This Spicy Raw Tofu Salad is perfect for picnics, on-the-go meals, and for adding to rice and noodle bowls! Sometimes people ask me "can you eat tofu raw" and the answer is always YES!
Can you eat tofu raw?
Yes! All types of tofu can be eaten raw. Tofu comes in lots of different textures - silken, soft, firm, extra firm, and high-protein. All of them make great raw dishes. You'll want to discard the liquid that the tofu came or save it if you're not using the entire block as you can store any leftover tofu in the liquid so that it doesn't dry out.
Obviously, since I'm sharing a recipe for a Spicy Raw Tofu Salad, I love eating tofu raw!😉
Lots of raw dishes are made with tofu. Silken tofu is often served in raw cold preparations and is also used to make sauces and dressings. Here, I'm using firm tofu raw as I want the marinade to flavor the tofu and serve it as a light salad.
I love this salad as it's easy to make a large batch and have on hand all week long for rice bowls or just for eating straight out of the refrigerator when I'm famished and too lazy to actually cook. Meal prep for the win!
- Extra-firm tofu - read the FAQ's below to learn which tofu I like best in this tofu salad
- Chili paste - a simple chili garlic sauce works well here
- Chili oil - I adore the sesame chili oil from Trader Joe's!
- Tamari - feel free to use regular soy sauce if you're not gluten-free
- Fresh lime juice - fresh, never bottled, please and thank you
- Agave nectar
- Green onion
- Fresh ginger
- Toasted sesame seeds
See recipe card for quantities.
Whisk together the marinade in a small jar or bowl.
Cube the tofu and place in a large bowl, top with the marinade and gently toss to coat the tofu.
Let the tofu salad marinate for at least 4 hours.
Top the salad with green onions, crushed cashews, cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds to serve.
Hint: This spicy raw tofu salad gets better with time. If you can, letting it marinate for 12+ hours makes it SO good!
There are a few swaps you could make to fit dietary restrictions.
- Soy Free - if you are soy-free, try Pumfu in this recipe or even chickpea tofu. You'll also want to use coconut aminos instead of tamari or soy sauce.
- Not Gluten-Free - use regular soy sauce
- Low carb - simply omit the agave
As always, treat recipes as a framework, not an end-all-be-all rule. Unless you're baking and then maybe stick to the recipe 😜 Here are a few ways to make it your own.
- Spicier - add in some minced Thai chili peppers 🌶
- Deluxe - add some crispy shallots or garlic to the top with the other toppings, yum!
Store the tofu salad in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
💭 Top tip
Looking to really pack the flavor of the marinade into the tofu? Put the tofu and marinade in a silicone bag and close the top except for one corner. Stick a straw into the bag and suck all of the air out of the bag. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The compression really makes the tofu absorb the marinade.
You can! Simply pan-fry the tofu before dressing it with the marinade.
I love using Hodo tofu for this recipe as it's already pressed and makes my life infinitely easier. I also love the smooth texture of Hodo, but any extra-firm tofu that's been pressed or a high-protein tofu will work.
I love using this tofu salad as a topper for rice and noodle bowls. It's perfect with my Asian Cabbage Salad as pictured above in the rice bowl. It's also great as a quick protein-rich snack scooped up with some crispy rice chips.
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Spicy Raw Tofu Salad
- 1 block (14-ounces) extra-firm tofu pressed then cut into ½-inch - 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons chili paste
- 2 tablespoons chili oil
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon agave nectar
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
- 2 tablespoons toasted and crushed cashews
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- In a small bowl or jar, mix together the chili paste, chili oil, tamari, lime juice, agave, minced garlic, and ginger.
- In a large bowl toss the tofu cubes with the sauce. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.
- To serve, top with cilantro, crushed cashews, and sesame seeds.