Crunchy Cashew Noodle Salad with Crispy Tofu

Crunchy Cashew Noodle Salad with Crispy Tofu

In my humble opinion, one of the great breakthroughs in plant-based cooking is learning how to make a basic crispy tofu that you can then cook in different marinades/sauces to add a boost of texture and flavour (and nutrition) to your dishes.

Today I want to share one of the first recipes that I taught in the Plant-Based Eating Support Network Group – for a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s Veganuary, and if you haven’t already mastered the no-oil sauteed tofu method, it’s time; and
  2. This is a delicious recipe that you can customize to your own tastes/the tastes of your loved ones — it’s gonna be one you’ll make again and again.

Here’s your recipe:

Crunchy Cashew Noodle Salad with Crispy Tofu

Serves 4


  • 1 package extra firm tofu, sautéed with simple marinade, as described below
  • simple marinade for tofu: 2 tbsp maple syrup + 2 tbsp braggs soy alternative OR coconut aminos
  • 1 package of noodles of your choice (200-250 g), cooked; see below for noodle recommendations
  • About 5 cups of mixed vegetables (adapt this to what you have/like), for example:
    • 1 cup carrots, julienned
    • 1 cup red pepper, julienned
    • 1 cup snap peas
    • 1 cup celery, julienned
    • 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 1 cup of pea sprouts, or other sprouts of choice
  • ½ – 1 cup lightly roasted cashews
  • 1 recipe Spicy Cashew Dressing: (blend together until smooth)
    • ½ cup cashews, soaked
    • 1 large clove garlic
    • 1 tsp fresh ginger
    • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
    • 2 tbsp braggs soy alternative OR coconut aminos
    • 1-2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
    • 1/3 cup water
    • Hot sauce to taste (optional)


  1. Prepare the extra firm tofu by cutting it into cubes and dry sautéing it until crispy. To do this, heat a large saucepan so that water sizzles on its surface (I prefer a good quality ceramic or stainless steel for this) — this is important because it helps to prevent the tofu from sticking. When the pan is hot, place the tofu cubes in the pan. Resist the urge to stir them around at this point – they will stick at first but once they have seared, they should come away without sticking. Brown the tofu on all sides, as shown below. (STEP 1)

2. Once browned on all sides, add the simple marinade and let the tofu cook in it (over medium-low heat) until all the marinade has been absorbed (STEP 2). Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat once it’s looking nice and crispy and set aside.

3. Prepare the noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.

These noodles, available at Townsite Fruit and Veg in Powell River, are both fantastic options for noodles to use with this salad!

4. Cut all your vegetables up and put them together into a large bowl.

5. Prepare your dressing.

6. Toss noodles and dressing together, then toss in the veggies and mix again. You may want to keep a few aside to use on the top for presentation colour. 😊

7. Divide into individual bowls and add tofu, then garnish with herbs, sprouts and roasted cashews.

Want to print the recipe out?

You can do so here.

Join the Plant-Based Eating Support Network Group!

Interested in more recipes, tips, live cook-alongs and whole food plant-based nutrition classes, not to mention support and inspiration for healthy, delicious plant-based eating and living? Join us in the Plant-Based Eating Support Network Group — new subscribers are welcomed at the beginning of each month. You can find all the details about the group here.

Happy Veganuary!


  • brownie

    January 11, 2021 at 4:20 pm Reply

    Thanks Emma, this was absolutely delicious!

    • VeganRHN

      January 19, 2021 at 8:59 pm Reply

      You’re so welcome Brownie! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

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