasia recently posted...Munchkin Meals: 16 monthsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:09 pm
      They really are incredible. You need to try one. And I hear you on the bbq sauce. I could literally drink it from the bottle ;).
  • Casey @ Salted Plates December 5, 2013, 5:37 pm
    Pissed I don't have the ingredients to this in the house right now! It looks so good (you know I love bahn mi!) Casey @ Salted Plates recently posted...What I Ate Wednesday Thanksgiving EditionMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:10 pm
      Oh yes, I do!! You would definitely enjoy this one :). Go buy yourself the ingredients this weekend!
  • Catherine @ foodiecology December 5, 2013, 7:00 pm
    I'm sad to say I've never actually cooked tofu in my own kitchen. This salad looks absolutely delicious, though. Vietnamese (and Asian cuisine in general) is one of my favorites! Catherine @ foodiecology recently posted...Tuesday Thoughts {12.03.13}My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:11 pm
      Mine too! Tofu is definitely spectacular in Vietnamese/Asian cuisine. I LOVE it in salads and in stir-fries.
  • Angela December 5, 2013, 7:17 pm
    This looks amazing!! SO excited to try it out - I swear you always have the best ideas!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:12 pm
      Aw, thanks so much! That seriously means a lot!
  • Jessie December 5, 2013, 9:07 pm
    This is one recipe that I'd have to eat for dinner since Joshua would look at me like "um hunnie, where's my meat" Ha Ha. It sounds divine!! Jessie recently posted...The perfect gift – Review & GiveawayMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:13 pm
      Haha, too funny! Yes, sometime when you are just cooking for yourself you will have to give it a try. I love that you aren't afraid of tofu :).
  • Jan @ Sprouts n Squats December 6, 2013, 1:27 am
    This looks amazing!! I am definitely trying this one out! Do you think Tempeh would work too? There is a vietnamese place near my work that does a salad similar to this but they also add in vermecelli noodles too and it is so good, sometimes I do order it without the noodles and honestly don't miss it ;) Jan @ Sprouts n Squats recently posted...Friday FavouritesMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:13 pm
      That salad sounds awesome! And yes, I think it would be fantastic with tofu! Let me know if you try that. I am definitely going to have to give it a try as well.
  • Arman @ thebigmansworld December 6, 2013, 9:57 pm
    I am obsessed with tofu.... is it wrong that I eat the whole block lol. Its just too good! I love it most ways, but baked with liquid aminos, sesame oil and tamari= amazing. Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted...Off the cuff Fridays 6/12- Aussie ‘Lamington’ PancakesMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:14 pm
      Haha, definitely NOT wrong! Yay for tofu :). It makes me so happy when I see and hear about other people eating it. And yes, marinated with liquid aminos and baked is AWESOME (just did that for lunch today!).
  • Angela December 7, 2013, 2:32 pm
    Just one question - you reserve 1/4 cup of tofu marinade for the dressing?? But your marinade itself is only around 1/4 cup though?
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:16 pm
      Yes, with the added ingredients to the marinade outside of the liquid aminos, it is just enough. You can always pour as much as you want over the tofu and then reserve what is left from that (the tofu will soak up some but not all of the marinade). Let me know if you have more questions!
      • Angela December 8, 2013, 7:32 pm
        Oh gosh I'm so silly I made this last night and I was still kind of confused (before reading your reply) so I poured the entire marinade over my tofu and let it sit there, and I forgot about it so I left it for around 4 hours ! lol. Needless to say it was extremely salty so I actually soaked it in water for an hour, and I managed to save it somewhat :P But that's an error on my part - otherwise great recipe!
  • Carly December 7, 2013, 2:44 pm
    I love banh-mis! These look delish; Do you have a good barbecue sauce that you recommend?
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 7, 2013, 10:17 pm
      Banh mis are amazing! I don't have a specific bbq sauce that is a "go to." I generally just try to find one that doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup and doesn't have a super long ingredient list.
  • sarah k @ the pajama chef December 9, 2013, 10:12 am
    sounds delicious! tofu can be so good--but i agree, preparation is everything! sarah k @ the pajama chef recently posted...SRC: Dark Chocolate Ginger SquaresMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 9, 2013, 2:34 pm
      Yes, when seasoned and cooked properly it is SO good!
  • Emily @SinfulNutrition December 9, 2013, 7:27 pm
    It took me a while to get to liking tofu, but now that I actually know how to cook with it, I love it! I've always wanted to try a Banh Mi so this is perfect! Emily @SinfulNutrition recently posted...Monday Meals: African Peanut StewMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl December 10, 2013, 9:13 pm
      When cooked right, tofu is SO good!! And you need to try this salad AND a banh mi sandwich!

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