Sweet Sesame Tofu Sticks with Thai Cabbage Salad {Vegan, Gluten Free}

Sesame tofu cabbage salad

Raise your hand if you are a salad lover! (did anyone raise their hand?) I find it a huge blessing that I actually like to eat vibrant fruits and vegetables. Although, people can agrue that you can change what your body craves by changing the microbial oncology (minute 37) in your gut, its nice to have been born this way.

Seriously, there are nights when all I want to eat is roasted broccoli and I have a creative salad for dinner several nights a week. Something I’ve learned over the years of salad making is that salad dressing can make or break your salad so I have made a conscious effort to start spending more time developing salad dressing from scratch instead of from the jar like I used to. The dressing for this salad has so many wonderful notes in it: a little bite of spiciness from the red pepper, rich nutty warmth from the sesame oil, a touch of sweetness from the maple syrup and a bright tangy kick from the lime juicy. It reminds me of my travels to Thailand and I think you are going to love it!

Sesame tofu cabbage salad2

To make this salad a little more of a substantial meal I fried up some tofu sticks and made a super sweet and delicious sesame sauce that is so good I could drink it with a straw. But I wouldn’t actually do that, thats weird and not very healthy. I am all about being healthy. Like my other dishes that contain fried tofu (like this one), the trick is to let the tofu sit in a warm salt water bath for 7-10 minutes, then patting dry with paper towels, removing as much moisture as possible before frying. I learned this trick from Jaime, and it is a game changer. Trust me. Or don’t and trust him instead- he is a professional chef. #novice

Sesame tofu cabbage salad3

This recipe is crunchy, refreshing, tasty, salty, sweet, satisfying and healthy!

Sweet Sesame Tofu Sticks with Thai Cabbage Salad {Vegan, GF}

May 22, 2015
Serves 2 People
Prep time
Cook Time


  • Sesame Tofu Sticks
  • 10 Ounces
    extra firm tofu, from 1/2 square block, organic
  • 2 Tablespoons
    sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons
  • 2 Tablespoons
    maple syrup
  • oil
    for frying
  • Cabbage Salad
  • 1/2
    head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/4
    head purple cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 10
    cherry tomatoes, quatered
  • 1 1/2 Cup
    thin green beans, blanched, halved crosswise (about
  • 1/4 Cup
    fresh basil, chopped
  • 1
    garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon
    red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon
    maple syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons
    lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons
  • 2 Tablespoons
    toasted sesame oil
  • 1/3 Cup
    roasted peanuts, chopped


  1. For the cabbage salad:
    Thinly slice the cabbage, and quater the tomates. Set aside in a large bowl with the chopped basil. Blanch the green beans: In a small bowl add water and ice cubes to make an ice bath. Bring water to a boil, add the green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove and transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking. Remove with a slotted spoon, pat dry and add to the bowl with the cabbage.

    mince the garlic, add the crushed red pepper and either with the back of a spoon or in a mortar and pestle, pound to combine. Add the maple, pound some more, then add the lime juice, tamari, toasted sesame oil and mix well with a whisk.

    Pour the dressing over the salad and set in the fridge so the flavors can combine.

    Add the roasted peanuts right before serving. Feel free to garnish with more fresh basil

  2. For the Tofu:
    Prepare the tofu by dissovling 2 tsp salt in about 4 cups warm water. Add the block of tofu and let it sit for 7-10 minutes. Then remove with a slotted spoon and pat dry with paper towels. Slice into 6 long rectangles and again pat dry with paper towels. You want to remove as much moisture as possible.

    While your tofu is soaking, make the sauce by combineing the sesame oil, tamari and maple in a small bowl and wisk to combine.

    In a medium pan, heat 2 tbso oil ( i used 1 tbsp of sesame oil and 1 tbsp coconut oil) over medium high heat. Then carefully add in the tofu sticks. Fry for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and then flip to fry onthe other side for another 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn. You will know it is done when it is crispy and golden brown.

    Remove from heat and toss in the sauce.

  3. Assembly:
    Right before serving, give the cabbage salad a good toss, divide over two plates, top with crushed peanuts, fresh basil and 3 tofu sticks per salad. drizzle with a little more sauce if desired and enjoy!

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