A mouthwatering Thai chopped salad that will take your taste buds on a journey to Southeast Asia. This salad is not only vegan but it's also packed with protein and vitamins from the tofu and vegetables.
The highlight of this salad is the dressing - a delicious blend of peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha, maple syrup, rice vinegar, lemon juice, toasted sesame oil, ginger powder, and garlic powder.
If you like this, then make sure you check out our cold Thai noodle salad. Another tasty option that fits into a plant-based diet easily.
This recipe has two lists of ingredients. The first is for the salad itself, and the second is for the spicy peanut dressing. For exact quantities, see the printable recipe card below.
For the salad:
- Red bell pepper
- Green onion
- Purple cabbage
- Green cabbage
- Fresh cilantro
For the dressing:
- Peanut butter
- Soy sauce
- Maple syrup
- Rice vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Toasted sesame oil
- Ginger powder
- Garlic powder
Begin by cooking the tofu. Heat the oven to 400°F/200°C and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the tofu cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet, then cook for 15 minutes. Turn or shake the tofu, then continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown on all edges. Set aside to cool.
Now, in a medium skillet, add a teaspoon of olive oil with the cashews, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are toasty and browned. Then, put them into a food processor and chop. Set them aside.
Now, prepare the vegetables. Shred the cabbage, cut the cucumber and red bell pepper into pieces, and dice the green onions and cilantro. Set these aside until ready to assemble the salad.
In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, maple syrup, sriracha, peanut butter, ginger powder, and garlic powder. Taste and add additional hot sauce if desired.
Now, you will assemble the salad by layering the vegetables, topping it with tofu and cashews, then drizzling it with the dressing.
Toss well before serving.
Don't have all the ingredients? No problem! Here are some easy substitutions you can make that will keep great flavor and texture like desired.
- Use tempeh or seitan instead of tofu
- Swap red pepper for green, yellow, or orange pepper
- Substitute cashews with peanuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, or walnuts
- Use romaine lettuce or kale instead of green cabbage
- Swap purple cabbage with red onion or radicchio
- Use almond or cashew butter in place of the peanut butter in the dressing
Looking to switch things up? Here are some variations to try for this Thai chopped salad that is still vegan but full of flavor.
- Add sliced mango or papaya for a tropical twist
- Sprinkle with toasted coconut
- Top with crispy wontons or fried onions for added crunch
- Try adding edamame or snap peas for more protein
- Add bean sprouts for more texture
Mix and match the flavors you like to create the perfect salad for your taste buds.
This salad is best stored separately. The vegetables should be kept apart from the cashews, tofu, and salad dressing. Keeping these separate will help everything last longer. They are good for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
This recipe is not one you should freeze. Only make enough that you can finish within 3 to 4 days.
If you are new to cooking, you may need a few more supplies. Below are what I used when making this salad, and recommend you add it to your kitchenware setup.
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Cutting board
- Chef's knife
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Non-stick skillet
My top tip for making this Thai chopped salad even better is to let the dressing sit for at least 30 minutes before pouring it over the vegetables. This allows the flavors to meld together and makes for an even more delicious and satisfying dish.
Of course. While the vegetables shown are common, you can add any others to the salad that you prefer. The vegetables shown are traditional, but you can update to your preferences.
Yes. The ingredients for this can be prepared ahead of time, but it is not recommended to mix together until just before serving.
Below are a few more Thai-flavored dishes that you are going to love seeing on your dinner table. Take a moment and bookmark your favorites.
Want to serve this for dinner? It can be elevated with one of the proteins below for a more satisfying meal.
Vegan Thai Chopped Salad
For the salad:
- 1 cup tofu cubed
- 1 red pepper
- 1 cucumber
- 1 carrot
- 1 green onion
- ½ green cabbage
- ⅓ purple cabbage
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/2 cup cashew
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- To start, cook the tofu by preheating the oven to 400°F/200°C and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the tofu cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. After that, flip or shake the tofu and continue baking for 10-15 minutes more until golden brown on all sides. Leave to cool.
- Using a medium skillet, heat a teaspoon of olive oil with the cashews and stir frequently for approximately 5 minutes until they are toasted and browned. Next, transfer them to a food processor and chop them before setting them aside.
- Moving on to the vegetables, shred the cabbage, cut the cucumber and red bell pepper into pieces, and dice the green onions and cilantro. Keep aside until it's time to assemble the salad.
- In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, maple syrup, sriracha, peanut butter, ginger powder, and garlic powder to make the dressing. Adjust the spiciness level by adding more hot sauce if needed.
- Lastly, assemble the salad by layering the vegetables, topping it with tofu and cashews, then drizzling the dressing over the salad. Toss everything together before serving.
- Add chopped peanuts, macadamia nuts, or almonds to the salad for additional flavor and texture.
- Use marinated tofu for additional flavor.
Are you following food safety standards in the kitchen? Below are our top tips to make sure you and your family stay safe when cooking at home.
- Always sanitize countertops, cutting boards, utensils, and cookware thoroughly between each use.
- Wash your hands in warm soapy water, rubbing for at least 20 seconds before rinsing. Remember, "FROG" means friction rubs off germs.
- After serving food, allow it to cool, then place it into the refrigerator or proper storage immediately. Food should be at room temperature for no more than 2 hours for safety.
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