Noodle Salad with Tofu

We've kept it simple with just rice noodles in this healthy vegan noodle salad recipe, but if you want to go wild, use wheat noodles, glass noodles or even your favorite spiralized veggie noodles.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
6 servings



  • 14 ounces extra-firm water-packed tofu

  • 2 medium red potatoes, cubed (1-inch)

  • 8 ounces flat rice noodles, such as pad thai

  • 3 tablespoons fried shallot oil (see Tips) or canola oil, divided

  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 2 ½ cups shredded napa cabbage

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • cup fried shallots (see Tips)

  • 2 tablespoons toasted chickpea flour (see Tips)

Tamarind Ginger Dressing

  • 1 ½ ounces tamarind paste (see Tips)

  • ¾ cup hot water

  • 2 tablespoons fried shallot oil (see Tips) or canola oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

  • 1 ½ teaspoons lime juice, plus more to taste

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric


  1. To prepare salad: Halve tofu crosswise. Fold a clean kitchen towel in half and place it on a cutting board. Set the tofu on the towel. Put another folded towel and a weight (such as a heavy skillet) on the tofu; let drain for 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, place potatoes in a large saucepan and fill with water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a colander. Return the water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions, stirring often, until just tender. Drain well and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil; toss to coat.

  3. Cut the pressed tofu into 3/4-inch cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the tofu in a single layer. Cook, without stirring, until starting to brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes more. Transfer to the bowl with the noodles.

  4. Soak scallions in cold water in a small bowl for 5 minutes. Drain and add to the noodles along with the potatoes, cabbage, cilantro and crushed red pepper; mix well with your hands.

  5. To prepare dressing: Soak tamarind in hot water for 5 minutes, using a spoon to break up the pulp. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pushing on the solids and scraping the bottom of the strainer to extract as much tamarind as possible. Whisk oil, garlic, ginger, lime juice, salt, sugar and turmeric into the tamarind water. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Top with shallots and sprinkle with chickpea flour.


Tips: To prepare Fried Shallots & Fried Shallot Oil: Place a fine-mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl. Heat 1/2 cup canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup halved and sliced shallots, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the shallots and oil through the strainer. Transfer the shallots to a paper-towel-lined plate. Reserve the oil, if desired. Store fried shallots airtight at room temperature for up to a week; refrigerate the oil for up to 2 months.

To prepare Toasted Chickpea Flour: Toast 1/4 cup chickpea flour in a dry medium skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Store airtight in a cool dark place for up to 2 months. (Made from ground dried chickpeas, chickpea flour is used in Burmese salads. Look for it at supermarkets in the natural-foods or gluten-free section. Store airtight in the freezer.)

Sometimes called "wet tamarind," seedless tamarind paste is found with other Asian pantry ingredients at well-stocked supermarkets. Avoid tamarind pods or tamarind concentrate, which has a different flavor and texture. Refrigerate for up to 1 year.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

395 Calories
16g Fat
55g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 1 1/2 cups
Calories 395
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 8g
Added Sugars 1g 2%
Protein 12g 23%
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Vitamin A 380IU 8%
Vitamin C 22mg 24%
Folate 55mcg 14%
Sodium 650mg 28%
Calcium 231mg 18%
Iron 3mg 17%
Magnesium 60mg 14%
Potassium 634mg 13%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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