Inspired  Eats

Mostly healthy recipes from an inspired guy


Vietnamese Salad with Grilled Tofu

Posted on June 9, 2011 | 3 Comments

This chilled salad makes for a wonderful summertime dish. It would make a great side to bring along to a picnic or party and isn’t nearly as heavy as many traditional oil-based salads (although I’m not convinced it couldn’t use a bit of oil in the dressing).

Vietnamese Salad with Grilled Tofu

Vietnamese Salad with Grilled Tofu

This is a 3-step salad. It requires dressing, salad, and gremolata crumbled topping. It is adapted from a recipe in Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.


1/3 cup warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons chili garlic sauce (or less to reduce heat)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
1/4 tsp. salt

12 ounces extra-firm tofu, excess moisture pressed out
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 (7 or 8-ounce) package of vermicelli noodles*
1 medium-size cucumber thinly-sliced half-moons (1 heaping cup or 6 ounces)
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
2 cups mixed greens
1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves (I like to do a tiny chiffonade)

1/4 cup toasted cashews (or peanuts or walnuts), chopped very well
3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
Zest of 1/2 lime

To prepare the dressing, mix all dressing ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

Slice the tofu into your desired shapes (I prefer isosceles triangles with appx. 1-inch hypotenuse, as seen above). Marinate the tofu in just 6 tablespoons of the dressing and 2 teaspoons of soy sauce. Set aside for now, but flip occasionally.

Cook the vermicelli according to the package instructions. Be careful to not over-cook the noodles. Once cooked, cool immediately with plenty of cold water, strain and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all salad vegetables, mint, and noodles with your hands until well mixed. Add the remainder of the dressing, mix again, and chill in the refrigerator while you finish preparing the tofu and gremolata.

Grill the tofu 3-4 minutes each side in a non-stick or cast iron pan.

While the tofu is grilling, combine all gremolata ingredients in a small bowl. I believe the original recipe called for adding the remaining marinade to the noodles mixture at this point, but I skipped that step. You might want to try it out for more flavor.

Serve the salad in a bowl, topped with gremolata and with grilled tofu on the side. Additional chili garlic sauce goes well with this salad.

* I used La Moderna Vermicelli, although a rice-based vermicelli would be great as well. La Moderna brand is very inexpensive and produces a nice dish.


3 Responses to “Vietnamese Salad with Grilled Tofu”

  1. Tiffany
    June 9th, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

    I haven’t enjoyed a good Vietnamese salad in far too long. This looks like the perfect recipe to break me out of my bún chay rut. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. inspiredeats
    June 9th, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    They can be very refreshing. I hope you get to enjoy one soon!

  3. Celeriac and Rutabaga Purée | Inspired Eats
    July 18th, 2011 @ 5:13 am

    […] on what you’re in the mood for, this would serve well with a salad (such as the Vietnamese Salad with Grilled Tofu) or sautéed greens (such as Kale & […]

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