Quinoa salad with crispy sesame tofu

Quinoa Salad with Crispy Sesame Tofu

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This vegan quinoa salad with crispy sesame tofu has the best tofu I’ve ever made. I always have had a problem with getting tofu to that successful level of crispy. It’s usually too soft, and one time I accidentally made tofu croutons, way too crispy! But this tofu is coated in a sesame seed crust that makes it crispy on the outside and just a little soft on the inside. Exactly how I want it!

This elimination diet recipe utilizes two different forms of soy and is a great way to reintroduce soy into your diet on an elimination diet. I missed being able to use soy sauce as the base for many marinades and dressings so the flavor profile of this salad was absolutely delightful to me. I like to buy soy sauce at the korean market down the street from me. They have way more options than the local grocery store and they’re much much cheaper. Try various ones from different regions and you’ll see how varied the flavor of soy sauce can actually be. 

It’s important to use untoasted sesame seeds for the crust of the crispy sesame tofu. They’ll be toasting while they’re being baked on the tofu. If you start with toasted they’ll likely end up charred and will leave your tofu bitter and unpleasant. Buying sesame seeds, or any seeds and nuts, in bulk is really the best, most cost effective way to go.

Do you have to peel cucumbers?

No! In fact, the peel is one of the most nutritious parts of the cucumber! Instead of peeling your cucumbers you should wash them. I’ve started washing and sanitizing my fresh produce in a solution of water, vinegar and salt.

Use about 8 cups of room temperature water, 1/2 cup plain white vinegar, and 2 tbsp of plain table salt. Stir it until the salt is dissolved and then place produce in the bath for 10-15 minutes to get rid of any contaminents. I’ve noticed that this also cuts down on the waxiness that can be found in fruits and vegetables like cucumbers and apples. Rinse the produce just a bit and dry thoroughly after the soak.

Ingredients

For the Tofu

  • 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds (not toasted!)
  • 4 tbsp arrowroot powder

For the Salad

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 large carrot, shaved
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar

Instructions

For the Tofu

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. line a baking tray with foil
  3. chop the pressed tofu into ½ inch cubes
  4. mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar in a bowl
  5. marinate the tofu in the sauce mixture for about 20 mins, nearly all liquid should be absorbed
  6. mix the sesame seeds and arrowroot powder in a separate bowl
  7. dip the marinated tofu in the seed mixture, coat well on all sides
  8. place the coated tofu on the lined baking tray
  9. bake for 11-13 minutes on the top rack, until browned and slightly crispy

For the Salad

  1. in a small saucepan heat the white vinegar, sugar, and black pepper
  2. once the sugar is melted and the mixture just begins to boil, add the red onion and carrots, remove from heat
  3. in a separate bowl combine the sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, ginger and rice vinegar
  4. in a large container combine the quinoa and cucumber, toss with the dressing
  5. add the quick pickled red onion and carrots
  6. top with crispy tofu and serve
Quinoa salad with crispy sesame tofu

Quinoa Salad with Crispy Sesame Tofu

Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American, Chinese
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

For the Tofu

  • 1 block extra firm tofu pressed
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds not toasted!
  • 4 tbsp arrowroot powder

For the Salad

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 large cucumber diced
  • 1 large carrot shaved
  • ½ red onion sliced
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar

Instructions
 

For the Tofu

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • line a baking tray with foil
  • chop the pressed tofu into ½ inch cubes
  • mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar in a bowl
  • marinate the tofu in the sauce mixture for about 20 mins, nearly all liquid should be absorbed
  • mix the sesame seeds and arrowroot powder in a separate bowl
  • dip the marinated tofu in the seed mixture, coat well on all sides
  • place the coated tofu on the lined baking tray
  • bake for 11-13 minutes on top rack, until browned and slightly crispy

For the Salad

  • in a small saucepan heat the white vinegar, sugar, and black pepper
  • once the sugar is melted and the mixture just begins to boil, add the red onion and carrots, remove from heat
  • in a separate bowl combine the sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, ginger and rice vinegar
  • in a large container combine the quinoa and cucumber, toss with the dressing
  • add the quick pickled red onion and carrots
  • top with crispy tofu and serve
Keyword corn free, gluten free, nightshade free recipes
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